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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."

A couple of nights ago I had a meltdown.  I wanted someone to be here with me.  I didn't want to be here alone and lonely any more. I wanted a new partner and I wanted them NOW. If Ray wasn't coming back, and he doesn't not even appear in my dreams, then someone ought to take his place, as my lover, as my partner and perhaps as my husband.  My kids do keep reminding me that as a Christian woman I have to adhere to certain standards, no live-in partner for me it has to be marriage or some kind of distant friendship only.

I have got to the stage where I don't want to go on alone any more.  I have had enough of grieving.  I want NORMAL to make a reappearance in my life.  How stupid is that? As if putting someone into my life in the place of my late husband would work.  Who am I kidding?  But it is an honest wish - I do want a new partner, probably not right away but some time in the future.  It will be three years on the 19th September since Ray died.  It will be Father's Day the first Sunday in September and his birthday two days later. I hate September with all of it's reminders of what I used to have and what I do not have now.

Since it is still winter here and still cold and the days are short I am having more than usual trouble with loneliness.  The six weeks in England with their long summer evenings, with the company of others, with something to do every day spoilt me for the solitude I so often find here in winter. I can look out after 5pm and there is no-one outside, nothing moving except the people in their cars hurrying back to their nice warm homes, no dogs barking, no children playing, it is just another dark evening in late winter.  Of course there is the usual handwork to do, the old movies to watch, the sorting and decluttering to do if I wanted to do it, but there is no-one to talk to, no-one to sit with, no-one to snuggle with ( the thing I miss the most) in summary no-one to do anything with.

I have heard of skin hunger and I am feeling that loss again now.  In a week if I stayed home I might see a dozen people, none of whom are going to be more than polite, stop for a little chat, smile, laugh maybe but none of them are going to reach out and touch me, hug me or hold me, We may be neighbours but we are not on those kind of terms.  About four times a month I go to one of my dinners and a couple of older friends will hug me or give me a peck on the cheek. None of them have a big place in my life, I am grateful for them but they are not the "special" person i have yet to find.. At church on Sundays one or two of the older ladies will give me a peck on the cheeks, most people shake hands in silence, it is a conservative church and not a lot of hugging seems to take place there these days.

So what is it that I feel?  I feel frustrated and sometimes angry at what is happening in my life.  I am growing older and like it or not I am at the age where single women outnumber men times three at least.  I am at the age where I feel I do not have a lot of offer to a partner.  I am not pretty or sexy or even attractive.  I am average for my age.  I am a woman who has grow older with wrinkles and laugh lines and bits here and there that now sag and fold and look awkward.  Hey! look in the mirror in the morning and see what you see looking back at you if you are my age. It is not a pretty sight.  I go to food courts in the local  shopping centres, the local cafes and restaurants and see hundreds of women just like me, some more carefully dressed and made up maybe but basically just like me, widowed women, divorced women, women who have never married sipping coffee, people watching, passing time, just like me.

But I have been through a lot of things in my life and know that nothing is forever, time moves on and things change, Some of my kind friends to cheer me up say:  "You never know what is around the next corner" and while that is true, I feel like I am on the Gun Barrel Highway, the longest, straightest road in Australia.  I really do.  I feel as if any corner ahead is a really long way ahead.  All I can see is this long straight road disappearing into the distance. And maybe that is the way it is for now.  Maybe I need more time to pass, more time to prepare for what is to come, more time to reflect on what has been. There is no fast track to the future, as usual I have to take it one day at a time.

Maybe if I had a time machine I could wind it past September, so no anniversary, no Father's Day without a father and grandfather to honour on that day, past Ray's birthday (he would have been 73). And then I would be in October, a month into Spring.  But someone on here would say:  " I hate October it is his birthday,( or our anniversary).." or many other things that remind us daily of what we have lost.  Because for each of us our loss is unique, we have the suffering, pain and sorrow in common but the memories are our memories alone.  And each of us is journeying one day at a time.

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Comment by Callie2 on August 28, 2015 at 5:47pm
I can relate to those feelings and to your sadness, actually I think we all can. Wish I had some words to make you feel better. A lot of us are beginning to show our age and I'm not liking that either. What we can try to do is try and stay in shape and look our best, whatever that requires and we can afford. Good health is far more important in my opinion!

Reading some of your thoughts make me believe you are still in grieving. I recall thinking I was really past all the intense sadness then find myself down again and feeling quite depressed. I don't think this is unusual, just realize what it is. We are losing daylight gradually here--in another month or so, I will begin to feel the effects of that also. I make the attempt to spend time outside in the sunshine, even during the winter and it does get quite cold here-I'll bundle up and go for a short walk. Walking is also something that can help elevate your mood. If you don't already, maybe exercise of any type can help.

As far as dreams go, I am thinking you are hoping to have a vivid type dream so many people talk about. I had one of those shortly after my Mom passed and it had a tremendous calming effect on me. I did not have one after my husband passed however, a friend of ours did and she called me to tell me about. I actually felt a little sad as I couldn't understand why not me? Well, it took almost five years but eventually, it did happen. So, don't give up hope. In fact, believe that things will get better because they do. Whether we face a future alone or not--we are the only ones that can make ourselves happy. Hang on Sue. Continue to focus on the important things and the many blessings we've been given in life--one rather huge one is that we have lived this long and with generally good health. I hope tomorrow is a better day!

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