From time to time I have a melt down, at five years out from Ray's death it is not frequent but sometimes intense. Tonight I was watching a travel program and there they are, that older couple walking hand in hand along a beach and before I knew it I have tears streaming down my cheeks. Darn! I don't want to feel like this, like I am lost and alone and yes even deserted and abandoned because that's what being a widow feels like sometimes. As if that special person who like you said "till death us do part" should have been here keeping their side of the bargain.
At the end of July Ray and I would have been married 50 years. I am going to find somewhere else to be alone for a few days around then as I don't want to be here wallowing in grief. I want to feel okay without forgetting Ray but with a renewed life that is my own. I know a lot of widows and widowers have managed to get over the death of their partner, find a new life, sometimes even a new partner and sometimes within a couple of years of the death of a spouse or partner. Why I haven't I don't know except that for me it is still su'n'ray.It was that way for 44 years and somehow the thought still lingers.
Sometimes I talk as if Ray is still alive, I know that because a friend told me so and sometimes I am aware of that myself. Most of my stories are Ray and Sue stories. This my friend tells me will certainly put off anyone who may be interested in me. Well what am I supposed to do about that? In the first place how do I know if a person is interested in me or not? Aussie men are famously lacking in courting skills, giving little indication of their feelings. I am very poor at judging how people feel so that combination of characteristics is unlikely to enlighten me. Also I have been told a few times that I am just like " a big sister" to one or other of my male friends which is not a good analogy for anyone seeking a budding romance.
So the hand holding, walking along the beach thing is never going to happen except with a young grandchild and sunsets will be seen from my verandah alone rather than the deck of a cruiser on the Rhine as part of a couple. Okay I could go on a cruise alone , walk on that beach alone, watch that sunset alone, I know that. Being alone is my speciality right now . I dodge loneliness by filling my life with a lot of busyness usually, that hasn't been possible recently because of the treatment after the operation and so alas once again my feelings have been able to ambush me. Hopefully I will be able to resume my busyness soon and feel stronger emotionally.
Is this a pity party for one? I suppose it is but it is also a melting moment, one of a string of them that will happen from time to time. As long as I get over it quickly I am okay, it is when the same thoughts hang around for a longer time that I am in trouble. In the blogs over the years I have seen a lot of pity parties, after all venting of thoughts, sad, angry, why-me etc is one of the purposes of blogging. Where possible I try to express an empathy with the poster, what a friend of mine would call a "feel sorry" moment. And I am sorry circumstances have changed making the poster sad, bad, mad etc. It is not comfortable to feel that way and in the long run not healthy.
As a former caregiver a lot of my friends look to me for comfort and advice. I feel that I am expected to be sympathetic and considerate. On one hand that is exactly what I do, try to comfort others, to make a difference, to help alleviate their pain. Acting in this way is part of my Christian upbringing, I was taught to treat people the way I would like to be treated. In another way I can see the value in allowing people to experience their own pain. I know the value of that myself but only in retrospect. I wish we do could get the wisdom without the pain.
It is unwise to assume we have the power to change the way people feel from the people in our own family to the person we talk to in the mall. The fact is that the stranger may be more willing to take our advice than those who know us well. Familiarity breeds contempt we were told. So our nearest and dearest may not be pleased by us giving our advice and even tell us so. I stopped hitting my head on that particular brick wall long ago. But there still remains the fact that when I need advice and we do all need advice at some stage I guess I just have to be wise in who I ask. And I need to remember that a lot of advice is well meaning even if it does not exactly fit the case and be glad the person who gives me the advice likes me enough to be there for me.