It’s ok to have standards for your friendships, a friendship is a relationship, a relationship takes two people equally invested. One thing my loss has taught me as I have gone through all the emotions throughout the years, is sometimes people care about you but don’t want to invest in you (it’s not personal, they are human). And sometimes there are people who really care and want to invest in you, that you overlook. Invest in who invests in you and don’t be afraid to make new connections so your life is fruitful.
When your spouse passes, your connections naturally tend to change. Sometimes people grow closer, but from my experience grief just caused separation. It’s hard to grieve the same person from different perspectives. Where I was mourning the loss of my partner, my best friend, my left hand, others were mourning the loss of a brother, son, friend, co-worker.. and everyone having a different perspective in what they lost, have different ways of processing. It made some feel good to tell me every story they had, while others avoided me completely. Some just wanted to honor him by being there for me, some wanted to judge my every move like I was doing something wrong by still having to live. It hurts, it’s messy, and it overcomplicates an already sad and stressful time in your life. You can either hold onto everything you lost, or you can invest in who invests in you and let the others go. It doesn’t mean they don’t care, it means they can’t process the loss the same as you and don’t know how to continue forward with you as an individual.
Making new connections and continuing to ensure your life is fruitful is so important. Not just for those who lost someone close, but for everyone. We are put here to love, it’s the greatest commandment in the bible, and is everything Jesus displayed. Pay attention to who is investing in you, and who you are investing your time and energy in. Holding onto negativity is not going to help you grow, so replace it with something positive. Make a new friend, be there for someone going through a life hardship, invest time in your community or church. Everyone has the ability to live a full and fruitful life regardless of the challenges they face in life. Happiness is a choice.