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Widowed Village connects peers with each other for friendship and sharing. The moderators, administrators, and others involved in running this site are not professionals.

Please don't interpret anything you read here as medical, legal, or otherwise expert advice. Don't disregard any expert's advice or take any action as a result of what you read here.

We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

Last night I came to a realization , an epiphany if you will about who I have become. I am more than four and a half years now on this grief's journey which is enough time to make such a discovery. I now understand who I am and how I shall be for the rest of my days. I read a post about triggers inside our homes and one persons need to remove them replacing old with new. I began thinking about the changes I had made in my own home and as I was sitting looking around, I realized I hadn't had a trigger moment there for quite some time. Even with changes I have made my home is still filled with Kathy's memory in the furniture, décor, tableware, family pictures and the like yet it has been years since they have caused a sad moment. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that my trigger moments were happening when I was away from home. When I travel, shop, eat out, and yes even at work I have moments when sorrow creeps in. It's not the object. It's not the smell, sound, or taste that does it. It is just simply her memory. That memory enters my thoughts so many times during my day. Every night when I go to bed I think about how much I love her and it's the first thought as I wake. I understood that it has been that way ever since that first night. I know now that it will be that way for the rest of my life and that isn't such a bad thing.

What I understand now is that this is who I am. I know beyond any doubt that I shall live this way functioning quite well as I explore life. I shall be a bit lonely for certain but that is my choice to not have another relationship. This new me which is called widowed will function in society, pay his taxes, and seem outwardly okay. I will however still have those sad moments and find sanctuary when I get home for there I can let it out and not puzzle those who "don't get it:. I will travel, enjoy my sons and grandchildren, dine with friends and often alone. This is who I understand that I have become and always shall be. I am so very okay with that and so very aware that I am nothing like I was before she left.

After enough time don't we develop a good understanding of who we are? For me last night was the moment.

I am simply put just Steve, not Steve and Kathy.

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Comment by laurajay on October 17, 2015 at 9:59am

The longer the time together, the older you are ,  the more  life itself is a trigger and that does not bother me- memories are good!  like callie2 it is the occasional gasp in the gut that gives sudden alarm- that causes a trigger-  combined  ( after 3 12 yrs) of now understanding that I want no other relationship.  I have no desire or need for compromise.  No desire nor energy for a relationship in old age that has expectations.  Not after 44yrs with one man/one husband/one best friend/just plain the one who shared his life with me until as the vows said-two became one.  in the beginning I really thought differently and another man did not sound unpleasant or impossible  until I hade a reality check!  I want no complications as I age.  No more than will come anyway.   I don't have a giant bucket list. We had a full life together. I don't need or want to discover what I already had-I know.  Young widows and widowers have decades ahead of them  and probably think and feel differently  and that is fine for them.   I want no more loss.  I did not have to be a care giver to a dying spouse and while sudden unexpected death is hell-  I don't want any more dying spouses of any kind.  I too, Steve, like you am blessed with a terrific daughter, son-in-law and 3 grands I adore.  I have a few friends who do "get it" and that is a comfort.  I could use a handyman and a backscratcher  and someone to argue politics with and discuss religion/faith and  enjoy sports  BUT not at the cost of compromise or accommodation!  I am happy to read your blog Steve and happy you have a comfort zone without Kathy that you can live with for the rest of your natural life!   Frankly speaking , if you were younger  and not headed towards 70,  I'd be tempted to tell you to think it through again...but you had a much younger wife you adored and for you  what you have discovered for yourself  is understandable.  Blessings.  Thanks for sharing.  Always helps to read what others are learning in this journey.  While the loneliness is crushing at times---looking at the big picture  things look very different.  We can make it.  We will survive.   callie2  I so totally get that reference to "gut feeling that makes us "gasp" and is totally unexpected"  you said that so well.   love to all here  

Comment by Callie2 on October 16, 2015 at 6:14pm
As long as they remain in our hearts, they will always be with us. Love does not stop or go away because they are no longer here physically.

I have never felt the need to get rid of everything that reminds me of him. I have to agree, it's more things like sights and smells-sensual things that cause these triggers. When I say triggers, I don't refer to memories, I refer to that punched in the gut feeling that makes us "gasp" and it is totally unexpected.

You have it figured out quite well. We just go on from here. What's most important, at least in my view, is we make the decision to be happy and enjoy life as much as we can. Enjoy the GK's and do the things you like doing--if you want and when you want!

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