the third draft
I have finally ( I think) found a more peaceful place. I went to the old support group at Mum's nursing home and spoke about beng a widow and did not cry. I think that is progress. I think going to the grief counselling has really helped. I can now articulate what I feel and not get choked up. It was good to experience that today. One dear lady whose husband died about the same time as Ray still sits with a handkerchief to her face and cries for the hour. She is older and is lost without him. Her family want her to sell her house and move closer to them and she is so sad about that, but feels she has to do what they want her to in order to get their support.
I am finding it easier to take whatever invitations come my way so I have had a few meals out lately, mainly lunches out with other widows of which there are plenty in my church. This has given me the means of forming a new friendship base. I don't think it is a sign that my life is improving so much as it is a sign I am getting stronger, more able to cope. I am crying less and less things seem to trigger the tears now thank goodness.
I think the grief counselling is helping me to sort my life out more easily also. I can "see" something plainer when someone else puts it into words for me. On my own it is very easy for me to get stuck on one particular item and not move on. And I think this stage of my grief is about slowly edging forward. The direction is still hazy. I know there are still many things I would like to do. I should maybe write a list, put it somewhere safe and look at it in six months time when I might be strong enough to start setting goals.
I am starting to claim back my place in the house. Ray left from here in June 2011 to go into hospital, came home for a day in August 2011, fell down, I called the ambulance and after a lengthy examination he was taken back into hospital and some weeks later transferred into a nursing home. He died on 19th September 2012. That means I have been on my own here coming up for two years in June so it is not just six months ago as it would have been had he been home here when he died. I still miss Ray terribly but I am not so wishing for our life together to continue, certainly not the way it was in the last few months of his life.
It is hard to make changes. I go shopping for new curtains and come back empty handed. I do not really want to make changes, this is "our home". It is the house that Ray built onto three times. Our children were not raised here as we were away in the country for 10 1/2 years but this is the house we extended to fit in three teenagers. This is the place they went from when they got married. It is special to me. The furniture was adapted to suit Ray, so he could come home in a wheelchair. The furniture was moved to accommodate the wheelchair so I guess I could decide whether I want to make some changes to the way things are arranged. But basically I love this place which was home to Ray and Sue and the kids.
Some days I still feel sad, abandoned and bereft, that is inevitable. I know life as I had known it for more than 44 years ended when Ray died. But some days I feel more energised than I have for a while and that is a good thing. I just have to try and look for the positives in life. I have to somehow make sense of those 44 years, remember the good times, downplay the bad times. I need to get some perspective on what being "Sue alone" means. I have become a member of a site for widow and widowers and that is helping. I know that when I feel..... that is normal at this stage of my bereavement. It has taken a while to get to this point though.
It was six months yesterday since Ray died, four months today since Mum died. I have only just come to the realisation, six months out, that the past cannot dictate the future. I cannot live in the past, it is gone. I love my husband and always will but to sit here saying I cannot do a thing because Ray would not like it is ludicrous. If I don't do it and do say it is because I don't want to then that is more honest and I need to say that.
There are some great people on here and I will be staying for a while longer but one day it will be time to move on. As you all know I love the Blog Community and have learned so much from you all. Sometimes I need to read through the blog a few times to see all it has to offer. I love Asha's blog and the blogs of the caregivers who meet in chat and have become such a big part of my world. I really wish I knew how to let everyone know what a wonderful relief it is to chat to someone who REALLY understands what you are talking about and yes, can tell them all the facts, pleasant and gross, without them leaving the room.
You are all a part of the best site on the web, no false modesty needed, Strokenet rocks! It has helped me so much to make sense of my world pre-stroke, during the stroke journey and now that that journey is completed. It is good that others can have imput into our lives, that strengthens us. But ultimately we have to live it out ourselves and that can be lonely.