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Old 06-26-2016, 08:32 PM
 
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Earlier this month, I marked the 18 month anniversary of my husband's death. I have done some major things since he died (moving across the country, etc.) but haven't really done the internal work of rebuilding my every day life. So since that anniversary, I have been thinking about what I can do to actually enjoy life again. I know that the timing of this is different for everyone, but it seems that my time is now. So I am going to look into some programs in Life Long Learning in my area; see if I can get out and learn some things, meet some people. I also feel that I must take a stab at traveling, even if it is just a little. I have been really afraid of vacationing by myself. (Not traveling by myself. I can get on a plane and go somewhere, but I just don't know how to relax and enjoy myself when I am without my husband.) So I set on figuring that out, too. So for all of us who have been grieving, are others out there feeling ready to rebuild?

My husband was very clear with me; after his death, he wanted me to make my own life and enjoy it. I think he had no idea how long I would be grieving, as he had little experience with it. But I know he didn't want me to grieve forever. So I think he is with me on this. I want to make of my life something that is worthy of the great man I loved.
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Old 06-27-2016, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Arizona
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I KNOW he is with you on this.

Lifelong Learning is great. Meet people, develop a new interest or two. I've been going for years.
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Old 06-27-2016, 01:01 PM
 
Location: In a house
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Oh I sure can relate as I too am looking for some answers. Its been 2 years in Sept since my Dh's passing and I am desperate to move ahead with my life--not with another man but just trying to find me and who I am now. I've been told I'm doing great but I don't feel like it. I feel as lost as the day my husband passed away although I have made some strides my insides are very lost still. When you figure this out please share it here.
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Old 06-27-2016, 06:21 PM
 
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I have read many books about being a widow. Some are practical, like how to manage money, some are useful and others are not. I did run across a couple that really reflected just what I was feeling and what my process was. Those were very affirming. But I no longer need to be validated that my grieving has been appropriate, or that I am not the only one who has felt this way. So lately I have felt that I have outgrown this type of book. So I started looking for one that would address how to move on from grieving. I did run across a couple of marginal ones and one real clinker, but I found one that I have been using and was pretty useful to me. It is Second Firsts: Live, Laugh, and Love Again by Christina Rasmussen. I have been doing the exercises in it, and I think it has helped me to start looking at my life differently, and I am going to start doing some of the things the author refers to as "plug-ins," as in plugging back in to life. One area that doesn't quite get it right is the dating thing. The author was in her 40s when she lost her husband, and I think that is very different from being in your mid-60s. But regardless, there are lots of good things to think about. I think the more you consider moving into a new life, the more you get used to the idea. I'm not saying I'm there yet - I'm just at the beginning of this exploration. But I thought I would just mention this book, which seems helpful.
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Old 06-27-2016, 09:35 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
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It has been eight years since my wife passed and I'm reasonably happy with my new life. Once I learned that I could make friends on my own I found it easier to move forward. I learned to say "Yes" instead of "No" to social invitations or suggestions. That opened a lot of options.


Do you have a friend who could become a travelling companion? One stumbling block for solo travel is the extra cost for a single supplement. A travelling companion can ease the cost burden. I enjoy solo train trips and have met some very interesting people along the way. Sometimes it is better to go it alone since you can do as you please and don't have to meet someone else's expectations or schedule. We may not pass this way again so take the time to do as you please.


You say you moved across the country. I did that as well and it opened up a different world of things to see, day trips, and new experiences. I'm enrolled in Senior OASIS classes, which usually cost $8 and the topics are widely varied. I'm not Italian but I play bocce with the local Italian-American club and they are a caring bunch of people and I'm even learning a little more Italian. I've become a writer and combined that with my photography hobby and enjoy being creative. I need to be more physically active and I'm working on that....within reason.


Online dating was a fiasco but I learned something about myself. We probably only find one soul-mate in our lives so I'm happy with just being friends with people. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Two steps forward and one step back is a dance we all do but it is still progress.
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Old 06-28-2016, 08:18 AM
 
Location: In a house
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G Grasshopper, You sound so much like me.....I am approaching the 2 year date of losing my husband. I go to therapy, got a part time job to help feed my pets and to get out of the house to be around other people. I joined a church.....I have done everything that I thought would help with the healing but I still feel very lost and alone. I know I am better and not in the grieving for the loss of my husband as much as in the beginning although I miss him dearly but grieving not knowing who I am or where I am headed. It's very scary when you have always been with someone. I am going to look into that book....I am also in my 60's and not looking at dating as much as just having friends. Thank you for the book information!
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Old 06-28-2016, 04:36 PM
 
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Cyn,
I did go to therapy and a support group. But then I moved from Texas to California and didn't start again. I was thinking of finding someplace to start counseling or support again. But then I started thinking on this theme of regaining my life, so I am going to go with that for a while. I agree, it is so hard to think of yourself in terms of one and not just the remaining half of a couple. So what am I interested in and what do I want to do? I just stopped in this morning to the office our our local community college's emeritus program. They have lots of "clubs" and discussions, as well as classes that are offered to seniors. There is also OLLI, which is Osher Lifelong Learning. I'm going to check them out next week. They also have lectures, classes, clubs and discussion groups. They are more expensive than the one at the community college. So I have to spend some time figuring that out. More than figuring out the programs, I have to figure out what I WANT. This has been a problem for me. For months after my husband died, I didn't even know what I liked or wanted to eat, much less what my "new" life was about. Then for a year I was really involved in moving (packing, selling my house, buying a house, moving in, making changes, arranging things.) But that is winding down, and I know I have to start deciding what is next. I know there is no rush here, but I do feel some urgency to get the ball rolling. I do work a little (just about 4 hours a week) and I go to church, go to pool exercise twice a week, and I have a 7 month old puppy, etc. But in between I have been watching TV. To me, that means I am just spending time there, trying to avoid the reality of where I am in life. So, its time to make some positive moves - whatever those are!
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Old 06-29-2016, 06:18 AM
 
Location: Columbia SC
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What to say. Other than missing her very much (been 7 months), my life has pretty much stayed the same in many respects. My main social life evolved around playing golf, drinks, lunch 2-4 times per week with my golfing buddies and that has stayed the same.

Some random thoughts:

My wife had lung cancer and it took 5 years to take its toll. She was rarely ever in pain nor sick. The last few months she was weak and tired. I say this as the 5 years gave us time to talk and make arrangements (which included a relocation closer to family) so the end did not come as a shock. We were as prepared as we could be.

I find the freedom to come and go as I please is nice though I would rather still have her.

If I dwell on things like typing this post, my eyes swell up so candidly, I try not to dwell on things.

I try and keep busy like no grocery list. If I need something I go and get it thus I rarely spend a day in the house. I am out and about all the time.

One thing is people rally around you at death and shortly thereafter, but in a few months they are back at their normal routines and not following up with you as much. Natural as we all have lives to live.

I am fortunate in that money is not a major issue so my lifestyle has not had to change.

I have learned that men are quicker to replace a loved one than women are. Someone once said, women grieve and men replace. Not uncommon to see a woman who has not dated in years whereas men are usually doing so less than a year later. I also find that woman go for counseling in one form or another (like grief counseling groups) whereas men go it alone.

I find myself wanting a woman in my life more everyday and I admit the physical part is important to me. I am at the point I am deciding do I want a "lady friend" (as in an exclusive relationship) or a nice F Buddy. I do know I do not want a livein lady friend nor do I ever intend on remarrying but yet I want a woman in my life thus my quandry.
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Old 07-01-2016, 12:47 PM
 
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JohnGolf: I may be misinterpreting your post, but it doesn't sound like you are having to rebuild your life at all. It sounds as though your routine has changed little since the death of your wife. My original post is about trying to rebuild who you are and what you want, since the death of a much beloved spouse has dislocated your identity and shaken your world to the point of confusion and being "lost." This does not seem to be the case with you. You seem to have not missed a beat with your golf game. When my husband died, I also had almost 4 years of warning. But his loss shook me to the core and it was deeply shocking to me. I have always said that you can prepare financially and logistically, but you can't prepare emotionally. I guess you are an exception to that idea.

I know everyone is different, but I have to say that your post was the kind that gives pause to widows like me. You seem to buy into the idea that your wife can be "replaced" and that you are not interested in emotional connection or having a partner, but mostly in answering your "physical" needs. I'm sure you will be able to find that.
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Old 07-02-2016, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Columbia SC
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G Grass

Having had 5 years before the inevitable happened gave us the time to talk and prepare. My wife was adamant that my life go on. Why? Because her love for me wanted the best for me as I would want for her. She would be "pissed" if I was down in the dumps and unable to carry on.
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