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Noises outside

HostSue

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On the whole I think I cope with being a widow pretty well. But as soon as the warmer nights start we have noises outside. As a widow and even before when Ray was living here still but was unable to get quickly out of bed I am the one who goes off to investigate. It may be possums on the roof, dogs overturning the bins out on the road or a group of noisy teens coming home from a party, rarely is it something life threatening. Sometimes I just don't see the cause and I might go back to bed and worry for a while but usually I am satisfied. Tonight there is a wind so all kinds of rattles and bangs but all ones I know the origins of so I am okay.

 

I always say we all plan for retirement but not for old age and I think that aplies to me now. I have got a lot slower since the last operation and I know that while I can still manage housework, shopping and the ordinary tasks of life I cannot do maintenance so in the New Year need to find a way to do the jobs I can't accomplish and that means find some tradesmen to do them. This is going to be a considerable expense but as I don't go on holidays much now I can use that money.

 

We also don't plan for widowhood so I am now putting some thought into my future again. There are two main choices, staying in my own home or some sort of retirement complex. I think I will maybe consider downsizing to a smaller place too. It seems unlikely now that's one of my children will move closer so I am probably not going to have help in this. It is not that they don't love me  but it doesn't occur to them that I need help. And I do find things more difficult now since the leg operation. Every job that involves bending and lifting takes a bit longer than it used to.

 

And we don't take our future needs into consideration. I am thinking of our need for help and support. Through pastoral care work I deal with the elderly a lot and I can often now see my own needs in the ones I am helping. The need for companionship is high on the agenda for widows. It is easier during the day as public transport, taxis and lifts from friends help if you no longer drive but at night and at weekends that is not as available so there is a difficulty in meeting up with friends. 

 

Technically speaking the family should fill the gaps but in fact few have family living close by.  I hear that from the little lady I pick up for church and others in my craft group so I am aware of how it will be for me if I can no longer drive. I wondered if I should express these thoughts here or if I should write them in my widow blog but I think a lot of people on here also struggle with living alone as I do or wonder how they will cope if it ever becomes their life. For those of you who have someone living with you, cherish that situation. Alone means some extra freedom but too much time alone is stressful, particularly on those nights when the wind is up and I become super aware of noises outside.

 

The good news is that I do have people who love me. They might not be right here but they exist. An old friend in her 90s rang me early this morning to tell me she does. She had received a Christmas card from me and rather than try to write a letter had rung me instead. I know there are people who love me, family and good friends, I am not discounting that. But it isn't always in the forefront of my mind. To my mind I am very much alone. My girlfriend who died recently was one of the people who I could ring on a night like this and it is one of the reasons I will miss her. I miss a lot of people who have been good friends in my past years. It is not the same without them.

 

Sometimes I think the Christmas season is hard on us as people who have cared for others. I know I never really thought about the impact before I was a widow. As a caregiver I was simply too busy. Now I am on my own I have too much time to think. There is a car alarm going off somewhere in the neighborhood, another party up the road, the sound of music somewhere further away. Somehow that accentuates the aloneness I feel. I probably need to put on some music of my own and block out the noises outside.

 



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Dearest Sue you are the Most loved on this group and probably other groups too.

 

Please never ever feel alone in this universe you are loved by even angels too.

 

It is lonely to be aware that life goes on around us. When in in a way we stopped right there.

But we are still loved by those we cherish

Even if we do not see them 

Just like with God as I know you believe

 

As usual your advice rings true

I should put on some music to block out all my own pains.

 

I too miss people who were once in my life.some passed.some just extinct. I too had been too busy caretaking my own family.my mother too. I was stopped one day. I have not replenished the support system either. They say to but....as anyone leaves any group they were relying on...I have left many groups that had to do with my children....as they grew older.they did other activities.....I was that band mom or dance mom.....then caretaking my mother....and my own group for me was going back to school but I was old.not a college age first timer. There are few of us but we are there. But where? I was so alone. So I get this lonliness

 

It is non existence but yet does exist. It feels.

If only I could show you lists of people you have comforted and that your life has mattered to and for. 

Maybe reminding you is enough but never to scold for needing a reminder.

 

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Sue :

 

you write so beautifully. reading your blogs reminds me that we all will face similar situation  or know someone who might be going through that. I feel in the end all we have in this life is just ourselves , so need to become self reliant & independent. I know its hard thing & I just shiver thinking about it.

 

I wish you lived closer since I ache for having meaningful friends I can count on.

 

Asha

 

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Sue your writings are so relatable for so many and yes I agree so much that you are a HUGE support on this site. I hear you. I'm a bit different but still the same in a way. I have spent the whole of my life doing for others. It has given me much pleasure many times. However, even though I'm younger I am sort of alone. I mean I have my family somewhat near. My daughter lives about an hour away. I live with my dad and stepmom. So there are plenty of people around me. Yet I am still alone. I do this to myself in many ways...the stroke has left me very anti social. I miss companionship and friendship though. I don't like the quiet either. You know the time when you can hear all the other stuff happening around, sounds that make you nervous, or even my own thoughts are loud and intrusive. I turn on a fan at night just for the sound. I miss talking to friends, making plans with my friend, supporting each other as friends, sharing lots of things. I also miss having the company of another. (Relationship, love, companionship) I miss the quiet times when I used to not need a fan to fill up. The closeness of another. The ability to not hear as much on the outside, moving around me, living around me, doing things around me. Not that they were not there but silence is quieter when there is no one there to be in it with you. Sometimes I really feel this way when I am driving too. I have a Bluetooth speakerphone in my car and I find myself dialing my friend, my family, my daughter, my mom (I feel like I drive her crazy. I call her every day sometimes several times in a day. I even called her in the dead of night to tell her I was throwing up just because I needed to hear her...talk to her. It's such a double edged sword for me...I long for another yet I also am flooded with overstimulation around another...I miss companionship but I don't want to be around people many times...I long to spend time with another and yet doing so drains me from neurofatigue. I don't find solace. I am so glad that I have comradery here. It is one way I can fill those moments like the fan. As far as needing help...I do need help at times...I thankfully can usually get that help but I am aware that the longer I am needing the less my chances are to receive. It's knowledge I wish I was unaware of in a way. I'm not ready to think about it. I know this time must be hard for you. I am here as your friend...anytime you need. God bless.

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Thanks Tracy, our journeys are very different but we have a lot in common. I have just heard my next door neighbor come home. We don't speak often but I like to know he is there. I am out and about a lot of the time but still feel I am stepping into an empty shell when I come home. But I am used to it now.

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Sue my aunty and uncle in law have moved to a retirement center in Perth. 

They love it.

In saying that,  you are the only one who knows what the right place to live is.

We can be surrounded by people and still be lonely. 

I'm just so very glad you can open up to everyone here.

You are never alone here. 

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