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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."

My bonus life. Don't get me wrong. I certainly did expect to grow old together with Cindy. That being said we had an amazing life together. We traveled the world together. Life was kind to us. So many experiences and opportunities. We had a great marriage and a great friendship.

In so many ways I feel like I have lived a complete life. So I keep on thinking that this is my bonus life. I do hope that I will be there for my children. But in so many ways I feel that life at this point is gravy. I still struggle. Still have my challenging days and weeks. Everything seemed so predictable before.

I do trust in the future most of the time. Have no idea whatsoever what it will be. It's hard to figure things out.

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Comment by Mac on January 30, 2014 at 3:06pm

It's an interesting phase of life. We all realize how little control we have - that's for sure. However, if my parents longevity is any indication, I should live to a ripe old age.

I almost feel at times that I am living a fantasy life (sure maybe a nightmare at times). Living for the day and not always acting as responsibly as I did before. Not as concerned about tomorrow. Don't get me wrong, I'm not being reckless. But things are just so different in so many ways.

Comment by Mac on January 23, 2014 at 8:03am

Thank you all for your comments.

It is a liberating feeling = "bonus life." Don't know if that feeling is here to stay. I hope that it is. It's a strange world that we find ourselves in.

Comment by oceangirl on January 14, 2014 at 1:45pm

That's a good way of putting in, Mac.

Comment by Sujit1989 on January 14, 2014 at 10:07am
I too understand, I was with my husband for 23 years, of course I wish I had another 23 years particularly kids graduations, weddings, grand kids and all those other things. But the 23 years my husband lived to the fullest. He must have mentioned a few hundred times he had lived his life fully and would have no regrets if he dropped dead, he died at 50. We definitely had our share of problems, arguments but we never thought we woukd ever be able to live without each other. Now I am living that bonus life for the kids and dogs. Small things give me pleasure, so I don't deny myself those things like an occasional piece of sweet or chocolate. Life goes on.
Comment by Susan on January 14, 2014 at 8:08am
Mac, this is a wonderful perspective. I had not thought about it in this way; too busy mourning the loss of my wonderful thirty year marriage--but you are right. This part of my life is a bonus. Thank you!
Comment by eliana on January 12, 2014 at 8:00pm

At my husband's funeral standing at his casket, I actually said "If this is all I am meant to have, it is more than enough." 

I completely relate to your post.  In many ways I feel as if the life I had with my husband was complete, and the life I have tried to build afterwards is a different chapter.  Because I am not the same person I was before he died.  I have had to find new answers to the questions and new dreams for the future.  And I have learned to accept that with the same gratitude I accepted the gift of my husband's love and presence in my life.

And now I am blessed to live in faith and hope.  I told my sister once that building my life after his lossis a bit like moving to a foreign country where I am not fluent in the native language.  I can live my life, and it can be wonderful, but it's not the home I know and love.  And it might be a long time before I can really find my way, make a new home, and become fluent ... and not feel so much like an outsider.

You call it gravy, I call it icing.  Whatever it is, it is truly all good.

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