Archive for Men

I Don’t Need Help: On Men and Grief

Men are different. No, they’re not! But they are.

When I make a bereavement phone call after a death, about half the people I talk with are . . . men. No surprise, eh? But men, far more than the women, tend to surprise me after I’ve asked if this is a good time to speak for a few moments.

No, really, I'm fine . . .

No, really, I’m fine . . .

There was the man who didn’t want to talk, and really didn’t need any help from anyone after his wife died. He didn’t say this once—I don’t need any help—but four or five times in the course of our conversation. He didn’t want to talk, didn’t want anyone to worry about him. In between those obvious lies, he shared about meeting his wife decades before and how much she’d changed him for the better. He also fretted about how he couldn’t quite muster the energy to go outside to fix the sprinklers and wondered why he had so little energy. Part way through our call—I don’t want to talk—he mentioned searching for a serving spoon or measuring cup in the kitchen and discovering one of his wife’s folded aprons in a drawer. It held her fragrance. He (this man who didn’t want to talk) said he stood there, frozen in the middle of the kitchen, the apron pressed to his nose. Read More →

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