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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."

This morning, I woke up and the first thing I thought about naturally was Jerry.  He's been the first thing I've thought about for years. Usually, I'd roll over and snuggle; today I stared at our picture.  I wondered what advice he'd give me.  I wondered what was going through his mind two months after he lost his wife.  Jerry was such a confident man.  He nearly always looked on the bright side.  He almost always embraced and adapted to circumstances beyond his control.  I so admired his happy go lucky attitude.  I always wondered how he stayed so upbeat and carefree.  He never actually had an answer, that's just how I roll he'd say. 

Well, you know what?  He had a great life, full of adventure and love and happiness, and his fair share of struggles.  Everyone here agreed he lived and even died on his terms.  He seemed to be charmed.  He was so full of life, love and full of himself too I might add.  I want what he had.  I feel like he gave me the tools I need to get there but I don't know where to start.  Just when I was beginning to spread my wings a little bit he up and died on me.  Literally.

He isn't here to lift me up personally, but he left me with courage, confidence and his legacy.  He left me with years worth of tidbits of wisdom.  I'm scrambling now to put everything he was attempting to teach me in order and continue to learn from him.  

The night he died after I flipped on the light and looked at his face I knew deep inside me that he was gone.  I know it sounds insane, but I heard a voice telling me all is well and something better would be.  Though the anxiety of trying to save Jerry and the fog of grief I'd forgotten about that voice.  Franky, it gives me hope.  I truly believe God has a plan for me.  I just hope to recognize it for what it is when opportunities arise to lead me.   It's scary for me to put this out there, I've only told one other person about the "voice."  

It's a new world filled with discoveries and firsts, which go hand in hand with emptiness and yearning.  It's incredibly easy to slip into the darkness of what was and what won't be.  I listen to or read stories of despair every day and ask myself how I can help someone else and help myself.  How do we stay positive in all this despair?  Early on I read a book, I can't remember the title, but it suggested to come up with one thing every day that you are happy about or one thing that you want to do and enjoy without your dear loved one. Recently,  I've forgotten life can be good.  Perhaps even great, even without Jerry; the man that was the one and only man to ever have touched my soul.  (My Jerry being a widower has taught me well.  Life does go on in an unexpected way!)  

Today I wrote this blog to remind myself and hopefully encourage whoever reads it that something positive can come out of tragedy.  If you have the conviction to believe it, the motivation to look for examples and learn from them and the courage to accept the life we have left to live and most importantly the patience it to live each day as it unfolds.  It's up to each of us as individuals to find the good in each day.  Start a list and watch it grow.  

Having a positive outlook takes more effort than I thought.  It's a moment by moment choice.  It doesn't mean you are "over it," doesn't mean you aren't hurting or didn't have an overwhelming love for the beautiful soul you lost.  It doesn't mean that wave of grief won't be back to suck you under.  It merely means you chose to honor yourself and the life you have left to live.  Well, it's my opinion anyway. 

When the waves come, when I'm in despair, I'm counting on my friends both here and in person to remind me to read my list, count my blessings, and reminisce about the life Jerry wanted me to have with or without him.   

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Comment by MartyG (ver. 2.2) on March 27, 2018 at 2:14pm

Very, very well written, Rainy!! Thank you :)

Comment by iunderthefarmhouse on February 24, 2018 at 7:31pm

Thank you for this, I really needed to read something positive right now. 

Comment by Rainy (Misty) on February 24, 2018 at 4:59pm

Thank you all for the kind compliments on my blog.  It honestly was written from my heart.  That being said, it's still a struggle, and I hope we can all count on each other to remind us of our blessings when we're at the lowest.  

Comment by Steve on February 23, 2018 at 12:05am

Misty, what a beautiful post.  Thank you so much for sharing this with us.  It is, one of the most wonderful posts I have read here in a long time.  

You so beautifully wrote so much of what I have come to think, feel. About this journey I am/we are on.  I think you are very much on the right track.  

Those waves you describe, are so vivid in my memories, thank goodness, the waves come a lot less frequent for me now, and when they do hit, they are a lot less devastating, coming up on the 9 year anniversary of my partners passing.  

I remember a time in my earlier journey, marking to myself, the first day I completed without crying, the entire day.  It was very significant to me, as I had cried for months, never thought I would ever stop.  It was a sudden realization, wow, maybe I am healing in a way.  I didn’t think I had, or ever would heal.  

My partner taught me so much, as well, I also try to listen, remember how he would handle things.  I’m still learning, making mistakes trying to do better.  

I do believe I am still here for a reason.  

Thank you

Comment by MartyG (ver. 2.2) on February 20, 2018 at 7:51am

What a wonderful piece!!  I've read it several times...it captures so many of my emotions. I can only hope to take Rainy's advice...and to count my blessings foremost of which is memories of Sharon.  I don't know why I am still here but I gotta trust that it is God's will....and that He wants me here for some reason.

I'll continue to search for that as I go on, day by day, tip He calls me Home.

Comment by Mike on February 18, 2018 at 10:17am

Hi Callie,

You say: “t does help to keep in mind that one day, the horrible pain will ease and you will learn to be happy again. Grief stays with us until the day that peace finds us.” I have heard it before and hope it is true. I am guessing it is because so many people have said it. It’s just that right now it seems so far away. 

Thanks for the words of encouragement. 

Comment by Callie2 on February 18, 2018 at 9:23am

Mike, I am sorry for your recent loss and I do recall those early days after losing my husband. There was little anyone could say or do to ease that wretched pain. We have to feel it in order to get through it and to begin healing. There are no shortcuts, no way around grief. It does help to keep in mind that one day, the horrible pain will ease and you will learn to be happy again. Grief stays with us until the day that peace finds us.

We all have our own way of grieving but I believe it is important to let these feelings flow naturally.  My comments were not made to suggest that we can skirt around grief by thinking positive although for some of us it is helpful.  Each day is one day closer to healing. If you can believe that, it may be all the positive you need to think about right now.

Comment by Mike on February 18, 2018 at 3:47am

I have been journaling and the end of each entry I try to list the things for which I am thankful. Perhaps it’s because it’s just under two months for me, but right now the entire list is completely out weighed by the fact that my wife is dead. Maybe that will change. I will continue to look for things to be grateful for, but to be honest most days I really have to dig to find something.

 I didn’t want to put a negative reply here but this is the way I feel right now and I am guessing others feel the same. I am glad it works for you and encourage you to keep your positive attitude and hope this works for others too. 

Comment by Callie2 on February 17, 2018 at 2:52pm

Rainy, it is not always easy to be positive but I believe it is helpful. It has been several years since I lost my husband and I must say, it has really changed the way I view things. In my deepest sorrow, I still had to recognize how fortunate I was to have found my true soul mate. I have many things to be thankful for in my life though I have had my share of heartaches like many other people. I think of life more as a panorama now and not in snapshots. I try to be thankful for each day and try not to worry so much about things! My main focus is today—not yesterday or tomorrow. In many ways, I am a different person than I was. I think we all go through a  “metamorphosis”. I do believe we can survive and at least be at peace, if not happy. We must want that for ourselves.

Don’t question the voice that you heard. I have had some unusual experiences too that I rarely speak about, mainly in dream form. We always feel the need for an explanation but sometimes there isn’t one and we must accept that. Grieving takes a lot of time and patience and I hope you let the tears flow when they come, but yes, stay positive!

Comment by InsideLove on February 17, 2018 at 10:53am

Beautiful Rainy (Misty). SO then, keep reading your list, count every blessing small and large, and especially reminisce about the life YOU have and had. {{{{{{hugs}}}}}}

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