Do you ever want a hug so much you ache for it? That is where I am at this afternoon. I have been to two funerals in two days, a consequence of being a pastoral care worker for my church. It is not that I expect it to affect me personally - well I always tell myself that - but I really know it will and it does. I remember again my own mother dying and how I felt at her funeral as I watched the families grieve. At the funeral today I read the 23rd Psalm, a part of what our church does is supply readers if the family feels inadequate because of their own grief, it is a lovely psalm and today I felt tears coming to my own eyes as I read it. I always want to do my best for the people who are grieving and help by giving expression to some of what they feel.
I think I am also feeling emotional because it is raining and is predicted to do so for a week so the work my handyman is doing to my house has to be postponed as there is an element of going outside involved. I have only found this nice little man recently so was hopeful of getting some of my minor jobs done, now everything is on hold until the weather fines up again. I have seriously thought of just going away for a few weeks. The urge to change some of my circumstances has been with me since I got back from Hawaii, six days away was definitely not enough, but where I hoped to go to in Queensland is currently under attack from a cyclone so I guess I'll leave that for a while and wait until I can see it at it's best rather than battered and storm ravaged.
When I see a power point presentation of a person's life at a funeral I always wish I could move back in time and get to know them better. There are the usual collection of little oldies in our church, people in their mid-eighties to early nineties, mainly widows and although I do sit with them at morning tea and offer friendship they treat me as if I am too young to understand what they are going through especially as it relates to their medical problems. That is disconcerting in a way but flattering in another way. The solution is to see them in a social setting so I sit with them at Fashion Parades etc and try to get friendlier that way. It is obvious that we all put up barriers that stop friendships from happening. That seems a shame in a way as we widows all have so much in common but the peer group effect does give some limit to friendships I find. After saying that one of my bests friends in church is 99 and will be 100 in May.
We are about to go off of Daylight saving, the mornings will still be bright but the afternoons will be short and it will be dark by about 5.30pm. I do have trouble filling in time in the long evenings once that happens, I am a six hour sleeper so rarely go to bed before midnight. I have plenty of hand work to do and books to read, old movies to watch but it is the companionship I lack. I keep thinking that I will get more accustomed to being on my own but that doesn't seem to be happening. To a certain extent I am more comfortable being alone than when I was first widowed but in other ways life seems simply a case of allowing time to pass. Time that is empty and seemingly unproductive has always worried me, I am not a workaholic but I do like my time filled with worthwhile projects. I guess that is why I overfill my schedule sometimes and simply fall exhausted into bed, sleep comes faster that way.
Just recently I have lost touch with a couple of women friends who are around my own age. Like Ray and I had planned to do both couples have begun to get some travelling done, both overseas and within Australia. I would like them to feel able to ring me and discuss some of their travels but maybe they feel that as a widow I wouldn't want to do that. The widow label does seem to have got in the way of a few friendships recently...maybe I am losing the widow label and becoming a "single woman" again in their eyes and thus a threat to their relationship? I don't think any of their husbands would be attracted to me, after all I am a plain, past middle aged, woman and really a threat to no-one. I am not sure how to go about restoring the relationships although I would like to. I will have to give it some thought. In a way this has produced another sense of grieving for me, this loss of friendships.
When the weather fines up again I will probably feel differently about life. I think I suffer from "rain depression" a malady that disappears when the sun shines again. It makes me more introverted, less cheerful, less able to see a bright future ahead. It gives me too much time to think and so I over analyse my life. Having the rain pouring down outside also gives me a feeling of being cut off and isolated. When Ray was alive and the family were home or living nearby that never seemed to be the way I felt, instead I felt cozy when the rain poured outside and there was time to sit and read, or listen to music or watch old movies because we were TOGETHER. And doesn't that make a difference?