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Hi everyone....I'm new and hoping that sharing my feelings and emotions  will help me.  I started keeping a journal 6 years ago after my sister died.  She was my only sibling and we were close.  My husband died 21/2 years ago and I actually received a couple of sympathy cards saying that now I had lost my 2nd best friend.  Sooo true!  We were together for 60 years, married for 57 of those years.  

Here's where I am today.  Last night I sent an email to a friend telling her that  Christmas Eve, at my son's celebrating Christmas with the family, I felt like I was on the outside looking in.  I used to be "in charge" of Christmas.....now, it just isn't enjoyable because my husband is gone.  He's the one who had me and everyone smiling all evening. We have four children and six grandkids.  BUT...I'm lost without Jim.  My family keeps saying that they want me to be happy.  I finally told my son the other day, "I will never be 100% happy again, ok?"  I try to be active and keep busy.  Try to keep in contact with friends and socialize. That's all I'm doing is trying.

Time for a cup of coffee and to get my day going.  That's another thing.  How many of you agree that the days are sooo long?  It's 5:30am here in California, oh boy Best wishes to everyone for 2020

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Hello, Sadder, and welcome.  Hopefully sharing your feelings and emotions will help. I know it helps me.  I recently posted a message about Christmas that several kind folks responded to with great suggestions, and those suggestions truly got me through yesterday.  And it wasn't only the suggestions, but knowing they were coming from others who "get it."

Feeling like we're on the outside looking in:  Couldn't have said it better myself!  Ours, too, was the Christmas home that everyone came to.  I loved organizing, baking, decorating, planning the menu and welcoming family and friends as they arrived.  Our home was full of laughter, stories, games and mostly love.  All of that faded away when my husband died.  A well-meaning friend said, "Why don't you just host Christmas Day like you always did?"  Umm..........

I love Widowed Village because no one here says those devastating words, "Why can't you just move on?"  "He'd have wanted you to be happy!" "Stop feeling sorry for yourself."  I know it brings down people around me when I allow myself be who I truly am these days and so I try to wear the smiley face, but it takes massive energy to maintain that so it's better for everyone if I excuse myself when the exhaustion creeps in, or I just don't participate at all -- like yesterday.  Of course our loved ones want us to be happy, and I make sure to constantly thank them for their love and support.  We'd love to be happy, too; more than anything in the world!  But it would take something no one can accomplish: My husband back by my side.  You're right, Sadder:  We "try."  We put forth the sometimes super-human effort to appear happy, to stay busy, to socialize.  There's just no way for friends to understand the ache in my heart when they say, "Well, better get home and start dinner.  (Husband) will be home soon."  We go home alone, to an empty house where no one is happily anticipating our arrival.

About the days being long:  It was like that for me the first year or so, but that's gotten better after four years.  For me, it was those awful, unavoidable weekends:  Two long days and two "date nights" to get through.  I lived in horror of having nothing to do and so filled the weekends with crazy activities that I now look back upon and think, "Who the heck was I?"  Well, I was a lost soul -- kind of like that Elton John song, "...never knowing who to cling to when the rains set in."  Because there is no one to cling to anymore.

Hope this day passes well for you.

Hello!  I used to keep a written journal, however when JR died (12-14-13) I just couldn't access 'language'.  I found an art journal group, where I mostly did picture collages the first several years.   Slowly words crept into my pages and now I can write poetry and essays occasionally again.   Where are you?  The Expressive Art Studio is in San Diego, but there are other art therapists out there.   My days were never long, because I just avoided life by numbing on the computer.  Just this year, I feel better, more myself, ready to define a new life for myself.  Good Luck, this is a long winding road we have been abandoned on. 

Hi, sadderbytheday, I understand about not being 100%. I feel a percentage of who I used to be. Everything is an effort. We do not have kids so I'm trying to look at that as  a blessing right now, that I can restart life. Of course, easier said than done. I have a journal that my sisinlaw gave me when this whole thing started. I did write something in it but have not used it again. I know the commonsense part of keeping active and not rushing into major decisions. Again, applying that commonsense is a struggle. Hubby's family is very supportive, so that helps. I was crashing on their couch but have returned to our bed. 

It's 7.57 here in Pasadena, CA. I'm having a cup of tea. That's all I can manage these days. Water, tea, and a bite now and then. 

All the best, sadderbytheday.

Oh Maggiepie.  I should have made it clear that I have the journal just to talk to my sister.  No way could I have one for my husband.... way too much sadness.  I keep it light with my sister...talking about silly stuff when we were kids and then moving on to even more silly and happy memories as adults.  I smile all the time I'm writing...once in awhile, well a few times, I've gotten emotional and tell her how much I miss her

i'm tired and will bring this to an end ,but, does anyone find themselves becoming more and more impatient with family and friends? I seem to be apologizing constantly for snapping at them.  I'm working on correcting that.  It's not anything I'm proud of.

have a nice weekend everyone.... I'm watching football!!

Ok, thanks for clarifying the journal. As for being impatient with family and friends, I have been nodding more often and don't seem to care what they say. Except when someone points out "he's in a better place", and that "God does not give you more than you can handle". Whether the place over there is better, the point is he's not here. As for God, I'm totally into any God, but right now...

Regarding being snappy, we get that way when we are tired, stressed and dehydrated...all of which happens with widowhood! Sharing this: it helped me to realize 'why?"  

10 spoonfuls daily

 We are all in the fight of our lives. Our brain, heart, and soul have been damaged and our insides are working so hard to repair itself. This is why we wake up more tired than when we fell asleep the night before, or we can't quite remember where the damn car keys are, and we space off into la la land when someone is talking to us. We are on "tilt".
My therapist gave me the best advice. "Grief only allows you a certain amount of "energy" each day. 10 spoonfuls to be exact. YOU get to choose what you use them on and you have to be frugal, cuz once it's gone it's gone.”
It was the best analogy ever. So when an annoying relative tries and tell me that "everything happens for a reason" or the toilet breaks, I stop and ask myself if any of that nonsense spoon worthy?
I keep a spoon in my purse to remind me of the importance of my 10 spoonful a day. I send them to my friends when they may need an extra "bonus" spoonful. Be good to yourselves everyone. Your energy is your "gold" right now

I learn so many great things from you, fellow widows/widowers.  Ten Spoonfuls Daily is wonderful!  I've been trying to figure out why I'm so tired all the time -- start out the day intending to accomplish a small list of things but after maybe three I'm exhausted.  Why it wasn't obvious to me, I don't know; but reading "our insides are working so hard to repair" was an aha moment!  Thanks so much for that!  I'm going to carry around a spoon in my purse also, and thanks for the encouragement to be good to ourselves.  I've been emptying way too many of those spoonfuls putting on a happy face.  Taking care of myself  this Christmas and doing what felt right to me, with the encouragement of other Widowed Villagers, was exactly the right thing to do and resulted in a restful, peaceful day.  So thanks, Shaye.  Hope you're being good to yourself today!

Lark, you are most welcome.  I am well, thank you!  Do you know there is a Face Book page for widownet.org?  One has to ask to join, but that's for our protection. I get a lot of support there too!  No one understands like another widowed person. {{{Hugs}}}

I like that also Shaye..... I'll try it.  I am sooo tired and stressed.  Doubt if I'm dehydrated because I drink a bottle of water when I wake up ( before coffee) to hydrate and try to drink water during the day..... it's 4:30, I've already taken my bath, thinking of making a grilled cheese?? Try to read a little bit and watch a little tv.   Oh No! Just remembered, it's New Year's Eve.  I will be in bed by 7:00... oh well

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