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Widowed Village connects peers with each other for friendship and sharing. The moderators, administrators, and others involved in running this site are not professionals.

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We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

It is hard to explain what I am going through right now. I am hoping it just has to do with Spring. I am so restless, not sleeping well at night again, pacing a lot, sitting with my mind blank, just wondering what I should do. I want to write out a plan for the future but I keep asking myself – what future? I am content usually to take one day at a time, I had to do that with Ray's long illness, things constantly changed with him and as he had TIAs fits and seizures on a fairly regular basis it was hard to tell if tomorrow's plans would work out so I planned one day ahead, maybe two and hoped that what I had planned would happen.

Now I have the opportunity to plan for my own future I just don't seen to be able to do it. My friends ask me to do things sometimes and I put the date on the calendar and feel good that here is something to look forward to. I keep going back to it and looking at it but it really doesn't seem to mean anything to me. I seem to have lost the ability to get excited about anything. Do other people feel that way too?

I am two years out in my grief journey now and I am starting to see the good days more than the bad days. I even have very good days, like Sunday afternoon when I went to my next door neighbour's house to celebrate his father's 85th birthday. There was company and good food and I had a ball but when I got home it was as if it all faded away. I don't seem to be building up those good memories. It is different when I am with my families as that constitutes a real bright spot in my life and then I do remember the details of the day or few days I spend with them.

I have been trying to make some changes so yesterday I went to one of the local Senior Centres as I had been told they had dancing as part of their activities. I used to do a lot of ballroom dancing when I was a teen and in my early twenties and that is how I met Ray. He had been a dancing instructor and was a dream on his feet, not so me as I was easily distracted. He would back into a corner in a jazz waltz and when I came to a full stop would ask: “Where are your feet?” and I would be puzzled for a moment until I realised they should have been directly in front of his. Luckily he also had a sense of humour.

I am wondering how I will feel dancing with someone else but as widows far outnumber widowers on the Central Coast I am guessing I will be dancing with another woman anyway so that should be okay. I hope they have refresher classes so I can join one. I last danced with Ray in the late 80s, the 1990 stroke took away his ability to turn round without causing him vertigo so dancing was no longer possible. At our daughter's wedding in 1994 we worked out a plan for the bridal waltz, I took Ray onto the floor, I was actually holding him upright, Shirley came out of Craig's arms, stood beside me, we changed grips and she “danced” with her Dad, really just gently rocking him from side to side. To the casual observer it would have looked okay. All things are possible if you have a plan.

I think everything I do still has a tinge of sadness, good memories and bad are still all mixed together. I hope that I can build new, happy memories but as I said a lot of them seem to evaporate when the event is over, maybe because I don't have anyone to talk it over with when I come home. I am still very lonely. I do have a blog on another site and put a lot of things on there but not the small intimate details that make up a memory. It is in the talking over that the memories are confirmed and become a part of your life. I still have to work out how to do that on my own.

I am still without a plan for Christmas – just the sound of it makes me shudder. It was always such a family event in my mind and a lot of November and December went into the planning for Christmas. I know this year that two out of three of my children are unavailable and that means a lot of changes for us all. I can't visualise that. I know it is hard for all grieving families to work out the holiday season but really we should be able to do it now, two years out surely. I want to run away and do understand why people take a Christmas cruise or plan a trip to some neutral spot so they can feel independent and as if they are doing something new. Maybe next year I will do that.

I have said before I can keep busy through the day but the night time is so different. I can watch TV and do handicrafts, come onto the computer, maybe settle down to read a book and yet I know that just putting that book down or switching off the computer can bring the loneliness back. I need to have a plan for that too, maybe music or relaxation tapes or some kind of noise that says :”Hey,  where there is noise there is life”.

Who is with me on this?

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Comment by only1sue on November 13, 2014 at 7:37pm

Just going into the public phase of one of my volunteer jobs.  Dreading the possibility that people who I see only in this space will come up and ask me: "How's Ray?"  But it is a risk I have to take.  I need to be out there now, two years into my widowhood and learn to cope with the remarks that come my way.  I will keep saying over and over: "I am a strong woman, I can do this."

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