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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."

Today was Easter Day and a really lovely bright beginning of the day.  I went to the church service and it lived up to expectations so I was feeling wonderful and then one of those incidents happened that brings back some bad memories of the past. I had picked up one of the congregation members on the way as she said she can't drive at the moment.  At the end of the service I had to wait for a disabled girl to be picked up so I wasn't aware of what was happening until there was a thump and I looked around and the lady was on the floor in the middle of a devastating seizure. I was frozen to the spot but a couple of the other women rushed forward and sat down on the floor and comforted her.  It suddenly brought back the memories of all the seizures Ray had had, the embarrassment, the messiness, the struggle to get him up, all the things my mind had stored away.

I guess there is never really a way of forgetting, we may think we have successfully put the past behind us but it is still there stored away in a place where some small trigger will switch the spotlight on it again and it will be there in it's full horror. Of course someone wanted to send for an ambulance but I vetoed that, I know all that happens is that the ER doctors change medications, make you fill in endless forms and nothing much changes. Luckily her bladder stayed good and she was not more embarrassed than she could have been.  We waited about 20 minutes before I drove her home.  I said I would pick her up any time she needed me too.  I guess I have seen the worst in many ways so I was not shocked.

On the plus side one of our widowers said how nice I looked this morning, he hung back to tell me, so I felt good about that.  As a widow i don't get a lot of compliments so appreciate those I do get.  I was going to go on to one of the local Markets after I had dropped the lady back to her place but my mind was still sad so I just came on home.  It is okay being at home but I really would have liked someone to be here to talk things over with, that is something I miss so much.  Solitude is fine and I cope well with that, the loneliness on the other hand really gets to me sometimes. And there is nothing I can do about that. As I have said before sadly there is no-one to debrief with or talk anything over with and I really miss that.

I did have my daughter and her family here for Friday night, they came on Friday afternoon after their church service and went home Saturday afternoon as they had a church service to do today.  They did one really nice thing for me.  I cannot eat Easter eggs as they contain palm oil to which I am somewhat allergic so they had decided to come down and take me to the movies as a substitute for giving me a basket of eggs.  We saw "My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2" we had seen the first one at home to refresh our memories of it and then sat in the movie theatre and watched the second one.  Being a late middle aged woman I thought it was absolutely hilarious.  My grandkids thought it was just okay and must have wondered why Granma roared with laughter at jokes they were not even aware of. There were sad parts in the movie too, more triggers for memories and if you see it you might know what I am talking about.

And so I have three and a half years behind me since losing Ray and I am pretty confident most of the time and handle the minor waves of life quiet well.  But sometimes in the sea of life a big wave of sadness comes and breaks over me.  I have so many memories in 44 years of marriage, some more recently were the sad ones of going through the long journey with Ray, his strokes, his other illnesses and hospitalizations and his death and my grieving for him.  But I am also recovering earlier memories now particularly some joyful ones of our courtship and marriage, the births of our three children, their growing up years and the first marriages.  There are also the mixed ones that we all have if we are honest with ourselves,of the ups and downs we all experienced, the lost jobs, bad management decisions, the quarrels over so many trivial things. Then there were the earlier illnesses, the deaths of Ray's parents etc. My dad died the year after Ray had the major strokes and my Mum of course two months after Ray died.

We had the all the usual ups and downs you would expect in so long a time together, but that is it, we were in it together. He wasn't a flatterer, my Ray but he would say he liked something I was wearing, or that I looked good when we went out.  We did have dull periods in our marriage and of course the quarrels people who are very different in their ways do have.  But we were rock solid as a couple.  We raised a family together, we were there for each other.  I know if anything happened to me he would cope somehow and I guess he knew the same about me.  What neither of us factored in was that we had a bond that could not easily accommodate one of us dying.  That is the hardest thing to adjust to for me, the absence of Ray in my life.  I know I have to, I know in order to move on I have to fully accept that I am alone.  But it is mighty hard.

Home is not just a place, it is a place where those you love live.  It is a place where you know family and friends will find harmony, it is a place where life can be lived to the full.  I live in a house that was once a family home, now it is my home, but it sometimes has a hollow feel as if the people who should live here are away, lost out in some deserted place. I can fill my house with my own possessions but they really have not a lot of meaning now so I know when I move on eventually most of them will not come with me. My house is not full of expensive furniture or hard-to-replace family heirlooms, it is comfortable and meets my needs for now.  I am thankful for it.  But somehow the memories of the past make my house  seems emptier for me than it used to do.

There is no place like home and no people like the ones you hope to find there one day, if only in your memories.

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Comment by Blue Snow on April 2, 2016 at 10:42am

I think we'd have to have amnesia for those memory triggers not to get to us. We just need a better way to manage the bad ones and close them down as soon as possible.

Comment by only1sue on April 1, 2016 at 3:59am

I had to go to one of the local hospitals today to visit a couple of ladies and one was in the same ward Ray had been in with a particularly bad dose of pneumonia.  I was fine until I saw the view out of the window and back it came, all the tragedy of those many illnesses and the struggle he had each time to regain his strength.  I know I have to get past that, life has to go on, but it is a painful process.

Comment by deaf widow on March 27, 2016 at 10:08am

You're having a pretty good day...then...BAM, Wham, Damn!  Out of the clear blue sky's, it comes back.  The memories (good & bad), the loneliness,and the emptiness of it all comes roaring back!  Help!  Get me outta here!  Then..a couple days pass and someone will say something encouraging and/or make us laugh.  Thank you, God!  Yep...another day of moving on.  (((((HUGS)))))!!!!!!! to you, only1sue! 

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