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Widowed in 2013

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Comment by booktime (Susan) on April 13, 2018 at 1:53pm

Maggie, it is interesting how distant Ed has become. It will be 5 years for me in September. I do find I talk about Ed with greater ease, with fondness if you will. I like to remember him out loud and do so. But time does stand still. I might say oh Ed wouldn't have liked that or done that....but maybe he would have with a few more years? I don't know. 

Like Bergen, I do have a happy life and it's pretty full. I'm not retired...yet. And I don't desire anyone to "complete" my life though I think I do a certain amount of flirting at times, mostly with guys totally unavailable.

I do know that I have places to go! and right now my traveling companion will be my sister. We are having fun planning.

I think I bring Ed closer to me when I remember things about him. I also have put up pictures of him and I smile when I look at them.

Life is definitely different.

Comment by NoLongerInBergenJC on April 13, 2018 at 8:44am

@Maggie:  Oh, dear God, YES!!  I was just thinking this last night.  I retired at the end of January and now I am living a happy life of puttering around, taking naps, seeing friends.  I'm settled into my no-longer-new home now, I have a nice circle of friends, and I have to admit that life is really good.  Most of the time I don't even feel like I miss my husband anymore because my life is full.  I joined a gym and go there 3-4 times a week.  The average age of members is around 55 because it is associated with a university hospital so I am comfortable there.  I feel no desire to meet anyone.  I will be 63 soon and my husband is forever 58.  

I watch what I want on TV.  I'm free to listen to music he looked down on.  If I'm gassy at night or snore, who cares?  I come and go as I please.  The only thing that I don't have is an intimate partner to travel with.  But I am a homebody anyway and there are plenty of people who solo travel and plenty of ways to do it.

I always said that I wanted to live life instead of photograph and video record it, but in doing that, I have lost a lot of memories that would help me remember.  My memories of everything but the last six months are fuzzy now, like it was someone else's life.  

In October I am going with my sister and brother-in-law to Jamaica to bury his ashes at sea.  I have a biodegradable paper urn that floats for 5 minutes and then sinks.  A friend has offered to help me transfer the ashes in case I find it too upsetting to do.  But I had to wait almost 5 years to dissociate a pile of gray stuff in a ceramic pot from "this is Steve".  

Intellectually I realize that this is a good thing, a normal thing, a desirable thing.  But yes, I'm with you -- the distance I feel is really upsetting.  I am the only person alive who cares that he even ever existed, and if I am really "moving on", then what does it all mean?  I don't care if anyone remembers me after I'm gone, but I hate the thought that I could lose him completely by simply living my life.

Comment by Maggie on April 13, 2018 at 8:35am

I'm approaching 5 yrs in July and have moved. But do you ever wish you could even just go back to when their death was fresh and you felt so intently the loss and sadness? Time seems to dull all that after a while and I just feel distant from it all now and I don't like that. It's not that I want to feel miserable again, but I want to feel close, closer to time.

does this make any sense?

Comment by Seashell on March 27, 2018 at 1:01pm

April 11th is the 5th anniversary of Jerry's passing. It doesn't seem to be that long - until I look back. Today, I am not the woman I was when married to Jerry, I am not the woman I was after his passing, I am not the woman I was 4, 3, 2, 1 year, or 6 months ago. Each new turn I take in living the new experiences that come about help me to grow as a person. I have made some fantastic friends, become reacquainted with old ones, enjoy being a mother and grandmother. I live with a cat who rules my house and is great companionship for me. I purchased this new home for the first time all by myself and lived through the many breakdowns that occurred last December without taking a single tranquilizer. I still cry. I still have those moments when I awaken with the fear of abandonment. But, on the whole, I am enjoying my life. I love who I am and who I have become. I will be having my first "all girl" weekend ever in a couple of months and look forward to traveling with my friends and family. I am learning to create a balance in myself - being both male and female. It sounds funny to say it that way but Jerry and I had very traditional roles in what we did. I took care of the inside of the house while he took care of the yard and cars. He was a great help in the house too and never hesitated to pitch in and help. I miss the timing we had getting ready in the morning. I miss his laugh, how his eyes would change color when he was being mischievous, his holding my hand as we would sit and watch TV. Most of all I miss him when I am with our daughters. I want him to see what beautiful and strong women they have become. I want him to see how much our youngest grandson has grown and the special bond I know that he would have with our youngest granddaughter.

Comment by Brianne on March 25, 2018 at 12:30pm

Barbee I enjoyed your uplifting comments.  I too found someone who has made my life worth living again.  After 39 years of marriage I never thought I would be lucky enough to have love in my heart again.  Jan 6th I got remarried, something that I never saw in my future when I was first widowed.  We are happy and enjoy every day as we know that life can be unpredictable.  I am lucky to have found a man who has, with me, built a memorial to my husband.  We have added to it on the past 2 anniversaries and will again this October when it will be the 5th anniversary.  My hope is that we all find something that gives us the strength to enjoy life again whether that be alone or with a new partner.  I know our husbands would want us to be happy.  Hugs to you all.         

Comment by going to make it on March 24, 2018 at 4:49pm

LOVE all the updates! 

Comment by barbee on March 24, 2018 at 1:29pm

It's been just over 5 years for me. After 2 1/2 years I did meet someone who also was widowed. The joke was I was looking for someone who had a motor home and he was looking for someone who could cook! We had lots of laughs together and took off on a six-month coast-to-coast road trip. The "rule" was that we went places and did things neither of us had done before with our mates. Since coming home we've gone on several shorter trips, been to concerts, helped each other with repair projects, nursed each other through surgeries. 

In December I became very ill when we were in San Diego. He took me to a hospital, probably saving my life. Recovery has been slow. Maybe being 77 years old has something to do that that? It was decided that I should not live alone any more, so the search was on to find a retirement community. Dead end on every one for one reason or another. Then, my house sold -- two buyers before I could even get it listed! Instead of a six-month project, we suddenly had a six-week project.

This week we are in the process of down-sizing his belongings to make room for mine in his house. If we got married, it would mess up our trusts and be a huge financial hit for me, so we have decided to become committed roommates. I've always enjoyed decorating and tease that his bachelor quarters will be getting girly-upped! His house is twice the size of mine and on a few acres in the country. A HUGE change for this gal who has lived in a city her whole life. 

Yes, I still have sad times. Just recently with this move I found a box with my husband's high school and college mementos. And my new guy has sad times. Yesterday he found a box of bears his wife had hand crafted. We both understand those kind of days and that is so very comforting. All in all, life has more smiles than tears now. We know our future is short, because of our ages, but it once again is something to look forward to and anticipate.

We each walk our own path and are responsible for our own lives. Blessings to all of us whether our path is bumpy or smooth right now.

Comment by AJ on March 24, 2018 at 10:55am

Hi, my husband would have turned 50 last Tuesday. One person remembered the occasion to me. I went out for some drinks with work mates who never met him and had no idea it was a special day to me. I just couldn’t sit at home. I also took my kids to see Ed Sheeran last night to do something special for them for the occasion. Like AMA my kids are now 12, 10 and 7. They seem ok on the most part though the eldest two now miss him more as they see how being ‘the girl whose dad died’ makes them different to their friends.  

I am sad my life doesn’t have room for me in it let alone a partner. The kids need me more though so that means working hard at the best job I can get and then spending every spare minute with them, being their cab driver mostly! I just don’t have time to date (or even get my nails done!) but even more I can’t risk meeting someone who turns out not to be nice to me or my kids.  I do hate having to go places without a wingman though. 

It will be 5 years in June. Am I where I thought I’d be 5 years on? Yes and no. I don’t cry so often but still think of him a million times a day. I’m actually doing better career wise as the fear of providing for my kids and knowing I have to fund a retirement down the track spurs me on. I have less friends than I thought I would. The fierce love I have for my kids is both an anchor and the only thing that gets me up each day. 

Love to all. xx

Comment by SweetMelissa2007 on March 24, 2018 at 4:33am

(((Hugs AMA)))

I sometimes wonder how any widowed made it through the childrearing years while grieving. I still recall the days I wished I had been given the luxury of laying in bed, crying w/out scaring the kids, not cooking, etc. People would tell me I should be grateful to have the kids, but they weren't thinking of the difference between the work involved & the effortless love of my spouse. It would've been nice to have at least one person treat me special - anyone even a family member as well as recognize my hard work. My sister called one year to ask if it was my b-day or one of other family members. "Sigh"

Ten years later, the youngest kids are now in their early twenties trying to make a life for themselves. My job now is less demanding, I'm now their #1 cheerleader in keeping them going as well as problem solving.. The eldest is soon to retire from the military, so he's onto a new journey of finding a new career. They still miss their Dad as I do especially during transitional time. I'm enjoying this free time! Its all I want ...

It took going through a few acupuncturists to find one that could put me in a complete state of relaxation - it was amazing. I always felt like I was floating on a cloud - able to tackle anything that lay ahead. Good luck w/it :-) ...

I'm sure you'll achieve a great many things for yourself - aside from grief, life is a journey in its self ...

Blessings ...

Comment by AMA on March 23, 2018 at 6:20pm

I guess it is a good sign if we've all been off for quite some time.  It's been over 5 years since my husband died.  I've been busy taking care of my 3 children who are now 7, 10 and 12 years old.  I feel like always one or two of my children are struggling still.  They seem to be good then not so good, like a roller coaster!  I have many people asking me if I'm going to date.   I admit I'd like a companion, someone to go out to dinner with or someone that remembers my birthday.  But I barely have enough time to take care of myself plus 3 kids....where would I find time to meet a man I could trust?  I do feel like I do still sort of live in the past, I still miss my life before Dann got sick.  I started doing acupuncture (I have back pain and am kind of at my wits end as to how to get rid of it!).  As soon as I walked in the acupuncturist told me I had very sad, depressed energy and that I was living not for myself but out of duty for others.  Wow.  I don't really buy into that stuff but he really hit home.  So I'm trying to figure out how to take care of myself more.  Figure out what makes ME happy, not just taking care of the my kids all of the time.  

Hugs to everyone and hoping for a happy 2018 for us all!



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