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I used to love to read. I have not been able to read a book from cover to cover that is not about grief or some kind of self-help or inspiration (usually the kind with small quotes on each page).

Now I am about halfway through a real book. It's been a year for me since my wife died. My goal is to be able to concentrate and pay attention to this book, and then another.

I want my mundane regular daily life back. I want to be able to do normal human things like read a book. I'm curious, if you are able to read a book, at what point in your grief did you accomplish this?

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Last month I managed to read "The Thirst" by Jo Nesbo.  I've been widowed for 18 months, almost.  It's a detective/crime novel, and I chose it partly because I had read all the others in the Harry Hole series, but also because in being a crime novel, it wasn't going to be overly emotional.  I'm practicing mindfulness, though, so am trying to use that approach when reading so that I don't aimlessly read without absorbing ... a bit like watching TV but not remembering what you watched, or driving somewhere, arriving but not being completely aware of the journey?  Before this, the most I had managed was a cake recipe.  I have to say I have joined a widows book group, which is a mixed group, and a few of us have read one of three books set so far, a couple of us haven't managed to read beyond chapter one and the other time we went out for tapas.

What are you reading?

I love the tapas story. That's awesome. More than reading, it's important for the widows to get together. For any purpose.

We'really trying to be good tomorrow and pick another book. I feel very guilty that I haven't been able to read the list, I really do. But I like the suggestion of audio books too - that might be some good brain training.

Reading has always been my escape. One trend I did in the first year or two was read a lot of nonfiction. I had been a mystery lover before! Now I am reading fiction again - all sorts. I am a librarian so I kind of have to. But I do know about the lack of focus. It takes me a long time to get thru a book. Nesbo is good though!

I'm only 3 weeks into widowhood, so still very raw.

At the moment I'm reading a book on spiritualism and have another one I'll read later on how dogs help the bereaved.  I'm not ready to read a fictional novel or anything too lightweight.

It's so fresh Lindi. At three weeks I was only able to read this:

It just has one short thing per page that you can read. It helped me in the very beginning.

I have been able to read. I think it is my escape actually. And I'm part of a book group so I had a 'reason' to push through the book. I guess it was a way to get to that 'normal mundane life'. If I didn't read it I had nothing to say in book group! 

To be honest, the written word has probably saved my life during this whole horrid thing. I'm a writer and my hubby Mike was SO supportive of my work. My first book was self published a month after he died. Everything was all set up and in place, I had nothing to do, it was literally hitting a button to 'publish' so I had no excuse not to stick to the schedule in spite of what had happened. And he would have been furious if I'd not done it. He was so excited about creating my career as an author. So while this has made it doubly hard - to lose my support team, and biggest cheerleader - I also knew that I couldn't let it go. He died in November last year, and I've since written the sequel to the book I published. I sit back now and think how the hell did that get done?? It's all a blur. But I think it also kept me afloat.

I love this response. I wonder if you are able to write about grief as well?

Hi Anna,

Yes, my friends have started asking me about that. And asking me to consider writing about it. I feel like it will be on the cards, because this is an experience like few others. I had thought about things I'd like to write down over the past few months, but didn't , and now wish I had! Because as I'm sure you know, every day is so unpredictable. So very very different from the one before.

After Doug died I couldn't even last thru a 30 minute sitcom, which is really 19 minutes when recorded. I would just get up & walk away. Then I would start dished, then walk away. I tried reading but that was way too much concentrating. I just did the 4 year mark & I would say I could actually read a book after 2.5 years. I listen to audio book when I drive. I found it really helped kept my brain busier than just driving.

Wow, 2.5 years. I hear you. I don't do audiobooks but I can do podcasts. I will try audiobooks next. Thank you.

I love my audio book and radio. :-)



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