I went to a funeral today of an old friend from my teen years. She was the grown up daughter of the neighbours next door. She was an air hostess, which I considered a glamorous job and I'm betting I shadowed her more than she would have liked when she was home visiting her parents for a few weeks at a time. She went on to become a nurse, had two marriages and over the years we sort of kept in touch. Today I met her nephew and his wife and her step-daughter and her family. It felt good. It felt like a happy ending.
I have felt a little out of touch since Ray's death and I think I am slowly reconnecting with life, with old habits and old friends and that is having a healing effect. It is okay to isolate ourselves, to hide and lick our wounds but sooner or later we need to get back out in the open again. I think I am doing that now.
It is easier for me to reconnect with people, socially and privately as it is summer. It is easier to meet for coffee or a light lunch while we have long days and a couple of hours out of our day is not a big deal. So for those in the dark of winter no reflection on you if you are choosing right now not to do this, the right time will come for you. It is all easier in summer.
I have a dear friend who went through a horror divorce. She went to a counselor and the counselor said: "Go back to where you were, reconnect with friends who have known you through good times and bad. Know that they love you even when no-one else does." It was good advice and I was one of the friends she reconnected with. The problem is that we live 12,000 miles apart, she in England, me in Australia but thanks to modern technology we can still share our thoughts and our memorable moments and enjoy a rich friendship.
I have had my younger son here, coming and going as he cleaned out the rental house and made all the arrangements to make a move to a new area work. It has been good to have him here as company and we both know that when he goes tomorrow it will be a while before we see each other again. But again due to modern technology we can keep in touch by email, Facebook, phone and maybe Skype if he can get that connected. There is no need for me to feel isolated from him and his family.
I still have periods of grief but also have periods when life feels normal, or at least doable. I just have to know what is okay and what is a stressor and be kind to myself. I am looking around now for companions to share my journey with. I don't know how that will all work out but as we know the world is full of widows and widowers so surely I will find friends among them that will add something to my life and I to theirs.