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TomPB

Detour on the grief road

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Hi All, sorry to have been absent. I've been traveling through a detour on this journey. As I reported, a friend of a grief friend visited in early Aug and we had an instant connection. The day I took her to the airport in the morning I had a long-scheduled session with a psychic in the afternoon. The message from Susan said that she would send me a new soulmate. I was stunned by the coincidence and thought maybe it had actually happened.

Now time has passed. We've stayed in touch with texts and voice, with 1-2 hr calls and never a problem what to say next. However I feel the intensity fading with time and distance. She is in ABQ. Whenever I raise the possibility of a visit she says no. I don't understand in view of the magical time we had in Boston and I think this dream is about to end, leaving me even more lonely than before, somethiing I feared from the beginning.

Of couse I've been grieving Susan the whole time too. Having my mind cycle between grief and romance is a whole new level of craziness. What makes it OK is that I accept that Susan wants me to have someone else in my life. Her message really spelled that out and she continues to say it when I talk to her every night.

At least this shows me that life is possible on the other side. The 4 days we had together were the only truly happy days I've had since I lost Susan. And there's a chance it's not over, but I don't feel very good right now.

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I really don’t know what to say, Tom.  I can only go from my experience and I am approaching 4 years.  I do know the first 2 years were terribly hard and I could not see anything but the grief.  One guy showed interest, but my heart was not open to that at all.  I was, and still am, in love with Steve.  We talked about other people before he left, but our bond was different, for lack of a better word.  We knew there was no one else for us.  We didn’t want each other to be lonely, but we just knew there wouldnever be another.  I think some people are vulnerable to that intense desire for connection and there are people that will use that maybe to fulfill something in themselves.  Maybe that is what this woman did if she backing off now.  It’s all speculation.  You said you feel the intensity waning.  I guess I would use  my gut feeling on that and listen to it.  I don’t usually like to offer suggestions, but maybe put the ball in her court and see what she does?  Not be so available?  Could tell you a lot.  Sorry if this isn’t helpful.  Never been where you are so I may not even know what I’m talking about!

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3 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

I guess I would use  my gut feeling on that and listen to it.

I agree with this.  Something similar happened to me not that long ago, seeming fated with timing, similarities and coincidences, and while I was dazzled for a bit, I knew its intensity was only because I was missing Mark.  Sure enough, it passed and I could see past the dazzling light.  Thankfully no injury beyond a bruised ego was sustained.  I think the only reason the whole episode happened to me was to warn me that I am not emotionally ready.  It helped me get my bearings and I know what I need is not another person, but to work on myself for awhile.

But I do understand.

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15 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

 I was, and still am, in love with Steve.

Just because they die, I don't think we ever do "fall out of love" with them.  I know I am and always will be in love with George.

I tried rebuilding my life after George died...I made terrible mistakes, thinking that meant having another relationship, but going into it with the wrong motives, I didn't want to be alone.  I think a big part of me was afraid of grief.  I finally learned it's okay to live with grief and I don't need a man to validate me, it's okay to be alone, I'm enough.  If I'd given it more time, time to process my grief first, to enter a relationship in wholeness instead of brokenness, maybe I'd have selected better, but in the years since I haven't wanted to do the dating thing, just totally not interested, and I sure haven't met anyone in this sleepy little town that I'd be interested in, so I go it alone and have accepted that is how it is now.  I'm thankful George gave me enough love and warm memories to last me my old age.  ;)  But I certainly understand people wanting to find love and companionship, especially when you consider how many years left we have.

Tom I wish you the best, I'm sorry the little lady has gotten cold feet.  The first six months we're in this "high", so to speak, in a new relationship, and thus its good to go slow and get through the initial period so you can see more clearly, it can take a good year before you really know the person and whether it will weather the storms or not.  I hope things work out for you on down the road!

Kieron, you speak good wisdom and common sense.  I may be slow but I finally did learn!  :)

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15 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

 I think some people are vulnerable to that intense desire for connection and there are people that will use that maybe to fulfill something in themselves.

Is that ever a for sure!

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18 hours ago, TomPB said:

Hi All, sorry to have been absent. I've been traveling through a detour on this journey. As I reported, a friend of a grief friend visited in early Aug and we had an instant connection. The day I took her to the airport in the morning I had a long-scheduled session with a psychic in the afternoon. The message from Susan said that she would send me a new soulmate. I was stunned by the coincidence and thought maybe it had actually happened.

Now time has passed. We've stayed in touch with texts and voice, with 1-2 hr calls and never a problem what to say next. However I feel the intensity fading with time and distance. She is in ABQ. Whenever I raise the possibility of a visit she says no. I don't understand in view of the magical time we had in Boston and I think this dream is about to end, leaving me even more lonely than before, somethiing I feared from the beginning.

Of couse I've been grieving Susan the whole time too. Having my mind cycle between grief and romance is a whole new level of craziness. What makes it OK is that I accept that Susan wants me to have someone else in my life. Her message really spelled that out and she continues to say it when I talk to her every night.

At least this shows me that life is possible on the other side. The 4 days we had together were the only truly happy days I've had since I lost Susan. And there's a chance it's not over, but I don't feel very good right now.

So sorry Tom.  I would also love to find a male friend, want companionship.  I think when you've had a wonderful relationship it actually makes you want that again so bad because what you had before was so good.  I do think it's possible if you get lucky....but it has to be the right person.....and, of course, I think what are the odds of that happening twice in a lifetime.  It sounds like you are open to it and who knows what will happen in time.....it just wasn't really right this time.  I hope it will happen for me, but also realize it could not, so I try to say at least I had this wonderful man in my life for so long and hope that can carry me through.....Cookie

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Tom,

I would ask her why she says no to you visiting. Who knows why she is saying no. I would have to know. 

I have been seeing someone for over a year and a half. We actually met at a grief support group. I have to say it's really hard dating again. I actually never thought that I would. We were just 2 people that lost the loves of our lives. We became friends and started doing things together as friends. There was a connection from the beginning. There were so many times that I thought that I couldn't continue with this relationship. I think I'm finally ok with it now. Even though he is different from Richard, there are many ways that he is so much like him. 

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I envy those who know what they want. I'm lost, I have no idea. People tell me "You can do anything you want" and I say "That's not helpful, I don't know what I want". I don't know if Susan was my one and only or if I'll have a new partner. So when something clicks I just follow my emotions.

When I talk about getting together she says "I'm too much up in the air right now" or "Let's keep our minds open and see what comes up". Meanwhile she texts me and calls me and we have 1-2 hr calls, so the relationship is by no means over. My confusion is over how that fits with not wanting to get together! I'm just a simple 🐼, this stuff is beyond me.

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2 hours ago, TomPB said:

When I talk about getting together she says "I'm too much up in the air right now" or "Let's keep our minds open and see what comes up". Meanwhile she texts me and calls me and we have 1-2 hr calls, so the relationship is by no means over. My confusion is over how that fits with not wanting to get together! I'm just a simple 🐼, this stuff is beyond me.

I probably shouldn’t say anything, so feel free to tell me to shut up.  My gut feeling is you are being used for some agenda fulfilling to her.  Just be careful with your heart, more so than she is being.  

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14 hours ago, TomPB said:

When I talk about getting together she says "I'm too much up in the air right now" or "Let's keep our minds open and see what comes up". Meanwhile she texts me and calls me and we have 1-2 hr calls, so the relationship is by no means over. My confusion is over how that fits with not wanting to get together!

It sounds like SHE is confused or not sure what she wants.  She enjoys talking with you so I guess go with that for a while.  If you reach a point where you know you want more, you may have to let her know that just talking isn't working for you, you want someone you can see and touch.

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4 hours ago, kayc said:

It sounds like SHE is confused or not sure what she wants.  She enjoys talking with you so I guess go with that for a while.  If you reach a point where you know you want more, you may have to let her know that just talking isn't working for you, you want someone you can see and touch.

I agree, kayc. She is 2 yrs into a divorce after 30 yrs & said she spent the whole first yr sleeping and doing chores - a kind of grief which leaves her uncertain also. However I must apologize to the group, I don't intend to attempt to make this a dating advice site LOL

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I don't think any apology is necessary.  At least I don't see anything offensive.  This is real life and the discussion here is about one aspect of our lives.  I think it's great to talk about possible dating and such because where the heck else can you talk about it without being hit-on or feel like you will be criticized?

I would certainly like to find a friend to do some fishing with and go adventuring with.  Platonic friendship is important to me because I feel that if I am not good enough to start out as your friend then you aren't good enough for me to think about.

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No apologies necessary!  And this is very relevant, there's a lot of widowed that are interested in finding someone.

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Tom:  I agree with all the good advice above--be careful with your heart and be honest about what you want.  Can't do more than that.  She doesn't sound like she knows what she wants which is resulting in the hot and cold behavior.  That can be hurtful to someone who is vulnerable.  Do you think she knows that about you?  Take care and I wish you all good things, Cookie

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Yeah, I remember after Jim and I broke up, he was yanking me around emotionally, giving me mixed messages, I don't think on purpose, he just didn't know what he wanted, he was a mess...it was important to realize it and steel my heart...I haven't opened my heart up since and it's been years!  I'm very protective of myself after all I've been through.

Tom, your number one priority is to yourself, be careful on behalf of yourself.  And maybe explain to her what it's putting your through, she may not be aware.  But if she's like Jim was, she may not be able to help it, it'll be up to you to protect yourself.

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On 9/17/2018 at 4:04 PM, TomPB said:

Whenever I raise the possibility of a visit she says no.

Tom, I was wondering how things were going with you.  I remember my mom's two "sayings" (and she had a thousand page book of "sayings") and two were "out of sight, out of mind" and "absence makes the heart grow fonder."  These kinda counteracted each other.  Maybe your Albuquerque friend has more "smarts" about the place you are in right now and she does not think she can deal with your feelings still for your wife and share your feelings for the new woman.  In that case, she is very smart.  I know, after a time, people find other mates.  You are open to it, so it might still happen.  I have too many friends that have made it work and I still have the image in my mind of the little woman, about my age, who married a  classmate from many years before that she had reconnected to at a high school reunion.  She had a heart attack on the honeymoon and he was at the desk getting her prescription.  She did not know he was right behind her when she whispered to me loudly "It is not the same."  I felt sorry for him hearing this.  Of course it is not the same, it never will be, but in some cases the ghosts of the departed fit in very well with  the new mate.  If you are open to it, it can happen.  I have seen it happen.  I am too old to have any desire for it happening, and I do miss Billy, but no one could follow him as a second act in this stage of life we live.  

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I'm sure nobody will be shocked to hear that my little detour into romance is over. It went from hot to warm to zero very quickly and I still don't know why. One guess is, as Marg says, she may have had second thoughts re being with someone who had lost a soulmate. Maybe a friend said "OMG stay the F away from that situation, it's a minefield". Who knows? Anyway I was apprehensive from day one about what this outcome would do to my emotional state. Good news is I haven't been slammed down as far as the worst case. It's "just" given me an extra deep sadness and longing for Susan and appreciation for how wonderful my life was in ways I took for granted, gone now. My grief counselor pointed out that having the new relationship quickly yanked away is like a repeat of Susan's sudden death, tho obviously not on the same scale. Therapists and friends tell me to not be alone and I've been socializing but no amount of going out with friends can make up a trillionth of being with Susan. I'm just tired of living without her.   That said, I did have a few days of actually being happy.

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I'm so sorry, Tom, that this didn't work out for you. But I admire your honesty, and your courage too.

I hope this experience won't deter you from believing that you still deserve all the love and happiness you can find. You did not die when your beloved Susan died, and your life is not over.

This is your life to live, and I hope you will stay open to whatever life has in store for you. ♥️

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5 hours ago, TomPB said:

Anyway I was apprehensive from day one about what this outcome would do to my emotional state. Good news is I haven't been slammed down as far as the worst case. It's "just" given me an extra deep sadness and longing for Susan and appreciation for how wonderful my life was in ways I took for granted, gone now.

TomPB:  Sorry you had to go through this.  You are fortunate to have friends that support you - You are blessed to have them around you.  Continue to be with them.  Take care.  Dee

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9 hours ago, widow'15 said:

given me an extra deep sadness and longing for Susan and appreciation for how wonderful my life was in ways I took for granted, gone now.

Maybe your "lady" sensed this and women are very sensitive to men's feelings.  I'm sure she is old enough to feel she cannot be able to fill the shoes of Susan.  I don't know what went on, but from what you are telling, you really are not ready, but you are getting receptive to the next step.  And that will happen.  The long distance relationship was in your way the whole time and the lady knew you were not ready to leave your home, and I guess she knew she was not ready to leave her's.  Give her credit for feeling the relationship had too many detours to make work.  I still think of the little woman in the wheelchair looking up at me and saying "its not the same" and he heard her.  I hated that.  I hope they work out.  My friend brought her husband home from 2-1/2 month stay at a rehab nursing home.  He is helpless and afraid.  She told him "God is not ready to make me another widow yet." and she met the first time with anger.  My son went out with an old girlfriend of 20 years ago.  They had a good time, but they can only be friends.  His relationship of 11 years was doomed from day 1, but he hung on to something that could not work out for 11 years.  His first wife had run around on him terribly, then married and took the kids 1000 or more miles away.  Companionship is great, but find it when you are sure you are ready.  The lady probably sensed you really were not.  You will know and so will the next one.  My son hurts like it was a death and he just lost his father.  I'm sad for him, and you, but something better is waiting.

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I'm sorry, Tom.  My friend Virgie dated a LOT after her husband Jim died.  A LOT.  But eventually she met one that was a real gem and although she was scared to make that leap, she did it, and has never regretted it, they've been married about three years now and it's been a whole new chapter for both of them, they were both widowed.  I don't have it in me to look, too tired.  But if it's something you want, don't give up, you'll find one that is right for you.  If I thought there was another such person for me, I'd be out looking right now, but alas I have no such hopes.  Maybe I've just been through too much too many times.

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15 hours ago, Marg M said:

Maybe your "lady" sensed this and women are very sensitive to men's feelings.  I'm sure she is old enough to feel she cannot be able to fill the shoes of Susan.  I don't know what went on, but from what you are telling, you really are not ready, but you are getting receptive to the next step.  And that will happen.  The long distance relationship was in your way the whole time and the lady knew you were not ready to leave your home, and I guess she knew she was not ready to leave her's.  Give her credit for feeling the relationship had too many detours to make work.  

Thanks for your thoughts, Marg, but I don't agree, and neither does my grief counselor

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Tom, I am going to edit my answer.  Sorry, I had just driven over 300 miles back to the land I lost Billy in and I was tired and really in a terrible mood.

Of course I don't know your situation.  It is silly in me to try.  I did have psychotherapy/analysis for 15 years trying to get a grip on who I was, and I sure do not understand other people, especially situations I  have no business talking about.  You and your therapist know you.  I'm sorry if there was any hurt.  I have a 56-year-old son that his first wife ran around on him.  He found this pretty young girl and her dad and uncle both are schizophrenics.  He put up with some wild and crazy antics, but for 11 years he was so true to her because he knew she would never run around on him.  Then she did.  So, he is heartbroken and all his friends and family are heartbroken, because he is.  We are all happy though because we knew who she was.  But, heartbreak is nothing we want for our friends, ourselves, or our relatives.  

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