Jump to content
Cookie

Stranger in a strange land....

Recommended Posts

On ‎4‎.‎11‎.‎2017 at 10:08 PM, TomPB said:

A little later I was having lunch with a group including an old friend who was going on and on about what he and his wife, also named Susan, were planning. I was sinking deeper and deeper and finally threw a $20 bill on the table and walked away. I even cancelled a sailing trip when my friend said he'd have to bring his partner. VERY hard.

That´s what the pain does to me.I´ve got the 4 best friends of mine in my life by now,but lately I prefer a company of the 2 of them the more,as they both live alone and have no family anymore,that makes them two more comfortable company for me sometimes.Talking about doing things with a partner and telling me how they look forward to a vacation,Christmas or anything else makes me feel as if I was the loneliest person on the earth at that moment.It´s very hard.

Hugs from Janka

11891336_810851402365334_1491807984_n.png.95dd074bdaacca09c4c8d75fe002dfee.png

 

 

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're right, Janka, about feeling like the loneliest person on earth.  I look at all the people around me and wonder.....who are they talking on thier phones?  Who are they going home to?  I know what awaits me here.....silence and loneliness.  Seeing all the holiday stuff appearing really drives it home.  I reallly only connect with one other widow I know.  The people I know that live alone always have.  They aren't in adjustment mode.  I wish I had back that glorious feeling I took for granted there was one person in the world who truly loved me and what I did mattered.  I want to feel that way to him too.  The times I get very forlorn I yearn for my mother, to hear her voice, but she is gone too.  I've gotten close to very few people since Steve died and one died recently.  There are people I talk to being at the nursing home, but they all have family.  They'll ask me what I am going to do with the holidays approach and what can I Say?   Every day just blends into another.  There are no special days anymore for me and that kinda of planning.  I know I am being redundant, but I get up and dressed everyday and then it hits me.  Why?

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Gwenivere said:

You're right, Janka, about feeling like the loneliest person on earth.  I look at all the people around me and wonder.....who are they talking on thier phones?  Who are they going home to?  I know what awaits me here.....silence and loneliness.  Seeing all the holiday stuff appearing really drives it home.  I reallly only connect with one other widow I know.  The people I know that live alone always have.  They aren't in adjustment mode.

Dear Gwen!

I´ve changed this way.Anytime I´m in the better mode and I talk with someone feeling the worse,I notice the person all the more,because it reminds me the way I felt many times before.Happy people like forgetting the bad things and try to avoid the sad persons,except us who have been going through this so long and suffering so much...

Send you many hugs!
 

5a0fa81141e74_Hug2.gif.2ce5176c143e7cda17c89db5639d20fb.gif

           Janka

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

You're right, Janka, about feeling like the loneliest person on earth.  I look at all the people around me and wonder.....who are they talking on thier phones?  Who are they going home to?  I know what awaits me here.....silence and loneliness.  Seeing all the holiday stuff appearing really drives it home.  I reallly only connect with one other widow I know.  The people I know that live alone always have.  They aren't in adjustment mode.  I wish I had back that glorious feeling I took for granted there was one person in the world who truly loved me and what I did mattered.  I want to feel that way to him too.  The times I get very forlorn I yearn for my mother, to hear her voice, but she is gone too.  I've gotten close to very few people since Steve died and one died recently.  There are people I talk to being at the nursing home, but they all have family.  They'll ask me what I am going to do with the holidays approach and what can I Say?   Every day just blends into another.  There are no special days anymore for me and that kinda of planning.  I know I am being redundant, but I get up and dressed everyday and then it hits me.  Why?

The loneliest time to me is when I want to call someone and there's no one to call.  :(  I, too, miss my mom, Gwen.  Even though she didn't respond appropriately most of the time, still, I know she'd understand my feelings.  She knew what it was to be alone.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, on my way home from my brother's and seeing friends I haven't seen in many years, and their friends who I don't know at all. After the hellos and intros, where does the conversation go? Wives, children, grandchildren, future plans...How am I supposed to participate? "Nice to hear about you. As for me, my wife who was my whole world died on 3/31 with no warning" Doesn't work.

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've found that most people want to talk about themselves anyway, so I'd just let them talk and not try to offer anything about myself.  It takes the heat off you and chances are they won't even notice.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I talk to the majority of my friends on line.  I know we have to "get together" soon, but annual Christmas party is not for me this year.  No one asks questions, we all know what is going on in most of our lives anyhow.  Learned one of my best friends passed away that I had not kept in touch with.  Brought back so many memories of a young girl approaching and involving in being a teenager.  She was the only one who had a car and her sister was my best friend.  A picture was put online of her waving, and I guess it was the same as her waving goodbye.  I keep hearing Hettie, my widow-sister "Margaret, at our age we are going to lose our friends" and we are, I am, it is happening.  I think of all her family that has gone on.  Talking to a fellow that played American Legion baseball in this town, he is an older man, but not as old as Billy.  He did not remember him.  Of course he did not.  Looking at him, he probably could have been closer to our son's age.  Time slips away, and finally we will also.  That's all.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, kayc said:

I've found that most people want to talk about themselves anyway, so I'd just let them talk and not try to offer anything about myself.  It takes the heat off you and chances are they won't even notice.

I know. Problem is it leaves me feeling very isolated. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it is wrenching to have to hear about everyone's plans for the holidays with loved ones.  I know these people really don't know how it hurts to hear (I used to be one); it's something about myself I don't like now, feeling bad because someone else is happy.....how to overcome it?  I live in a very rural area in the mountains of NC and am surrounded by couples...John and I loved living here just because it was so country and there were many other couples around...I can't move right now, but I don't want to run away either....I would like to come to some peace about this before I take that next big step whatever it will be.....God, this is hard stuff....

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, TomPB said:

I know. Problem is it leaves me feeling very isolated. 

I don't need to be around people to feel isolated.  It's part of our loss.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Cookie said:

Yes, it is wrenching to have to hear about everyone's plans for the holidays with loved ones.  I know these people really don't know how it hurts to hear (I used to be one); it's something about myself I don't like now, feeling bad because someone else is happy.....how to overcome it?  I live in a very rural area in the mountains of NC and am surrounded by couples...John and I loved living here just because it was so country and there were many other couples around...I can't move right now, but I don't want to run away either....I would like to come to some peace about this before I take that next big step whatever it will be.....God, this is hard stuff....

Exactly. Everything where "Tom and Susan" used to participate is now either not happening or happening with Tom as the single guy feeling like a total outsider. The couples I know who had long good marriages are mostly still both alive. I'm surrounded and sometimes overwhelmed by memories of Susan. We planned two major renovations together, she did all the decorating and it is not what you find in the home of a single guy, I remember buying every cup and plate with her, she maintained all the plants. It really hurts to see her cookie making things. However I don't want to run either. It is OUR home, Susan loved Beacon Hill, and I hope I can eventually feel the warmpth of her presence vs the pain of the loss. Yes it's so hard - best wishes Tom🐼

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Cookie said:

I live in a very rural area in the mountains of NC and am surrounded by couples...John and I loved living here just because it was so country and there were many other couples around...I can't move right now, but I don't want to run away either....I would like to come to some peace about this before I take that next big step whatever it will be.....God, this is hard stuff....

Cookie, I had occasion to ask the manager of these apartments when I moved in, I could not remember.  She has me for August of 2016.  I do know I rented it about three months before that, but moved in here in August of last year.  I cannot remember where I was, maybe in my daughter's house, but I do not believe, certainly do not remember living in the house without Billy.  My mind blocks it out completely, and I do not argue with my mind.  C.S. Lewis in his book "A Grief Observed" wrote a truth that fit me completely.  But, he wrote many truths that fit me.  I read everything I could find by widows and widowers.  Some left me  thinking "how could they do this so soon" but that was judging on my part and how can I judge anyone on anything in particular when I have no memory to draw upon.  I have memories of before Billy, but somehow it rips the wound open to remember too hard.  C.S. Lewis wrote this below, and somehow, I understand this while there are many things I do not understand.

“Getting over it so soon? But the words are ambiguous. To say the patient is getting over it after an operation for appendicitis is one thing; after he’s had his leg off is quite another. After that operation either the wounded stump heals or the man dies. If it heals, the fierce, continuous pain will stop. Presently he’ll get back his strength and be able to stump about on his wooden leg. He has ‘got over it.’ But he will probably have recurrent pains in the stump all his life, and perhaps pretty bad ones; and he will always be a one-legged man. There will be hardly any moment when he forgets it. Bathing, dressing, sitting down and getting up again, even lying in bed, will all be different. His whole way of life will be changed. All sorts of pleasures and activities that he once took for granted will have to be simply written off. Duties too. At present I am learning to get about on crutches. Perhaps I shall presently be given a wooden leg. But I shall never be a biped again.” 
― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, TomPB said:

Exactly. Everything where "Tom and Susan" used to participate is now either not happening or happening with Tom as the single guy feeling like a total outsider. The couples I know who had long good marriages are mostly still both alive. I'm surrounded and sometimes overwhelmed by memories of Susan. We planned two major renovations together, she did all the decorating and it is not what you find in the home of a single guy, I remember buying every cup and plate with her, she maintained all the plants. It really hurts to see her cookie making things. However I don't want to run either. It is OUR home, Susan loved Beacon Hill, and I hope I can eventually feel the warmpth of her presence vs the pain of the loss. Yes it's so hard - best wishes Tom🐼

Tom,

Do what you find is most comfortable for YOU this year...that might be something different from next year.  You can avoid cookies, decorations, etc. if that helps you.  That's not running, that's protecting yourself until you feel more able to handle it...this is still, after all, pretty fresh.

My first year felt very different from now...I am now able to decorate FOR George to honor him and remember him and invite him to join me.  Yes I wish it was in the flesh, but I have to settle for his spirit for now.  ;)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/19/2017 at 6:22 PM, Cookie said:

I live in a very rural area in the mountains of NC and am surrounded by couples...John and I loved living here just because it was so country and there were many other couples around...I can't move right now, but I don't want to run away either....I would like to come to some peace about this before I take that next big step whatever it will be.....God, this is hard stuff....

You are wise.  Give it time.  In the beginning I couldn't imagine ever moving, this was the place we shared together.  Now I realize I don't have to hang onto a "place" to remember him, he is inside of me.  But it took a long while to get there.  I realize that when I am in my 80s and 90s I may not be able to shovel snow and haul/stack firewood.  I may not want to drive on ice/snow.  I may need to move to a simpler living situation.  And that will mean leaving this place we shared together, the place we love, and this is where his ashes are scattered.  That's okay, I gave my kids strict instructions to scatter my ashes here too someday and that will have to be a condition if/when this place is ever sold.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, kayc said:

You are wise.  Give it time.  In the beginning I couldn't imagine ever moving, this was the place we shared together.  Now I realize I don't have to hang onto a "place" to remember him, he is inside of me.  But it took a long while to get there.  I realize that when I am in my 80s and 90s I may not be able to shovel snow and haul/stack firewood.  I may not want to drive on ice/snow.  I may need to move to a simpler living situation.  And that will mean leaving this place we shared together, the place we love, and this is where his ashes are scattered.  That's okay, I gave my kids strict instructions to scatter my ashes here too someday and that will have to be a condition if/when this place is ever sold.

Thanks Kayc...John built this house and loved this property; that is one of the problems of leaving it.  It was the last thing he did with his hands.  His ashes are also spread here....but, it's a lot to take care of; so far, so good.  The getting older part is what I'm so aware of.  I am 68, still very active, but I know that will change with time.  So, do you do all the work yourself too?  The carrying wood, yardwork, etc.?  I know you don't need the place to remember, but the attachments are so real...breaking them hurts.  Hugs to you.....Cookie

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, kayc said:

Tom,

Do what you find is most comfortable for YOU this year...that might be something different from next year.  You can avoid cookies, decorations, etc. if that helps you.  That's not running, that's protecting yourself until you feel more able to handle it...this is still, after all, pretty fresh.

My first year felt very different from now...I am now able to decorate FOR George to honor him and remember him and invite him to join me.  Yes I wish it was in the flesh, but I have to settle for his spirit for now.  ;)

Kayc, thanks. It's not simple. Everything is mixed. Trying our rituals alone and avoiding them both make me very emotional, in different ways. Is it crazy to do by myself what we did together, or is it honoring Susan? I lean toward edging into the fire ❤️ Tom🐼

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, TomPB said:

Is it crazy to do by myself what we did together, or is it honoring Susan?

Tom, my dear, you won't know what feels right for you (or at least, less wrong) until you try it. And once you decide what to do, it all depends on how you choose to look at it. Your question brings to mind the quotation from Shakespeare's Hamlet: There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, MartyT said:

Tom, my dear, you won't know what feels right for you (or at least, less wrong) until you try it. And once you decide what to do, it all depends on how you choose to look at it. Your question brings to mind the quotation from Shakespeare's Hamlet: There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. 

Thanks Marty. Let me be clear, I don't feel or care about any pressure to do what I don't want. The probem is deciding what I do want.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom,

Al  and I went to  over 600 plays in our 16+ years together.  We loved it!  Now I can not stand the thought of going to another one if he is not with me.  Most people do not understand .  It was OUR thing.  There is no more OUR.  

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gin,

Like you, I avoid things Deedo and I did together. My memory makers now are traveling to places we never went and doing things we never did. 

  • Like 3
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brad,

i joined a book club because Al and I did not do that.  Because Al was going completely blind the last year, I would read to him every night, but we never joined a club.  That I can do.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Cookie said:

Thanks Kayc...John built this house and loved this property; that is one of the problems of leaving it.  It was the last thing he did with his hands.  His ashes are also spread here....but, it's a lot to take care of; so far, so good.  The getting older part is what I'm so aware of.  I am 68, still very active, but I know that will change with time.  So, do you do all the work yourself too?  The carrying wood, yardwork, etc.?  I know you don't need the place to remember, but the attachments are so real...breaking them hurts.  Hugs to you.....Cookie

For both of you, I probably would not have done what I did.  Billy hated houses as much as I did.  He hated taking care of them, repairing them, and we were just "treading water" until we could RV.  Billy quit treading and I cannot swim, we were not homesteaders.  I had no love or attachment to my house.  I left nothing behind.  I understand women and men having attachments to their homestead and cannot leave.  I think it would be very painful.  You are both resourceful women.  I saw a woman yesterday taking her trash out to her big trash can by the street.  She was very old or ill and stooped, her clothes were not in the best of shape, and her house was falling down around her.  Now, she had neighbors, but sometimes that does not help.  The point I am making is, she is still living, she is still functioning, maybe poorly, maybe that is all she can do for today, but I think you two women sound like you have a lot more years and you have reason not to leave.  I didn't.  "One size does not fit all."  I don't know who said that.  I think it was Dave.   

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Cookie said:

Thanks Kayc...John built this house and loved this property; that is one of the problems of leaving it.  It was the last thing he did with his hands.  His ashes are also spread here....but, it's a lot to take care of; so far, so good.  The getting older part is what I'm so aware of.  I am 68, still very active, but I know that will change with time.  So, do you do all the work yourself too?  The carrying wood, yardwork, etc.?  I know you don't need the place to remember, but the attachments are so real...breaking them hurts.  Hugs to you.....Cookie

Yes, I have to do everything.  I have a man I buy firewood from but I do the stacking, hauling, I shovel my driveway, 40' ramp, paths to the firewood and garbage, it is a lot in the winter.  Still looking for someone to hire for yardwork, couldn't do it last summer after my fall, I still can't kneel.  It was hard to let it go but I had no choice.  They guy I was going to hire died in a car accident.  :(  Living in the country there aren't a lot of options sometimes.  I'd prefer to die here, but realistically, my family lives well into their 90s and I can't see me doing this when I'm 90, especially since I won't have any family around to help me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Brad said:

Gin,

Like you, I avoid things Deedo and I did together. My memory makers now are traveling to places we never went and doing things we never did. 

Me too, I'm doing things that I didn't share with my boyfriend. Probably because of the pain I would feel if I did our things....

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Gin said:

Tom,

Al  and I went to  over 600 plays in our 16+ years together.  We loved it!  Now I can not stand the thought of going to another one if he is not with me.  Most people do not understand .  It was OUR thing.  There is no more OUR.  

Gin, I totally understand but even so I am doing OUR things. I avoided them at first but am slowly drifting back. Not sure if it's crazy or honoring her memory, but that's me, a confused TomPB

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×