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Will you be dining by Yourself or will someone be joining you?

I just got back from my FIRST 4 day trip on my own. I felt that I needed to just "get away from everyone" for a few days and just think and try to have fun.  Well, after the first 12 hours I could see that this trip was going to be a very difficult one.

When I first arrived, I changed into my swimsuit and headed down to the ocean! What a gorgeous beach and that water was a colour blue I will always remember. BAM, I started to cry almost immediately after hitting the ocean. I remembered how much my husband loved to travel, especially to anywhere with a beach.  I could not believe that almost every waking moment I thought about him and how much he would loved to be with me in this gorgeous place.

After seven months, I thought that I was ready for some R & R from the constant pain and reminders at home of my husband. Friends offered to come with me but I did not want to be on anyone else's schedule.

Dinner time....."will you be dining on your own, or will someone be joining you?" That dreaded phrase that would haunt every time I went for a meal. I only could stand it once a day, so that is the only time I ate. I will BE ON MY OWN AND NO! NO ONE IS JOINING ME!! I wanted to stand up on a table and tell everyone that my husband had just died and that YES I was on my own, I had no one to share this wonderful trip with and YES I was lonely and it would have been ever so nice if just one couple had asked me to join them for a drink.  I can't blame anyone....how were they to know what I was doing on my own and why? They all "seemed" in love and holding hands and staring into each eyes. 

I could not wait to get home - first time ever after being on a vacation. Usually I would be so sad to return to reality and the thought of being separated from my husband for even a moment.

I went to my counsellor today and broke down. I told her awful the trip was, how I felt I have reverted back to how I felt 4 months ago and that I just could not imagine my life without my husband. It was too cruel, too lonely and too sad. She explained to me that I had finally had some time to grieve to a different level (I aways keep myself so busy with work) that having this time to think only of my husband was part of the process. Oh I am so sick of the process. I am so sick of feeling ok one day and then so awful with that gut wrenching pain seven months later.

A huge part of me died with my husband that I will never regain. I felt safe and confident with him. He made me feel like I was the most beautiful woman in the world!  Simple things like doing up my bathing suit, putting lotion on my back - who was going to do this? No one is the answer and I did burn in those hard to reach areas.

Will our society ever accept that we are dining alone and NO we are not waiting for a man to join us, sadly?

Abby

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Comment by willo on December 10, 2011 at 8:52am

hi abby im sorry your trip sucked but im glad you posted this so im forwarned...im running away for christmas to florida which my husband and i went to for 2 weeks in sept for the last 5 yrs as soon as the kids went back to college...i had hoped that going to a part of florida i never went to would make it bearable but a beach is beach and steve loved them so it may not work out how i hoped but at least now i wont get caught off guard and your right how am i going to lotion my back another simple thing that would of bit me

Comment by judy on November 26, 2011 at 11:25am

Abby,

I know just how you feel.   Just a few weeks out - I went to Hawaii to spread my husbands ashes in a place

we once we going to spend our last days.  Little did I know that I'd be bringing him there like this.  I did

have some friends that were going to be there and that was the most comforting - but when they left I

had 2 days on my own - and it was torture.  I'd be looking out on the most beautiful ocean and be so sad that

my Justin couldn't be there holding my hand and looking deep into my eyes.  You see the last time we were there was our honeymoon.  He was only 51.  There also were mistakes made but he wasn't too well and not

sure what to do like you have said on your blog.  Is it worth pursuing.

 

Also hope you are doing ok - how awful for you to have to go through what you did in the hospital by youself.

 

Keep being strong - I really do admire your strengh.

 

Lots of love,

Judy

Comment by Susan B on September 3, 2011 at 5:09pm

I'm glad you took the time and effort to get away by yourself. We have to test our wings in a sink or swim situation to know how far we've come. I'm very sorry you found it a painful experience. I hope there were some good memories, even of just the struggles, and of your 'coping', so you can remind yourself of your abilities and strengths and ability to adapt!

Perhaps a solo travel dining tactic, if you are staying at a resort, would be to take the consierge/host aside and let them know of your situation, that you are sensitive to being without your mate, so they might have a word with the staff. Any resort worth it's rating will have training programs for staff to avoid making suppositions about guests. They want you as a return guest, and the way to do that is to cater to your situation. Sometimes we have to advocate for ourselves so that others might better understand.

I think you did very well organizing your trip, traveling solo, and handling yourself with dignity. Bravo, Abby, Bravo.

Comment by Dianne in Nevada on September 3, 2011 at 1:25pm

I'm so sorry your trip didn't turn out to be what you had hoped, Abby.  All of these life changes are tough, they are not things we want to learn how to survive, they are not what we would choose if we had been given the choice.  It's ok to be sick of this grieving process ... but each ugly piece of it is taking you forward to your future and we're here to help support you along the way.

I took a trip to the Florida Keys at about 3 months and faced some of the things that you did ... the realization that Vern would have just loved that place, eating alone, missing him. Yes, it was part of "the process" - and let me share with you that now ... at 11 months ... I know that I can do this, that I will survive.

Comment by LAL on September 3, 2011 at 12:23pm
Hi Abby, You are so brave and I admire your strength.  I have been out on my own and didn't enjoy the experience at all.  All I could do is think of the times my husband and I had been together.  You took a huge step forward in going to a restaurant to dine alone.  I opted for deli food from the local market.  Like you said all those couples looked so much in love as they held hands and gazed into each others eyes.  I remember when.......
Comment by NMWidower on September 2, 2011 at 10:08am
Abby.  ((HUGS)) to you.  It took courage to get out on that trip no matter how hard it was.  It is so hard when certain things are such stark reminders to us of the contrast of our lives now to what they were then.  Like Supa, I wish there was a way to "smooth out the griefy lumps" for you too.  I know its hard to feel like "when will this EVER end at this point.  But its just part of the journey.  Just keep working through things as they come up.  Grief has many layers and aspects to it that seem to be cyclical and that can be maddening.  I found myself saying "What am I dealing with this again?  many times in my journey.  Be encouraged that as you keep working through them that healing will continue in your life.  I know this has been the case for me, and may it also be for you...  Blessings and grace to you today as you continue this difficult journey.  Pat-NMWidower

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Comment by Soaring Spirits on September 2, 2011 at 8:11am
Oh honey, I LOVE YOU. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us... and that blue water. I wish I could smooth all these griefy lumps out for you. I know there's a lot ahead but I am glad you are not doing it alone. THANK YOU for joining us here. XOXOX
Comment by SallyStarre on September 2, 2011 at 4:59am

Hi Abby  It will be 6 months that my husband died.  I too have been feeling like I want to get away by myself for a bit.

I give you a lot of credit for having the courage to do it even though it was so painful.   I hope the experience helps make your grief more bearable.  You have given me the inspiration to go for it. 

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