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Old 02-15-2013, 06:00 AM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
4,166 posts, read 5,179,672 times
Reputation: 3514

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It takes a lot of work and effort to form a brand new identity when we lose our husband or wife. Don't you think?...In my case I lost my husband and both of my grown "kids" too...Who am I without my family? And who do I want to be when my grief subsides and I venture out into the world on my "own" a little more?...Sometimes I wonder if guilt holds me back. Or fear of the "unknown."...I know I can't stay "frozen in time" or "frozen in the past" forever and ever...My husband and sons wouldn't want me to "play dead" too. I know they'd want me to make the "most" of my life while I'm still here...So I'm going to work on forming a brand new identity every day...Maybe we can talk about who we want to be (someday) in this thread. What do you think? Thanks!
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Olympia, WA
363 posts, read 405,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CArizona View Post
It takes a lot of work and effort to form a brand new identity when we lose our husband or wife. Don't you think?...In my case I lost my husband and both of my grown "kids" too...Who am I without my family? And who do I want to be when my grief subsides and I venture out into the world on my "own" a little more?...Sometimes I wonder if guilt holds me back. Or fear of the "unknown."...I know I can't stay "frozen in time" or "frozen in the past" forever and ever...My husband and sons wouldn't want me to "play dead" too. I know they'd want me to make the "most" of my life while I'm still here...So I'm going to work on forming a brand new identity every day...Maybe we can talk about who we want to be (someday) in this thread. What do you think? Thanks!
I think it's a great subject CA. I know I am now just a fraction of the person I used to be. I feel so alone. Other than church and work, I pretty much am a homebody. I like that, most of the time, but I long to go out to dinner, go to a movie, a country drive....and not by myself. I think a man's companionship would be good. I think when the time is right, someone will come into my life.

In the meantime, I think I have to learn how to be happy alone. Again, that is fine most of the time, but there is the occasional time when I would like to get out. I think part of my problem is that it has been over 6 years since Jim was able to go and do. So for me, it's not like I haven't been able to get out for just the 9 months since he died. It's been years.....and I am tired of being sad, staying home, and not getting on with living. I want to have fun!

So if I reinvented myself, it would be to be a happier person, alive, enthusiastic! I hope that for myself someday.

tngirl
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Windham County, VT
10,544 posts, read 4,683,101 times
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My mother was a well-known person in the small town where I grew up.
When she died (we'd moved away by then, but people there still remembered her), that was loss of aspect of my identity.
I used to be able to say "I'm ____-you know, ____'s daughter"-and that meant something (we weren't rich or powerful, just that my mother was the town's "head librarian").

Then I got married, and my husband had, shall we call it an "outsized personality".
His reputation preceded him, but that did give me some sense of identity, bc. I was "_____'s spouse"-and I valued that (being socially awkward myself, I wasn't well-known alone).
I appreciated being covered by his umbrella of protection, such as it was (that's probably not P.C. of me to admit).

Then we got divorced, he moved away, and once more I was w/o a role, belonging to nobody (I don't mean that in an ownership sense, but in an "integral part of a group/couple" sense).
That was a decade ago, am still working on, working up to, finding/expressing a self out in the world (am an introvert with interpersonal difficulties)-but I do have professional help (therapists), thank goodness.
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:32 AM
 
Location: 900 miles from my home in 80814
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My mom was well known in the cartoonist circles (she was humor editor of a national magazine), so I could say "I'm so-and-so's daughter". Then, I married my college sweetheart and we moved to a tiny town in Colorado where he became one of three lawyers in that town in 1983. We lived there until he died in 2009. By then, the town had tripled in population, and several more attorney's moved up there, but he was the "founding father" and every business owner and resident knew him. I was "so-and-so's wife". I loved it. After he died, I couldn't afford to stay in the house we'd had, so I sold it and moved to what was supposed to be our retirement condo where I didn't know a soul. I had to start out on my own as a nobody amidst a bunch of snowbirds in my condo complex who leave town in April. Then, I'm truly alone as the few full time residents aren't very social, and the snowbirds rent out their places in the summer, so there are a lot of temporary residents. It's really hard. I do some volunteering, and do some legal research work from home, so I'm home and alone 99% of the time.

I'm not interested in a romantic relationship, or dating, or remarrying. I'd love to have a couple of close girlfriends, but the women here my age are married, so we're good for lunch or coffee, but not for evening activities. I'd like to have a brother/good friend relationship with a guy so I could go out to dinner or a movie, show or museum, but there's no one like that here and I'm too introverted to go to those places on my own. For now, a book or a TV show are my entertainment. I have a feeling that's how it's always going to be...
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:00 AM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
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tngirl...You were a caretaker for a long time... I can relate. Basically I put myself on the "back-burner" when my son was fighting brain tumors.. Looking back it seems like I was in "limbo" for a long time. And now I'm not supposed to be in "limbo" anymore but as you know it takes time to adjust and work through grief and decide what to do next...After my husband died my son was right by my side...We had fun together. He enjoyed spending time with me and vica-versa...It was devastating when he developed serious health problems too...Anyway I hope we both find people to get out with at times who "fit" us and share our interests...I tend to be a homebody too and more of a loner. But sometimes I need a little "more" too. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:15 AM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
4,166 posts, read 5,179,672 times
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Marcy...I can relate to your circumstances. I have acquaintances and casual friends in this area but no close-close friends...My few close friends live in other places...I like what you wrote about having a brother/close friend relationship with a man. (With no hint or promise of future romance.)...I do okay by myself most of the time. I was an only child and learned to amuse myself when I was growing-up...But sometimes we just need a little "more."...Sorry you had to move after your husband passed away.
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:27 AM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
4,166 posts, read 5,179,672 times
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cloven...Nearly everyone I know in real-life is still married...I'm the only widow among my circle of friends. So I can relate to what you wrote about the "group/couple" dynamic...Everyone has been nice to me but sometimes I've felt like a "leper" or ??...I don't exactly "fit-in" anymore. I've lost my place and position in the scheme of things...Nobody knows what to "do" with me and I don't always know what to "do" with myself either...But like you I'm "trying." Eventually I'll carve out a new niche and identity for myself...Good luck to you!
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Olympia, WA
363 posts, read 405,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CArizona View Post
cloven...Nearly everyone I know in real-life is still married...I'm the only widow among my circle of friends. So I can relate to what you wrote about the "group/couple" dynamic...Everyone has been nice to me but sometimes I've felt like a "leper" or ??...I don't exactly "fit-in" anymore. I've lost my place and position in the scheme of things...Nobody knows what to "do" with me and I don't always know what to "do" with myself either...But like you I'm "trying." Eventually I'll carve out a new niche and identity for myself...Good luck to you!
CA, I am the same way. We only lived here in TN for one year before he really became disabled and unable to get out. So for the most part here in TN, I was the caretaker/homebody....and we didn't socialize with other couples. Where I work is in another county, 30 miles away, so other than "work acquaintances," I don't have any friends there.

I do remain friends with a girlfriend from that county, as well as with my former across-the-street neighbor. You know, if I may interject this...concerning my "adopted family"....these people are the most wonderful people you would want to know, but they all have busy lives. I thought that by living just 2 houses away, we would see each other/visit in our homes. No, I only see them at church. And for yearly get-togethers (July 4th, Christmas, etc). I really shouldn't "complain," it is very selfish of me to think this way. The kids don't come to visit like they used to when Jim was alive. That just goes to show you how busy lives tend to put the "simple things" on the back burner.

So, I have 2 really good girlfriends to do things with, and that is ok for now. I appreciate their love and friendship. My best friend lives in WA state, she was a former neighbor of ours when we lived there.

But like you, I'll make it! I know I am changing and evolving and it's an on-going process!

tngirl
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:59 PM
 
Location: SWFL
21,463 posts, read 18,167,629 times
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I'm like you, Marcy. Don't care if I ever get married again or not. I got over my "not by myself" phobia and now can do and enjoy whatever I care to do. I'm not even missing my house or old neighborhood! I don't think I need to re-invent myself. I like me. I like being comfy in my own home. I feel very close to Earl being in this house and it seems to comfort me most of the time.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:45 PM
 
Location: 900 miles from my home in 80814
4,670 posts, read 6,747,013 times
Reputation: 7083
CA~~I was an only child, too. Mom and Dad died in 1989 months apart~~Mom first, dad 8 months later of a broken heart. I've had to "amuse" myself all my life, so this is nothing new. I don't like it, but I'm used to it. Many moves as a kid because of Dad's work, so I was the New Kid on the Block a lot, and I learned to make friends. Selling the house and moving from my home of 35 years after Bob died, was just another case of being new in school, so to speak. My natural instinct is to be a hermit, so making friends isn't easy for me, but I know I can't stay hidden away in my home for the rest of my life.

Our condo complex had a "Happy Hour" today for snowbirds and year 'rounds, so I went. There were about 30 people there (not many considering we have over 250 condos). I met some nice ladies and one is a widow, too. She's part time here, part time in Seattle, but we agreed we'd like to have lunch or coffee together. Her husband died of cancer 7 years ago. She's like me, no interest in a romance or relationship, but does want friends to lunch with, or meet for coffee. That's where I am, too. We exchanged numbers and email addys. I hope we can go for lunch while she's here.
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