It has been 15 months since my husband of over 47 years passed away. I would like to say that I have moved on and life is getting better. That would be a lie. On April 29,2018 my life literally stopped. I do have moments where I can smile. I have even laughed at times. But these times never last. They are always followed by immense sadness. In the past I would have shared these moments with my love. He would have given his own assessment of the moments and I would have reveled in his smile. And so I have chosen to be a recluse. During the first months I tried to be "normal". I reconnected with old colleagues and I went on trips with family and friends. But it is exhausting trying to be happy when you are obviously not. I have not completely isolated myself. I attend my church two-three times a week and I find that to be comforting. Maybe because I don't really have to interact with anyone. I just have to sit and listen....and hope. Sometimes I look over to where my husband used to sit and I smile as I picture him sitting there. I also have three friends who have been my support from the beginning. Fortunately, they seem to understand when to back off....they seem to get that I will never be the same again. One has been a widow herself for over 20 years. One has been married for over 25 years and the other one has been divorced for just as long. Other than these three I really don't talk or socialize with too many others. I have an adult daughter who came to live with us shortly after her dad started dialysis. She keeps hinting that she will be moving back out on her own one day. Personally, I am looking forward to that day. My other two children have been great but they have their own careers and lives. I want them to be happy. I want them to enjoy life. They loved their dad and he adored them. He would not want them to be bogged down in grief. As a recluse I spend most of my days in quiet meditation. I binge on Netflix and YouTube. I sometimes ride down to the cemetery to "talk" to my husband. But I don't really enjoy big family gatherings anymore. Our house always seemed to be a hub for family. Some have even remarked how they miss that and how we should start up again. I have no desire or interest in doing so....not now, maybe not ever! I also do not want a roommate. When my daughter leaves it will just be me....and I am ok with that. It may seem strange but in my solitude I find peace. I am 71 years old. I am in good health and I am of a sound mind. I have no major financial worries. Odds are I may live another 10 or 20 years. And I choose to live those years on my own terms. I am thankful for the love I had, even for the pain we inflicted on one another at times......because in the end I can say I truly know what true love feels like. So I don't look at reclusiveness in a negative way. For me, it is calming, it is soothing, it is good.
I have slowly cut ties with people. They are like static on the radio, you hear it, can't understand it and just want it to stop.
I live down a long dirt road (in NJ if you can believe that) so I don't get door to door sales people or even road distraction. Just fine with the chickens, sheep and Janet's cat.
I like this site however, maybe because the people here understand plus I am able to control the interaction.
I really like your analogy to static on the radio. Lol...it made me think of one person in particular who I have gradually distanced myself from. I used to listen to her go on and on and on about all her personal woes. When the husband was alive he was a buffer. With him gone I just couldn't take her babbling anymore.....now I know why...the static was unbearable. Take care.
"Static on the radio" is an excellent analogy.
I totally get what you are saying. I lost my husband March 18, 2018. We were married 43 years, partners for 49 years, and in one moment my life as I knew it was gone. I, too, can visualize him in his seat and I talk to him all the time. I have a few friends I have kept that are honest and supportive, but I don't have to be up their butt all the time for them to make time for me. I have recently begun to take some classes at the Y during the week that gets me out of the house, but other than that I am a homebody. I tend to find solace in the words of different songs that I can relate to. I also do not care for a lot of company, and when they come I'm grateful when they leave, although I'd never tell them that. Everyone always gathered here, but now when they do it reminds me of my Aunt & Uncles when they raised chihuahua dogs. As soon as you entered the house the yelping and nipping your heels began, and I couldn't stand it. I, too, am 71 and in good health. Now I wonder what the hell am I going to do for the next who knows how many years, but it's what I have. I feel his presence in the home and I figure that is why I prefer to just stay here. It is my calm from all the rest of the world. Most act like I should be over it, and I'm finding the second year harder than the first.
Thank you for responding. Although we didn't elect to be a member of this group it is reassuring to know that there are others who understand what you are going through. I also feel that this second year is harder than the first. I was in the store recently and noticed they have already started putting up Christmas decorations. I have already decided to go on another Christmas cruise. I don't know where yet but I know I will be going somewhere. Its good you are going to the Y. I'm thinking about going back to the classes at our community center. Anything to feel up the space. I too have several songs that I find comforting. I joke with my kids and tell them all they have to do is listen to my playlist and they will instantly have the story of my life and their dad's....a musical autobiography of our 50 years together. Anyway thank you....somehow we will make it....take care.
Good for you with the Christmas cruise, Diva70! [I took one last year, but owing to scheduling issues at work, can't do one this year---and I just ran across one that would be pretty darn sweet. Oh, well...There's always next year. :-) ] Happy and safe travels to you.
There is a difference between "solitude" and "loneliness", and I believe that this is something you and a lot of people posting on this thread understand. A lot of people don't get the difference, so they make pests of themselves, urging us widowed folks to "get out and do something!" It's good that you're making your own choices. I've been doing that for eight-plus years now, and I'm 62.
Diva I love your post. "So I don't look at reclusiveness in a negative way. For me, it is calming, it is soothing, it is good." I feel the same way.
My husband passed in Dec 2018 Brain cancer. I was his caregiver for 8 years, and I also am now a recluse. I love your analogy "static on the radio". That is exactly how I feel.
I live in NJ and work from home. I'm 56 years old and honestly can't take much interaction with neighbors . They have the best intentions but I feel no desire to have conversations.
Basically I work 6 days a week, do yoga and keep to myself. I just don't have it in me to be social. Being social is so mentally exhausting for me.
I have a yorkie and that's all the company I want.
Love and hugs to all