Do you understand life, death, and the big things more than you used to?
Are you more aware of what matters, and less tolerant of the "small stuff?"
Will you ever care about your friends' kitchen renovations again?
How about other changes... in your confidence, your self-definition, your actual life circumstances (not just financially)... are you more "YOU" now? Are you working on it? Or do you just want to get back to the way things were?
For a while I thought I was "wise," seasoned, more aware of mortality than most people.... you know... they are DGI's ("don't get it's.")
Now I'm not so sure. I am definitely different.
In my case, loss coincided largely with being a Mom, which is probably the hugest change I can imagine.
I am turning into an introvert, and turning back into some kind of creative type, a dream which has been largely under ... I don't know... a rock (?) for my 15 years married TO a "real" artist.
I am more secure financially (due to um, not being married to an artist....) and much less patient. Less concerned with coping, more with thriving. And more like that little girl who used to dream of growing up to be something really really good, not just a happy working wife and Mom. MORE.
Yeah, I'm totally working on it. What about you?
I thought I was the only one asking myself this. I keep waiting for that big moment.....the "ah ha" one, where it all comes clear how monumentally I have been changed. But I have to say that other than the HUGE lonliness and grief I feel I don't think I have changed very much. I'm trying to create a new circle of friends but that is proving to be a challenge. I was always pretty much "me" to begin with but he made being me so much more fun!!
I don't think I'm wise really. (I think it's one of those things where the more you know, the more you realize how little you know.)
At 16 months now, and I actually feel less 'in tune' with life, death, and the big picture than I did a year ago. Not entirely sure why that is.)
I'm definitely more tolerant of the small stuff. (It's easy when you don't care as much about stuff in general anyway.)
"Will you ever care about your friends' kitchen renovations again?" I'm almost finished renovating my kitchen and it's hard to be enthused about that. Dave & I had been planning on doing this for almost 5 years. I decided to go ahead and do it as I HATED my 60 year cupboards and 40 year old counters and flooring. And it needed to be done for resale anyway. It was nice not having to argue about finishes etc... but it's so sad not having him here to enjoy it with. We had talked about it so much. It's hard trying to make sense of it still - the randomness of me being here and him not.
I know there is no going back to the way things were.
I've been trying to 'find' myself again. Took up piano lessons - something I always regretting stopping when I was a child. Also studying photography again.
I really do want to find my path, but I'm realizing that I don't know what I want to do with the rest of my life. I know I don't want to work at what I'm doing anymore, but I don't have a goal. My past plans involved the two of us. They don't work with one. I need a goal.
"In tune" may be closer to what I mean than "wise," really.
I love hearing about piano, photography, and where you are. It all sounds like good adaptations to life being different. You sound challenged, but calm.
And thanks so much for this site!
I'm 14 months in and I feel the same way you do.....meaning less "in tune" than a year ago. I thought maybe it was just me, but I think the longer it sits with us the harder it is to try to wrap ourselves around the fact that they are dead. It is just crazy!!!!
This is the month Betty was diagnosed two years ago and four month later she died. I stopped being the old me and the main thing about the new me is that I don't seem to particularly care whether I live or die. I wake up each morning and generally have nothing planned for the day except the activities of sustaining my life. If I am more "me" now, and I probably am what with not being part of a "we", I just don't like it. Is that wisdom? Is wisdom knowing that life randomly can cause you incredible pain, and all each of us can do is face up to that fact and live as best we can?
I keep discovering the painful truth in these words written by poet Donald Hall after his wife (poet Jane Kenyon) died:
You think their dying
was the hardest part
they stay dead
Oh honey, I think there are a thousand ways to be "wise." I am glad you are sustaining your life. I do remember having some similar thoughts to what you articulate... "I don't like it," "Who am I?", "All I can do is survive," as time went on and I AM in a better place with my thoughts now (although I'm still not sure who i really am on my own, in a way).
Who you were today sounds familiar to me, today.
And I think you have a lot ahead of you... a lot of good, deep thoughts about the meaning of your own life, and hopefully a few answers that sound good and feel more like "thriving" than "surviving."
I believe I have changed...It has been four months since my husband passed away. I am in the midst of a nasty estate battle with his grown children from his first marriage. I have had to "toughen up" and be strong during a time when I would really just like to sit back and thoughtfully and respectfully grieve for my husband. Instead, I am dealing with dueling attorneys, fractured family (his) relationships and keeping up a house and its mowing on my own.
I also believe I have become less tolerant of the "small stuff". I explained it to my sister in the terms that by BS tolerance is a big fat zero. So when she revealed to me that her boyfried has been verbally abusing her, trying to control every aspect of her life and constantly fighting for over a year, I tried to convince her that the relationship was not healthy and certainly not good for her. She broke up with him for a day or two but has already allowed him back into her and life and the control thing has already started again. She had to hang up with me yesterday because he was calling. I heard the panic in her voice because I knew if she didn't take the call, he would be angry. I didn't take her return call. I was just too angry at her. I guess in this life that is now before me, I see her actions as weak. Maybe that isn't "wise" thinking, but she is just too good of a person to be treated the way she is.
Hello, it has been a little over a year since Jim died, and I find that my self-confidence is much better than it used to be...I have been through hell and back and survived, what do I possibly have to feel bad about? I also find that I could care less what others think of me. I can't even remember the person I was before my mother and my husband died. I also find that I have much more empathy for others who are truly suffering, and very little patience with what I feel to be trivial things. No interest in material things whatsoever. It's been a very strange, sad, and interesting year.
How have I not changed? I am older, less sure, more scared. I am worried always about money. Just today I figured out I have to do something about my roof on the house and not only I don't know how to do it, I have no money to do it.
I am exhausted, I never get a full nights sleep. I wake up in the middle of the night, or just do not sleep. When I do I have terrible dreams..
I am now a single parent and not doing a great job. I struggle to figure out what to make for dinner, if I remember to go to the grocery store.
I have changed into a sad, young widow who simply does not know what the hell to do anymore.. that is how I have changed.