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lonely thoughts on a blustery day


swilkinson

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I spend a lot of time sitting here at the computer feeling lonely. Well nothing new about that, I've been doing that for the past two years since Ray went into the hospital then the nursing home and more so since he died last September. I am just more lonely now as the truth that he is NEVER coming back bites. He is NEVER coming back. He is not gone for a while, for a week, a month or a year. He is gone FOREVER.

 

In a way it is worse since I came back from England. For one thing there is no-one to tell about the six weeks I was there. I can talk to the kids but 20 minutes and their eyes glaze over. I have just got the photos, Trevor downloaded them for me, and now I can see the trip all over again. I am not a good photographer. I just take photos of things that take my fancy, seem unusual or peak my interest. I also take lots of photos of plants, trees, gardens, individual flowers in the hope that it will inspire me to emulate the great gardens of Enlgand! As if that is going to happen. But at least I have the photos if not the reality. And come Spring I will work on a new plan for the garden. Who said a change is as good as a holiday? Wrong. But it is good to feel in control by making the changes yourself, to your own plan.

 

Loneliness is reality we all have to live with. I can put off the loneliness while I am in company, working in the garden, volunteering, mixing with friends and family but sooner or later I come back home and there it is again. I can go out and visit with our remaining friends, lapping up the company, enjoying the interaction, but sooner or later I have to walk back in the door alone. I know now why people have a houseful of cats or dogs or birds, it is to have someone greet you when you get home. It is so you step into the noise of companionship rather than the silence of aloneness that is so hard to take.

 

It is the season for going around Australia here so a lot of my pleasant acquaintances that I count as friends are still away. We Aussies flee the winter, the blustery days like today. A lot of Australians go off overseas to avoid the desolation of winter. The retired couples go around Australia in their campervans and set up a temporary home in a more tropical climate, coming back about October when it is warm here again. I know there is the telephone but these days when most people have a mobile (cell phone) I am in contact with so few of them. Though I do see their happy camping photos on Facebook.

 

Do I feel envy? Yes I do feel sometimes that life has somehow cheated me of our planned " happy retirement". Once Ray and I would had planned to do that trip as part of our retirement. Now I cannot do it alone. At 66 it is too late to make up for the years Ray and I lost due to his many strokes. It is unrealistic to expect that I can replace them. Even if Ray had lived his invalidity would have prevented that happening. Do I feel robbed? Yes I do. And yet I have so much to be thankful for and I know that somehow I have to lean toward the thankful side to rebalance my life again.

 

My family are busy with their own lives and that is the way it should be. Ray and I went through our married life hardly aware sometimes of the loneliness of our ageing parents. When we lived at a distance I rang once a week, sent letters and cards, we rarely visited them using the excuse that they had each other for company and their own lives to live. I think if I had known how lonely the nest can be once the fledglings have gone I might have been a little more attentive, maybe visited more often. But you cannot live life backwards. What is the solution? Who knows? Maybe there is something in treating others the way you would like to be treated?

 

What is the formula for getting over the death of a spouse? Are there ten step programs to follow? My remaining friends say: "Keep busy". I do keep busy but life is somewhat hollow. I could be the perfect housewife (unlikely in one with a personality like mine), take up good works (costs money to travel out each day to do whatever is considered a good work these days) or take up some new hobbies like music or painting. My Mum painted in her middle years. She wasn't bad at it and I have some of her paintings hanging on my walls. I'm guessing she did it to fill in the time. She also kept a good garden, flowers and vegetables which is probably why I like to keep a garden too. She corresponded with a lot of people, I do emails and Facebook. She belonged to some organisations and made a contribution to them, just as I do in a different way. I guess there is a pattern to life, if we can't find one of our own we follow in our parents footsteps.

 

It is eleven months now since Ray died. I am slowly making the house my own. I am trying to make my life my own. I have a long way to go but at least I am making an attempt at it. I am trying not to dwell on past dreams, what might have been. I try to live in a way that I can be reasonably busy, so that I can handle the loneliness. Some days it is just right at the edge of my mind, my day filled with enough activitiy to hold the loneliness at bay. Other days, like today it is waiting at the bedside so my eyes open and there it is.

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Sue: I really only have my Mom to go by. We lost Dad when he was 55. The babies were 15. Having to support 4 children still at home, certainly kept her busy. But honey, I don't think she ever got over losing my Dad.

 

She relocated to Florida with her brother and sister and even with their support, she always seemed so sad. She finished her college degree, became a Deacon in her church, worked part time.

 

I was always so pleased that she finally found herself, was able to focus on something for her. My Aunt always said, out of 10 children, she had the most potential, but was second to last, so there was no money. Then the War, marrying late, seven children.

 

But I know she missed her best friend. She could share with family, but not the same as her "John."

 

I don't know if the hole will always be there. Somehow, at least for you, I think so. But I do know Ray's love for you and his family is there. Anything you do or accomplish would make him proud. I think with a true Life Partner as much as you did what was best for him, he would want that for you. He chose you to be the Mother of his children - what greater gift than that. What a precious treasure. And now, his Grandchildren.

 

You will find your joy - what makes your heart sing and you will know that Ray is also smiling. Because he only ever wanted his Sue to sing. Debbie

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My Bob used to travel internationally. I figured he would be one of those guys that suddenly dropped dead without any warning, around 65. He would be gone, sometimes a month at a time. I would think to myself, "I'll be ok when he dies, I'm so used to being alone now, that it won't feel much different". But.... when he had his terrible stroke and I thought it might die, no.... it was nothing like that. I'm sorry for how much this hurts.

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Oh Sue, I truly feel your loss and pain. There is a loneliness that can't be described. Like you, I'm staying busy; but eventually I sit down in my own house and listen to the emptiness. There's a difference between listening to the quiet and listening to the emptiness. I'm only two months into being without Dan, it's so very hard to imagine the rest of my life without him. For whatever reason, this is God's plan and I know that we will get through it somehow.

 

Peace and Blessings to you Sue.

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Well Sue, you got lots of memories of you and Ray over the years. He was a real survivor of strokes and all the hospitalizations he had. It doesn't seem like almost a year since he passed. Perhaps you two shall meet again in the new spiritual life in the Heavens above.

 

You are going to make it through this life, you are strong hearted and mind and when you put your mind to it that makes a reality for you. We all must travel that route one day!

 

 

I have those lonely thoughts now with my wife at work all day. Then this morning she asked me "when can she quit working?" She has been telling me not until she is 70 and been in banking since high school and 18 years old. So at 61 this year last month she has 9 more years for sure.

 

If she did stop working she would drive me crazy around the house and the dog too! She's not ready for daily Bingo and there are a hundred places to play daily 7 days a week! With our Asian and military populations in town that's a money maker for the city.

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Sue, I know exactly how you feel. My beloved died a year ago May and left a big emptiness in his place. I have a cat - she is my whole family. Being disabled means I don't go places (shopping once a week doesn't count) if there were places to go and besides, there's no one to go with. No one calls or visits so, I am alone 99% of the time. TG for a computer. I have had to make changes in my home, life, and thinking but, really I'm just existing - not living. It get very lonely and depressing. Good luck to you. I hope you find your way out of your loneliness.

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OH the loneliness - even though i have a big active family ( and i realize how fortunate i am) i do feel the loss of Dan -- not that he is gone of course, but its not the same... but i also know if i lost him now - i would mourn much more than i would expect ( or others would expect) our life together has been a tough one.. but because it is tough, we became strong.... which means others just figure - oh ( so- and so-) is so tough they are fine... not really we just know how to make it look fine.. and Sue i am sure you have been the master at "fine" --- but now is time to just let it all go - cry , wail, scream -- this is unfair .... you have been the pillar of strength it is OK for the rest of the world to see your pain...

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