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Today is Easter Saturday, fine and mild with an overcast sky first thing this morning though it has warmed up since then. Easter is another one of those family times so friends ask the widow: " Will you see your family over the weekend?" And the widow smiles and says nothing because what is there to say? Long gone are the days when the kids rang me to see what I was doing for the weekend. We had that when their Dad as alive but not now. Being Mum and Dad seems to be treated differently to being just Mum on her own.

To  be fair Shirley as been taking me to all those medical appointments so she needs time with her own family. And the boys live so far away. None of that makes an iota of difference, I still feel lonely and isolated on my own. So off to the shopping centre I go. But what do I find there? Crowds, people from all over crowding  in because of the predicted rain, laughing, eating, enjoying their four day Easter holiday on the Coast. That is the disadvantage of living in a lovely area like I do, the crowds of tourists that arrive for any of the long weekends.

 

I know we locals take for granted the beauty of the area we live in, the lakes and beaches, the casual lifestyle, the slower pace, the less hurried life. But add crowds of city folk and that changes, hassles with parking, no room in the dining areas and when you do get a seat so much noise that the casual banter of friends is swallowed up. So just time for a coffee and we go our separate ways and in that crowded place teaming with strangers the loneliness reappears.Why? Because although there are hundreds of people the is no-one special to be with, no-one who really cares, no-one to share with. Just a noisy crowd of people milling around.

Am I feeling sorry for myself? You certainly got that right. Another morning on the pity pot. All because I think of certain times of the year as "family time". I wish I could change my way of thinking so one day had the same value as another but somehow that is still not where I have made the change. Each time I become aware of a grief trigger I do try to change my thinking so hopefully next Easter there will not be a problem, I will make other plans.  Five years and more and I am still trying to get my thinking adjusted to my single status. Widow not wife.

And so my plans for the rest of the weekend is much like the routine of the past few weeks, read, rest, eat, sleep,repeat. The routine suggested as good for healing. On Wednesday I have day surgery to have my drainage tube replaced,another glitch in the healing process. Yes I know, I have had a big operation, every one of my good friends reminds me of that. But I feel low on patience right now. My  mind cries out: "Enough already!!!". But the only way I am going to heal is to follow doctors orders. However much I dislike what all of that entails.Hopefully.the new drain will be the solution to the problem and healing will progress once more. And without any further infection.

I felt as if summer passed without my participation and now I feel as if autumn is doing the same. Usually I am  busy repotting, reassembling, weeding and preparing the gardens for the cooler weather but this season there can be no lifting and limited bending because of the surgery sites and that means very limited practical work can be done. Once again no-one to call on to do what I am  unable to do. It is so very frustrating. I know the work will still be there when I make well again but the best time to do it will be passed. 

In my present world there doesn't seem to be much hope, which is unusual as I am usually a hope filled person, even a bit too optimistic sometimes. I think the long term nature of recovery is beginning to get me down. I have always encouraged others to have patience. Now I need to use that advice myself. I am struggling with this right now. But I guess that is another hurdle to get over on this journey through widowhood. I need to recover my hope and my joy in life, and learn to live with or without input from others. Just another chance to embrace change rather than cling to a past long gone.

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Comment by only1sue on April 4, 2018 at 2:38pm

Aenor, I understand the "not anymore" we have been changed. As a long term caregiver it seemed .as if I had dried a million tears, every time he stroked, fell, broken bones, had a fit or seizure I cried. But then he died and I cried another million, for me, for him, for us. Life changes but it does it slowly, imperceptibly. And then one day we look around and we are in a different state of mind. That is when I cried the hardest I'm thinking for all that we widows collectively have lost. My advice is cry as you need to and each time dry your eyes  go on as best you can.

Comment by Aenor on April 4, 2018 at 1:48pm

You wrote: "In my present world there doesn't seem to be much hope, which is unusual as I am usually a hope filled person, even a bit too optimistic sometimes. I think the long term nature of recovery is beginning to get me down. I have always encouraged others to have patience. Now I need to use that advice myself. I am struggling with this right now. But I guess that is another hurdle to get over on this journey through widowhood. I need to recover my hope and my joy in life, and learn to live with or without input from others. Just another chance to embrace change rather than cling to a past long gone."  This is SO EXACTLY what I struggle with! Chuck kept telling me, "You'll be fine, you'll move on, that's who you are." But not anymore!

Comment by Aenor on April 4, 2018 at 1:45pm

I thought I was the only one...............last year we had 14 for Easter brunch. This year............staring at the walls and feeling awful.

Comment by MartyG on April 3, 2018 at 7:32am

Easter, for me, was the first major holiday since my Sharon went Home to be with the Lord after 3 plus years of slowly debilitating health replete with much pain and sorrow.  Although I went to church to celebrate that Our Lord has Risen, He has Risen , indeed!! I felt as you did, alone at the restaurant in a swirling crowd of (as they should be) happy other believers who moved about rapidly (so it seemed to me, at least) greeting each other and engaging in chit chat about their family plans, how nice the children looked all decked out in their Easter finery, etc., etc., etc.  Oh...yes...my discerning eye could pick out a few seemingly lost souls in the mix but they were swept away before I could engage them in an "Easter" greeting.

  Later that day I braved the highway and joined a widow who I know and her family for an Easter meal.  That went somewhat better as I was able to at least be part of a group instead of being alone.  And that is the crux of it, isn't it?  That now each of us is a "one" instead of a "two" and life simply can't ever be the same.  I doubt, also, that it ever will be as "normal" as it was.  It is very, very sad and, while I realize that I have been left here for some reason - that reason, when I figure it out...lol, - is not apt to be akin to the reason that I had when Sharon was with me.  

     So the journey goes on and I am alone. I can't stand still...just put one food in front of the other.  

     Anyway, thank you for your post...I hope that sometime soon, somehow, your loneliness will be abated in some fashion.   Happy (belated) Easter :) 

Comment by vintage56(barb) on April 1, 2018 at 10:35am

Hi Sue, I am also alone today, as I was on Christmas and Thanksgiving. I went for a walk down my rural road, two houses had so many cars parked out front, big family dinners I'm sure. Just drives home the loneliness.

I don't mind people not inviting me for the holidays, I probably wouldn't go as it is a long distance in the winter. It's that no one cares enough to say, "Are you going to be alone?"

Oh well, I guess that is my new normal. ((((hugs)))) Sue.

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