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filling in time



Sometimes I have too much time to think. Then I go out somewhere to fill in time, the stores, the seaside, a park where I can sit in the sun. It is not ideal but I am finding at my age that I can't just ring a friend and pop over any more. I just rang one who was supposed to go to an craft evening with me tonight and she said: "We have visitors, I'll call you back later." and I could hear her husband's voice in the background and knew that it was a "couples afternoon", something I no longer have. I know I should not be envious but just for an instant I am. I am learning that this is okay as long as I can shrug it off and not hold onto the sentiment for too long.


I am hoping the worst of the grief is over now. I still hit something that makes me cry sometimes. When someone you love dies there seems to be a lot of loose ends, a lot of unfinished business and somehow that all has a negative impact. There are memories that send you over the edge, that photo of a place you once loved and will never go again because it was for you and him, not just for you, the phone call that you initiate that ends suddenly, when the "couple friend" hears her husband and says she has to go and of course you have no-one so that is a sad echo. Okay, most of the time I am fine on my own and sometimes I am not.


Last official day of autumn (fall) for us today. We have just had a warm May after a fairly cool April. Crazy weather. I am doing the last of the gardening, potting up so that in Spring there is room for growth. That is what I am looking for myself now a settled period and hopefully a burst of growth in Spring. Winter because we can be shut inside because of bad weather has extra thinking time. I will try to be positive instead of negative in what I think. I will try to get some semblance of routine going without it becoming too inflexible. I need time to do some spur-of-the-moment stuff as well as before Ray's passing I could not do that.


I still say "us" and "we", sometimes I correct myself and say "sorry that should be I" and sometimes I don't. It is not important, I just still think in terms of us and we, the habit of 44 years dies hard. I do know I am "me" but really still do not know who that person is. I told an old friend today that I feel as if I am just wandering through my life. Sure I have things to do but that is just some of the time, the rest of the time still seems empty. I can fill some of it with the usual, craft, reading, watching television, coming onto the computer but at the end of the day I would like to know I have done something worthwhile with my time, not just filled in the hours.


At the back of my mind I still feel as if both Mum and Ray should have part of my time. I think because their deaths came close together it impacted more on my life than if they had died two years apart so I could have got over one death before encountering another. I now understand why some people who are widowed or divorced quickly look around for another partner, another family to fill the gaping hole that has suddenly appeared in the middle of their life.It is not a good idea, we need to be whole people before we can join ourselves to another, but I do understand that for some people being alone is not what they want to be so they avoid it by introducing new people into their lives, to fill up the gap,


I filled the gap last year by planning the trip to England. That filled six weeks of the boring time of winter. It was a grand plan but not something I could afford to do every year. That is another thing widows do here, go travelling. Some just between family members, others go jaunting across Europe, off to Canada and the USA,or to other to places you've never heard of, remote tropical islands and tours into the depths of Russia or China. All to fill in the gap that a bereavement leaves and somehow make life feel okay for them again. They brightly say: "I am okay, I am off to Europe next week." and that fills in an awkward moment for them.


I wish I could find something really fulfilling to do. I know there is a lot of call for volunteers in nursing homes, child care, churches and charities, I will probably volunteer more next year. I know there are groups I could join or run come to that. I know a couple of friends keep asking me when am I going to start using some of my talents again? That throws me a bit because as a married woman I always had the excuse if I wanted it: "Family times takes up most of my spare time so I have limited time available to volunteer" and let's face it I no longer have that excuse. What I do have is time on my hands that I have not yet found a use for. I am sure that will come as time passes. In widowhood it is still early days yet.


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sometimes - we are not looking for "work" per say , but a friend to share time with.. and as you know with caring for your loved one takes up most of your time, but still the "hole" exists.. and now with Ray being gone - so much more time and wouldn't it be nice to just have a friend you can talk to… do lunch on a whim, go shopping with . not really they have all moved on in life. and we stroke spouse or widow (ers) are not part of the equation anymore...

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Some of us can't think very well so you are ahead of me and probably a few others too so be glad you are OK!!

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sue didn't you do some work for your church? maybe when you're ready you could do one of their benefits,choir or luncheons. do you have some day bus trips to some place you'd like to see that doesn't cost too much like they do here?thinkin of you blessing lynn



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Hello Sue, I al ways enoy your blogs. Make's me think. I understand about volunteering, and getting joy and fulfilling. I loved helping building house's, I got great joy helping a single mother having a home, wonderful feeling. Now, my brain moves too slow, the building site are far away from where I live, I don't drive so how am I going to get there? I need to do something, right?


Take care Sue, sending blessing and prayers your way.



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Sue: you are entering your winter and like you say, lots more time inside due to weather.


Maybe right now, all those activities that you were comfortable with for all those years just bring back too many memories: where was Ray, medically at that time or even Mum. And those connections are just too painful right now. Or maybe those activities just don't call to you anymore.


Maybe take some time to Web browse this winter, talk to fellow Church people. See what else is around - local schools, maybe a university or community college that is close. You are near the beach, see what is around: Beach clubs, Sailing lessons, swimming lessons. Check out the humane society. Things that you haven't touched on yet. Personal shopper? I remember when Brittany was floundering after College and before Izabella. She found an Audubon Society close to her beach while she was walking. Went in and talked to them. She has volunteered for them for years, absolutely loves it. That is what I am hoping for you.


And maybe consider starting some inside gardens to give you some life and spirit over the winter - small herb garden and maybe some bulbs you can force. Hugs always. Debbie

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