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I imagine most of you continue to experience “the first time without”  your significant other for a certain event. 
Eg: First Christmas without, first time going shopping without, first time going to church without, etc.  

For me. I have another one coming up that I think will be tough, and it is first time traveling without.   
While I used to travel in business often, I was the type who could not wait to get back to his family. So I would do day trips from Dallas to San Fransisco, while my colleagues would spend the night out, I would catch a red eye back home.  

I have tried my best not to travel on business since she has left, however I’m to the point where I need to. 

I imagine what will be hardest for me:
Packing.  My wife was a perfectionist at this.  She made sure my clothes came out of the suitcase in better condition than the cleaners. She would always make sure I had extra of everything, also sneak me some sweets in my luggage and always put a love not somewhere in there.   

Texting her all day every day.  My wife and I stayed in constant communication “I’m at the gate.” “I’m boarding the plane” “We just landed” and texted or talked every free second we had when away.  I will REALLY miss this.  
Ironically, one of our favorite places to travel together, is my first destination for business travel: Boston.  
From our early 20’s we would do our best to go to New England during the fall  (with Boston as our hub).   We had some of the best times of our lives there.  
I’m confident from the moment I arrive at the airport I will be thinking “we drank coffee there” “She bought a Cosmopolitan magazine there.” 

And of course, the worst part will be returning home.  100% of my business trips I would always get my kids something, some local sweets for my wife, etc.  No matter how late at night I returned she would stay awake to ensure I made it home safely.  

Sigh. I guess for now I will just do my best. I will pack as best I can (not just throw my clothes in the luggage).  Try to remember my different medicines she would remind me of, etc.  I’m confident being alone in the hotel will be really extra lonely, simply because she is not at home.  I know that sounds weird but I am confident it’s how I will feel.  

What are some of the “first time without” thinks you have experienced, and/or are pending and not looking forward to it for you?

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3 hours ago, Sad_Widower said:

confident being alone in the hotel will be really extra lonely, simply because she is not at home.  I know that sounds weird but I am confident it’s how I will feel.

This doesn't sound weird at all. I can understand how it will be for you, not having your beloved waiting for you at home, keeping in contact all the time, as you said. I know it won't console you, but just keep thinking that she is actually waiting for you, you will probably still get that feeling of "can't wait to get back home". It's strange but even when I just pop out for the weekly shopping, I can't wait to return home, I feel my husband closer to me when I'm in our home, our nest that we 'built' together. Apart from this, yes, all the "first times without..." are unbearably devastating. The problem is that I'm finding the second times even worse, like this month, I have both our birthdays and wedding anniversary, just don't know  how I will manage to get through them. Christmas was even sadder than the first one which came  just a month after losing my beloved, didn't put the tree up, this year either.  Perhaps, during the first year, I still hadn't seen the whole reality of my loss, I now  seem to be suffering from 'delayed grief', if this terminology exists! I was also so inundated with paperwork, being tossed about backwards and forwards, visiting all types of public offices almost every day,unanswered phone calls, closures and no possibility of sorting out bureaucratic stuff   due to covid restrictions, dozens of appointments,  suddenly finding myself being a full-time carer for my MIL, who was bedridden and suffering from dementia. I just wanted to scream at the world: "Leave me alone, I don't even have time to grieve!" Anyway, I don't want to drift off the subject. There is one thing, that I  absolutely cannot imagine doing for the first time without my darling husband, and that is to go on a holiday, or even just a day trip, couldn't bear it without him, don't even feel the need to. I still have to hold back the tears when I walk into a supermarket, and I really have to force myself to do these weekly trips, only when it's absolutely necessary, when the food dispenser is almost empty. I don't even feel the need to just go out for a stroll around the shops, the high street, like we used to do, almost every day, especially during cold winter days. This year, for the first time, completely on my own, I have managed to plant some tomatoes on our property, without using mechanical devices (our clay soil is very tough!) , I just used a hand hoe and my inexistent muscles to  dig up and prepare  vegetable bed. I didn't believe it would work, but it did! This may sound silly but I burst into tears when I started seeing those bright red little fruits ripening. While I pick them, I talk to my husband, asking for his approval, and telling him I have done this for him, as he would have been so sad seeing our land with nothing growing, all bare and abandoned. 

I better stop now, before  break down again. 

Hope your business trip goes well, your wife is with you, looking after you. 








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One of the hardest trips I made after Ron died was to our cabin in the mountains. My son and I went to clean it out in order to sell it. Although I would rather have moved there, it was financially necessary plus I couldn't have taken care of it alone physically. It was so strange being there without him and still breaks my heart that I had to let it go. The other hard trip came a couple of months later when I flew alone to Kentucky to be with my daughter. She died a month after I arrived. I was so lost and had this insane desire to fly to Albuquerque, rent a car and drive to Gallup and the Zuni reservation that  we often visited. I just wanted a sense of what life used to be, I guess. A really stupid idea as I'd just spent a week in the hospital in Kentucky with a lung infection and was far from healthy. Logic won and I flew home crying most of the way.

The grocery store was hard for the first year. I got take out from our favorite Mexican restaurant sometimes, but couldn't bring myself to eat out alone.

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Widower, thank you for sharing about your traveling time, how you'd text each other, stay in touch, and the times to Boston you shared.  My George would go across country to Florida to see his grandma, I was starting a new job and couldn't go...I remember going through this with him.  Memories...

3 hours ago, KarenK said:

A really stupid idea as I'd just spent a week in the hospital in Kentucky with a lung infection and was far from healthy. Logic won and I flew home crying most of the way.

Thank you for sharing...I remember your going through so much at that time.  (((hugs)))


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Thank you as always for your replies.   Yep, like most of you my wife and I definitely missed each other dearly while one of us was traveling.  
Toward the end, my wife travelled more than me but it was for health reasons.  She was being treated by doctors out of town, so twice a month I would take her to the airport and off she would go.  

in fact she and I used to talk about how lucky we were to be living in the “Information Age” and there was technology that allowed us to stay in constant contact. 

Not only would we constantly text, but once her plane was about to take off and she would say “We are about to take off. Gotta turn phone off love you!” I would use an app called Flight Aware that allowed me to follow her flight in real time (I could see an animation via radar of where he plane was) and I would keep it running on my desk just to check it every 10 minutes or so. 

Then assuming our schedules allowed, when we ate dinner we would put my phone on a tripod and Face Time her  so she could be with us virtually at home.  

When we first met, there was no “internet”. We would hand write and mail letters when away.  So we were openly grateful for the technology we had. It made some difficult times that much easier.  

Anyway, I have a feeling this will be a very lonely trip. The worst will be when I get back to the hotel each night (I will be gone a week) and have literally nothing to do nor even look forward to. Such a strange feeling.  I will just have to fight through it.  I will say, while I have never been “openly religious” (I respect all faiths, in fact) when I am super lonely I do a lot of praying.  It does give me a sense of comfort unlike it has in the past.  Never in a million years imagined I would be going out of town, to one of our favorite destinations, only to be going back to the hotel each night and pray.  But it’s most likely what I will choose to do.  

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6 hours ago, Sad_Widower said:

We would hand write and mail letters when away.

Ha, George and my relationship started out this way!  We met when I wrote a letter to the editor which was read at Promise Keeper's Mtg.. and he looked up my info and the rest is history!  But I remember spending hours writing him long hand.

Will be thinking of you as you fly, Sad Widower.

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