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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."

I've just had some friends visit for an overnight visit.  These dear people have been coming here every couple of years after a visit to her brother further north of me.  It is nice to have visitors but oh how quiet the house seems when they are gone.  Last night we had dinner and sat and talked and talked and talked and tonight I am here alone again.  Hard not to be sad that there is no-one here with me.  Sigh.

The time away with my family flew and now it is back to routine, getting the outside of the house cleaned of webs etc settling the garden down for winter, raking up the last of the leaves.  I don't have any deciduous tress apart from the two mulberries so that is not a big job. But there is plenty to do after a three week absence. No snow here but if it is a bad winter there is always a chance of a frost or two.

Friends are asking me now when I am moving.  I guess I will move eventually but just for now I want to stay in familiar surroundings.  I know I may feel differently in the middle of winter but for now it is nice to sit on my verandah in the sun mid-morning and see the trees nearby changing color and knowing I don't have to rake the leaves falling from them...lol. I love to sit there for a while reading or doing handwork. It is nice to think that Ray and I used to sit there quietly with him doing endless find-a-word puzzles and me reading the paper or writing letters.  It is a good memory to keep.

In the last of the sunny days of autumn it is good to air the blankets and bed covers and just get prepared for more time indoors.  I have plenty of wool for knitting and crocheting so making sure I have plenty of reading matter is my next move.  I can be snug as a bug as long as I don't have to go out into the cold too much. Of course company would be nice and I know I am going to feel lonely sometimes but I know now I just have to get used to that.

I think I am becoming reconciled to being alone.  I have thought it would be nice to have company or a companion, but I think I would rather have a visitor occasionally than have someone live in who I would have to look after and please.  I found living with my son and daughter in law for a week that living in a household where others set the agenda is not for me either.  I know some people can do that and do move in with grown up children but I will resist that for as long as I am able to.

My friends did talk about some of the older mutual friends who have gone into care now.  We go thirty years back so we are talking about people I have not seen for a long time and it is hard to picture them now as old rather than the middle aged couples I knew.  But that's life, we age and change and eventually the care situation is ahead of us.  Accepting change is hard but not so hard if we can just "go with the flow" and  take life one day at a time. 

I know my life is slowly changing now and I have to take a hand in that and direct as far as possible what is happening to me.  I am finding it hard and second-guessing some of my decisions but in the end they do have to be my decisions and ones I can live with.

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Comment by Gaining Strength on May 22, 2014 at 6:21pm

the season is definitely changing. I am 2yr 8m into this and for my children and I things are moving at different paces. I have accepted the situation even though I am still sad. My daughter has never moved passed anger and sadness. She believes that her dad visits her as a lady bug. we went to Trinidad (there are no ladybugs there) but found plastic ladybug decorations which she swears is a sign from her dad. My son is doing the best of us three. Today he brought home  a beautiful engagement ring which he plans to give to his girlfriend. He is moving full steam ahead with his life while the two of us are on a slower pace but hopefully going in the right direction.  I know that some day I will be at peace on my own terms. I am trying to be patient with myself and love myself while I struggle to get there. I know now that life is very difficult for many people on so many fronts. I can appreciate what others are facing much more than ever. I really understand empathy not just mere sympathy. Still I do not want to lose the drive and ambition that I had before when I pushed forward with by career in the past. Somehow I cannot get the two things to marry. One of my friends told me that I was in a unique position to reinvent myself. I know that he is right but I do not know how to.

Comment by only1sue on May 20, 2014 at 2:53pm

"making peace with what we can't change is something I am working on right now.  I need to recognise my limitations and boundaries.  That is harder than  I thought it would be as I have changed so much simply by being a widow.

Comment by Blue Snow on May 19, 2014 at 11:28am

The "reconciling being alone" is something I can identify with, too. That doesn't mean it's necessarily easy all the time but we adapt and adopt new routines, habits and interests and in the end we do what we have to do to make peace with that we can't change.

Comment by katpilot on May 19, 2014 at 7:19am

I too feel I have reconciled living alone. I have adapted for sure as it now is three years and three months I have been in this new life. At first it was horrible and so empty without Kathy. I espoecially noticed how when I would get home from work she would almost always be sitting with her knitting ready to greet me. After enough time, you get used to the fact that they will never be doing that again. You come home to an empty house where all is very quiet and still. The thing is that I could not have it any other way. When I have company visiting for a few days, I am so ready for them to leave so I can be alone again. I need my space and my house where I know Kathy is still around somehow. I am sure some may think I am a bit strange but we all adapt as we do. I think I have to find a way that I can stay in this house we shared untill my death. I want to die here and if it takes having a nurse to be here as well, then I can deal with it. I am so attached to this place because she is all over it. (and it is pretty)

Comment by Choosing life on May 19, 2014 at 5:46am
I can so identify with your statement: I think I am becoming reconciled to being alone. I feel exactly the same. Visitors --- yes, a person to boss me around --- no. Eventually, I suppose I will have to live with someone because it will be that time in my life. But until then I want to take care of my house and myself --- with a little help if I need it. I have come to appreciate the quiet in my life.

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