A community of peers created by the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation
I mentioned this in another forum, but would like to bring it up again. People are really starting to ask me if I am getting back to my old self, and if I feel normal again. It's been 15 months, and I think that those who haven't been through it assumes that I have had time to recover. I'll never be my old self again, but I'm trying to find my new self. I'm stronger, and not afraid of very much, because I've been through the worst. I like to think I will have more compassion for others, even though I am not there yet. I do feel I'm learning to think about what I want, and what I like. I've never been alone before and I have become more independent. I appreciate moments more than things. Of course, I would trade any of these little victories for my former life, but that isn't possible. And I need to think about what is, and not what I've lost. Does anyone else think about this? Who is your new self?
I feel the same way. People keep telling me that I get to live a new life and all. But I didn't want a new life. I want my old life. The one thing I can never have back. I have no idea what my new life is. I'm lost. I'm not afraid either. I figure once you have stared death in the face, nothing can be that bad ever again. So I am more likely to say what I mean now as opposed to keeping things in as I used to do. I, too have never been alone and I am proud of myself being able to mow the lawn and take care of my house by myself. I think we should take all of these little victories as a clue that we can have whatever life we want. It won't be easy to do it because we had a long time to develop our "old self" we can't expect to become a new person in a short period of time. I am doing things now that I wouldn't have done before. I am sure you are too. So step by step, day by day, we become a new person. Hopefully, we will be proud of that.
Yes....the old me is gone...the old life. Still figuring it all out. It's such a long journey. I kind of like the new me...my confidence is back, I feel a little braver...a little stronger. The sadness remains...triggers still there...but the gut wrenching all encompassing grief has lifted. The tears are silent once again...the best part is my hope for the future is back.
Will be two years November 23rd...
My new self?
A work in progress. I know it's vitally important to create a life for myself, all by myself, and that's hard.
I think I'm over the intense grieving maybe half the time and more into worrying about the future - because it's one I have to build for myself. And it's so difficult in many ways.I'm looking for work now and I haven't worked as an employee since 1999 (was a university tutor and freelance journalist for a while and then toiled on my husband's native flower farm until last year).Today I'm applying for a casual job with a hardware warehouse chain that doens't really fit my CV but it would be nice to earn money, mix with people and whatever else comes with a customer service role).
No, I don't want my old, loving life with my husband back because I've accepted that I can't have it back. He died on May 24.
I believe acceptance of my loss has been and is vital. That's the only way I can heal.
I also think that my husband's history of being a widower and falling in love with me gives me hope that one day the same will happen for me.I 'd have fear now about loss that I never had before if I met someone wonderful. Widowehood does that to you.
Unfortunately our radically changed lifestyles require a huge amount of work, just slogging away when we can to get things done that need to be done, when we feel able to do them.In my case that's only some of the time.
The reason for all that slogging away is that we need to make decisions for our future.
How to we want to live?
How can we be the best person we can be? (Failing myself on quitting smoking but have cut down).
How can we find work that provides joy or is at least a stepping stone to something else while paying bills?
How can we make new friends who are real friends?
How can we overcome bitterness against family and friends who have betrayed us by their neglect or cruel works?
How to find love again?
All this and more is on my mind!
I can't even imagine how you could be your 'old self.' This is true to an extent just due to the normal evolution of life. It's much more true after suffering the trauma of losing your spouse. How could you be anything OTHER than a new self after losing your wife?
One of our kids is finishing college and the other will leave for college this summer. So we had already been pushed onto the path of reevaluating who we were individually and as a couple by the approaching empty nest. I know it sounds silly in the context of this forum but my wife and I both grieved for a long time when our daughter left home.
Now a much bigger dislocation/seismic event has happened and much of what I used to be no longer exists.
I'm not the person I was when I met my wife. I can't be the person I was with her....because a big part of me is now gone. So I've got to try and figure out what of the old interests still work for me and what my new interests might be.
In a real sense this is part of my grieving process. As I heal I hope to look forward and evolve into a new person. 'Normal' for me is many years from now...when I can cope with my loss and found ways to engage positively with life by myself.
Still trying to figure it out...i know im not my old self but i do hear a lot of people discussing the new life...im still lost. i just try to get through each day, and know i better keep it together for my son. i know he feels the same way. we are always talking about our old life?
Who is my new self? I am only ten months into this grief journey so I don't know if my "new self" is fully emerged. I just know going through nine months as a caregiver for a husband with 'Stage IV of a rare cancer turned my family's life upside down. His death came too soon. I did love a difficult, demanding angry man and for many years of our marriage, I walked around on eggshells. His cancer diagnosis made him an angrier and more miserable person, and I did everything to make him feel loved and cared for while he was sick, but he lashed out multiple times a day. It was too awful for words sometimes. Helplessly watching someone you love suffer, deteriorate and decline is anguishing and heart breaking. I feel like I have been through the fires of hell.
The fires of adversity can purify us and crystallize what is important in life. I am more confident, more independent, more compassionate, more spiritual. I am stronger and I know that whatever comes my way, I can handle it. I honor my feelings. I speak up. I am more playful now. I have finally started to laugh again and my 14 year old and I have both shared some giggles, a sign of healing. I see that we only have so much time on earth before the gift of life is over, so each day is a gift meant to be enjoyed, and I have to make the most of it. Sure, there are days and weeks when a wave of grief strikes, and I struggle not to drown in a sea of sorrow, but it slowly is getting better.
So who is my new self? I am still trying to figure that out.
Early on two different people said things to me that stuck, for different reasons and what they each said is true. Neither were, at the time, close friends.
One piped: think of the opportunities you have now!
Truth? On a level, yes. Yes, the changes in front of me can be good....my dear would want good for me, as I would for him. It is truth, as for the person who said it so baldly, well, I recognize that ... but don't care if I ever see the person again.
Another friend, a neighbor and colleague, quietly said, you will not ever go back to your "old self", you are changed. It will not be easy, you will not forget, yet you will be a new "you". It is what is. Some will understand. Some will not. But, I can tell you, you can do it.
These words still give me solace, and belief that on my own time I will come to that sense of self. From time to time, because we do not live near, I see this friend and see reflected as we can spend time together, that she sees my strides forward. Others may see me as slow, she recognizes steady, lol!
Oh my gosh. What your neighbor/colleague told you : " you will not ever go back to your "old self", you are changed. It will not be easy, you will not forget, yet you will be a new "you". It is what is. Some will understand. Some will not. But, I can tell you, you can do it."
Is it Ok if I cut/paste it to save and look at again (and again......and again......)??
It is so profound and so very comforting. It does not diminish what you (Or another surviving spouse or significant other) has gone through, and/or is still going through! It gives hope and hope is so important.
Really-trying if I could embroider I'd put it on a pillow. It does give hope doesn't it. It is amazing how sometimes a few words can lift you
Yes Sanmora. I do and wonder who this new me is.
"Death is all about falling apart. You have to fall apart so you can rebuild yourself." is an excerpt from a book I just finished reading. I never looked at it that way but it has given me food for thought.
Wishing you Peace and Hope... (((Hugs))).
I've found I'm more true to myself and how I feel. I don't hide feelings any more. I did that often because my husband was ill and I needed to choose to be strong and not show my feelings. Now, I'm lead by them. They are out there in front. This has caused me to feel like I have more liberty in exploring and persuing what interests me. I to don't beleive I'll ever be the same. This death has really changed the way I view life in many ways. My faith has even taken a shaken. It's settled down a bit but even that will never be the same. And, these are good things in a way. I honestly can say, at this time in my grief journey I'm seeing the "fruits" if you will, of my labor through grief.
I have a totally different outlook on this journey through grief than I did right after Daves death.
Good subject. Thanks for starting it.