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I hear so many talk about hating being alone and the loneliness that goes with it that they feel and are having a hard time accepting it.  I guess having seen so much loss growing up as a child and later in my younger adult years that I learned or rather accepted the fact that in the end one of us is going to be alone and accepted death as a part of life.  So the being alone has not bothered me to much since Jim passed away.

I wasn't the sweet innocent person some people thought I was including my grandmother at times.  I was actually a wild child long before my son was born.  I did things I never got to do growing up or when I was in high school.  I tried pot once and found it and I did not get along at all and once was enough for me.  I drank, smoked and pretty much did what I wanted and a lot more.   I worked a full time job and put myself through community college.  It was a good life.  I have grown, matured , maybe have become a bit more wiser and melowed through the years.  I am not the same person I was some 40 years ago but I am also not the same person who lost the love of their life on November 1, 2011 in Corozal, Belize Central America.  I am growing and I am becoming a new me.

Being a single parent at the age of 29 helped me to grow as a person.  It wasn't an easy life because just about 3 short years after my son I was born I started going through memopause, just shortly after I turned 32.  Imagine raising a 2.5 year old and dealing with memopause on top of it along with working a full time job.  It was the only time in my life that my mother ever stepped forwarded and supported me or offered help in any way. I believe to this day that my step dad, Steve, had a lot to do with that.  My son was the only grandchild he really knew and he adored him and my son loved him.  I think that they bonded almost immediately. 

It was also during this time that I was in group threrapy with people I knew and who were my friends.  We not only did therapy together but we hung out with each other, did things together and enjoyed live.  I miss those times and I miss my friends, some of who have since passed away.  It was during this time in my life that I learned to really accept being alone even though I had a son to raise and was finally able to accept the loneliness. 

Then a histyrectormy at 36 and things began to settle down a bit for me. I was content at being alone and the lonliness did not bother me.  I was enjoying life again and maybe for the first time,  I liked me.   I liked my life, the fact I could and was raising a son by myself, take I could take him skiing to Red River, New Mexico on my own as a single parent, and teach him the important things in life.  So marriage much less a relationship was the fartherest thing from my mind.  I was content and happy.  I guess you could say I embraced life and celebrated it every chance I got.

During all this time, I was working for a law firm as a records clerk.  It wasn't until the firm moved to a new building that they bought and had renovated that I saw Jim.  He was a courier for the company that did work for the law firm.  I use to pass by him in the hall and would actually blush.  This went on for about 6 months until a friend named Paula Bell got us together.  The department I worked in and the courier company were located in the basement, what we called the dungeon.  We had a small kitchen but no where to sit unless you went to the attrium area where there were tables.  I had a bar stool at home that I wanted to bring up there for the kitchen so someone would have something to set up.  I had made the comment to Paula and she actually asked Jim to help me because I could not put it in my car.  He approached me as I was leaving for the day and offered to stop by and pick it up.  A bit embaressed when he offered to help, I agreed and gave him directions to my home.  Needless to say that was the beginning of 25 plus years with a wonderful man despite the bad times we had and the fact that a 7 year old asked him one night "Are you going to be my dad?". The bad times are what strenghted our marriage.  But the one thing we both knew and accepted was that in the end one of us would be alone.

I guess what I really am trying to say is that maybe once you learn to accept being alone and come to grips with the lonliness, which ain't easy, is when we begin to slowly move forward in this journey.  I know that right now I like the new me and I keep finding a new strenght that I never knew I had.  I am still growing and still learning, but that is a part of life.  Maybe someday I will remarry but I also know that in the end one of us will be alone and the lonliness again will once again be apart of mine or their life.  I will not give in to it nor will I let it keep me from enjoying life and embracing it every chance I get.

I wish you all peace and hope on this journey we are all on.

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Comment by Sharon on October 1, 2012 at 2:51am

Janet, thank you so much for this. What a beautiful story. You really do 'get' acceptance. I'm trying to.

Comment by hendrixx2 on September 29, 2012 at 6:35pm

hi Janet,

You story  reminds those of us who appear to be swamped by the loneliness associated with our loss, that long before we can attempt to enjoy time with anyone else, we have to become comfortable with ourselves first; from there if we wish, we may move on to a move involved life with someone else...that you are able to use the tools of your experience to counter the effects of this one aspect of our grief, and relate them here, is a testament to you considered approach to what we are all facing...thank you so much...Peace and Healing for you...

Comment by lovie on September 25, 2012 at 10:53pm

What a beautiful story of our chance encounter with Jim that led to a long marriage with the love of your life. Loved your son's question to Jim!!  Your blog certainly paints the picture of a very strong and independent woman and I know that it epitomizes you, both then and now. I love the phrase "embracing life and celebrating it every chance you get". I have no doubt that you will again embrace life and enjoy it everyday. There can be lots of adventure in the growing and learning we must do.  I don't think we should ever stop growing and learning until the day we are called home to join our husbands. What a glorious day that will be and how proud our husbands will be to see that we survived their departures, embraced life again, found joy and lived well until the end. Take care, dear friend and keep on inspiring us with your wisdom!!

Comment by Tommi on September 25, 2012 at 5:03pm

Thank you Janet for sharing your story.  It is one of the few benefits of what we have been through that we have this "reawakening" of ourselves.......Hugs to you sister!!!!!

Comment by tanya on September 24, 2012 at 10:01pm

i too dont mind being alone but i dont think i am ever lonely.  I ran a department that consisted of one person ME. I worked in secured area and would go hours without seeing a soul. I actually loved the solitude. My husband too was a workaholic, he worked hard for all those years to make us a beautiful and happy life. I miss that man of mine every minute and i would have him back in a heartbeat. but we all know thats not going to happen.. So for now I embrace my alone time unless God sees fit to bring someone else into my life. I certainly am not looking for them, have no desire for another man. 

Comment by Susan B on September 24, 2012 at 5:53am

thank you janet. Being alone later in life is frankly scaring me pretty good lately. Logically I know I will make the best of the situation, but sure would like meeting someone else to share things things with. I know dating is a minefield, so am relying on serendipity like yours to intervene. See the best in every day is my motto. Some days I can't achieve it, but others I do. We do the best we can, right?

Comment by AEDforever (Ali) on September 23, 2012 at 9:50am

Thanks for sharing a bit more of your life story Janet. We have more in common than I thought. ;)

Comment by Mariposa on September 23, 2012 at 6:54am

Janet-thanks for sharing. All of us have to go through of the conversion of loneliness into solitude. it is hard because we are used to a companion. I don't feel lonely that much anymore and I am grateful for my son. What remains to be seen is how I adjust once my son goes off to college in the future (about 2016.)

Comment by chez2all on September 23, 2012 at 5:36am

Dear Janet...thank you for sharing. Being comfortable in your own skin takes a while after being part of a couple...particularly for many years.  I learned that the hard way.  Acceptance of this aloneness time has come easier for me.  I'm not desperately scared to be on my own, reaching out for anyone that happened by. 

I wish you peace and hope on your journey too.

Comment by honeys(puddin) on September 23, 2012 at 3:51am

Being alone doesn't bother me that much.  Being without my Honey bothers the shit out of me;/  Just sayin:)

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