Grief for the people pleaser

I am by nature, a people pleaser.
That's not a bad thing in and of itself. I don't like hurting anyone or being the cause of inconvenience for people. I like to make other people happy because that's what inevitably makes me happy. But when you throw grief into the mix, then it can become a problem.

I've noticed over the course of my grief journey, and especially over the last year, that you can never grieve right. You'll never grieve long enough or short enough or hard enough. You won't say the right things and people will give you too much space and then not enough. You can sacrifice your own happiness, but you will always let someone down.

On top of grief itself, this can be a dangerous mix for the people pleaser. Losing sleep because you're miserable about losing the most important thing in your life and yet worried about what everyone must think about it. You don't want to hurt anyone so you conform to what you think they want, and end up only hurting yourself.

Then, if you dare to find someone new, you have to be prepared to face a lot of judgment and opinions from other people. I discovered that remarriage is the people pleaser's nightmare.

The good news is, grief has also taught me to let go a little bit and not always worry about what everyone else thinks. Age has taught me that as well. I haven't perfected it, but I know that when I follow my heart and not what I think are the desires of others, I tend to feel better about my decisions.

Grief has this funny way (and by funny, I mean torturing and un-called for irony) of re-shaping you into someone new. Not something you could have ever imagined, but something stronger, more durable. Someone a little more content with what you still have left, and little more appreciative of good things that come your way. Someone who knows the value of life.

And when you understand the value of life, you understand that it doesn't matter if what you do makes everyone else happy. It matters that you soak up every moment with the people who support you, value you, challenge you to be better, and love you no matter what you do.


Becky said...

Thank you for sharing this.... God's timing is incredible.
Love to you, Steve and the kids

Anonymous said...

Well said, very well said! I lost my husband last year, but to divorce. He chose to leave our marriage, and while it's different, it's still grief, especially for a follower of Christ, and I can definitely say I've experienced many of those feelings myself! "Stronger, more durable, a little more content with what you still have left." For sure!
-Andrea, in Canada

Anonymous said...

So well said Vee.


Anonymous said...

I needed this today. Thank you!

Summertime said...

Veronica, You are so right. And having an amazing support system is the only thing that got me through grief but it's also one of the hardest things too. I'm also a people pleaser and the fact that everyone has an opinion about which way they wipe their butt and that you should do it the same way makes it even harder. But what I've learned is when someone you love is grieving you just want to fix it, fix them, and stop the hurt. We have a hard time just sitting with someone and holding them through the heartbreak. We want to say just the right thing or give them a step by step of that will get them past it. I use to be one of those people before grief came and knocked on MY door then I experienced ppl saying all the wrong things and feeling pressure to do what everyone else thinks is best. God has taught me a lot through it all. So grateful to have the wisdom but sometimes I would give it back to be blissfully ignorant and not have to have lost. Thank you for your blog and your courage. It's astounding.

Anonymous said...

I am, as usual, happy for you, you are truly an inspiration.

But WHO in your life is giving you grief (no pun intended) over your remarriage? (I don't count the people who make comments on your blog...I'm talking about people in your life, and I don't mean naming names, either, just generally). It's just that I have the opposite problem, everyone is on my case because I DON'T want to date. How do I get these people off my back and tell them to stop making comments about my choice to stay alone? AAUUGGHH!!

KendraSpiller said...

Vee,i can relate so much to this,i lost my mama,and she was also my very best friend,its going to be 7 years in november,while its a different kind of grief,i still ache for her everyday...and when people pass away that i know,i never know what to say,or how to be there for them,i try my best,but in such sad situation what are you supposed to say? :/ thank you for being such an inspirational blessing in my life!


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