A community of peers created by the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation
It has been 4 1/2 months since my husband Ray died but 16 months since he lived here. Yesterday I took down two pictures in my lounge room and replaced them with two others, today I am going out to buy some new curtains and throws so I can make some color scheme changes. It is part of my effort to renew some of the things in my life so it is not too familiar. I think I need to do this.
I have been going out with friends, mostly other widows to lunch mostly in the local sporting clubs, wonderful venues for cheaper meals and a big part of Aussie culture. There are lots of "do lunch" ladies dining out and although I do not want this to be a big part of my life it is a step forward and much better that moping at home worrying about the future. I also got an invitation to a private home this week, somewhere that I hadn't been with Ray so the source of a new set of memories for me.
I also went on a picnic with friends yesterday, I find picnics are more problematic as obviously it was a couples day and I am not part of a couple. I was safe having lunch but afterwards found it difficult to circulate as I usually do. I felt in a way as if others had their backs to me and were avoiding eye contact so I wouldn't sit down with them. At first the members of this group were very welcoming but I think now the "poor Sue" theme is wearing thin and now it is more:"she is on her own and I don't know how that fits with the rest of us".
I think it is tough on everyone to adjust relationships, the widow/er, the family members, the friends and more distant relatives too. It seems as if we respond to the original tragedy but then are uncertain how to move to renew the relationship in a different way. This is part of the reason we feel isolated. One of my oldest friends has not contacted me at all since a week after Ray's death, she never came to the funeral, didn't send a card, it is as if I suddeny don't exist. It is sad as we have shared some great times in the past.
I want to know where I am with people by the end of this summer if I can. I know I will be more isolated in winter so want to know who I can telephone, visit or invite to "do lunch". I want to know who is comfortable talking to me about the past, present and future and who just wants to have a brief conversation and turn away. I don't want to rush people or take offense and sulk if they don't react the way I would like them to.
I may join a Seniors Centre or some kind of sporting club. I did think of dancing but that again is a couples thing. I could join a gym and I do have a friend who would do water aerobics with me once a week but says she could not make it a regular thing. I feel like making a sour face every time someone says that as I do not suggest making something a regular committment. It is all adjustment isn't it?
Apart from that I survived the wet week and now have plenty to do in the house and yard to keep me busy, I just have to get motivated to do it. It is sad and lonely here some of the time but I have to adjust to that too.