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Hi friends, a little bit ago Mary, (mfh), posted a beautiful picture of her maple tree in full fall colors. Today I found this picture on FB of Maplewood Cemetary in our town, where the maples are now in full color. Just wanted to share this.

Also had an epiphany this week. Through a friend, I had a date with a fellow on Sunday, very nice man, and he treated me very nice. We emailed several times, and talked on the phone. He wanted to date. However, the next to last email I had from him has the phrase, "Wow, you are so busy, be sure and save some time for us" People, there was no "us", there were no sparks, my "us" was Michael and me. It really opened up my eyes, an epiphany, if you will.....I am so not ready to date. I was lonely, and thought why not? I found out why not. I would rather just be home and read a good book!! I told him how I felt, and he was still nice, and wished me luck. Wonder if I will ever be ready??? Right now, I am thinking....NOT. Any of you tried dating, and discovered it was not for you....I feel so foolish! (and disloyal)

Anyway, enjoy the picture.

Mary (Queeniemary) in Arkansas

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Dear Mary,(Queeniemary),

That is a real beautiful picture of the trees. Here in Somerset, Massachusetts, our colors are not as good this year because of the hurricane Irene. All the salt water that rained down from the storm has put a stop to all the colors we usually have. Most trees just turn, brown and leaves fall. I really miss the fall colors this year.

As far as dating, I cannot even think about that. I have had, woman of all ages, start conversations with me, but for now I am just not ready for that, I really do not know when or if I will be ready. You should not feel foolish about trying to date. It is only natural for us humans to crave the contact from the opposite sex. But when we have lost the love of our life, soul mate, best friend, it makes it real hard to find someone else that even comes close to what we lost. For me right now a friendly conversation now and again is just fine. Because even though I live alone, I do not feel alone, I feel Pauline with me all the time. I know it is different for many others to so alone all the time. That is my take on dating.

God Bless

Dwayne

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Hi Mary,

Absolutely gorgeous maples....wow! Thanks for sharing. You asked about dating....I basically have no interest in dating now or in the future. I am content with what Bill and I had and do not plan to date nor do I have a desire to do so. I have no judgment about anyone who does wish to date and have a relationship. It is just my choice...so I can't answer your question. You will know when it is time for you...it sounds like now is not the time. I do not think it is disloyal to date or marry again and I suspect that when or if you are ready to do so, you will not feel it is disloyal to do so. In the meantime..be in the now. Peace, Mary

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Mary, just enjoying company of another person doesn't make it potential coupledom, but if you'd prefer reading a good book to his company, that kind of leaves friendship out, LOL!

Thank you for the picture of the trees...George and I always loved taking drives this time of year and gathering leaves for a bouquet for our table. This year the trees here are changing color rather late, my vine maples just changed color!

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HI Mary, Love the picture! As for dating, I think I'm reaady but no one has asked me out yet and I think that I would have to feel some type of physical attraction to even except a date. So far I have met nice men but not dateable men! Hope that makes sense!

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Mary - I struggle with this one.

I have no wish to find anyone else because I really still feel very married and yet I don't like the prospect of lots of years alone. I guess that means for me it's a not now, maybe not ever.

I have work friends that have remarried after their partner has died and I always felt that it was wonderful that they had found someone who could make them happy again. I never questioned their loyalty or felt that it demeaned their love or devotion to their first spouse, somehow however, I can't seem to apply that logic to my own situation.

Life is meant to be full of love and if a special someone comes into our lives at some time in the future, I don't think it could be a bad thing but I ponder the practicalities:

-could I take off my wedding ring?

-could I put the pictures of us in the house away or relegate them to a lesser place?

-would I endlessly compare and judge?

-could I leave our home or invite someone else into it?

It's all too hard.

You shouldn't feel foolish at all. He was looking and liked what he saw. You tested the water and found that you weren't looking. That's OK...Susie Q

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Guess i have been lucky, have recently reconnected to an old friend that I had met before Mike.......has been good support, and has encouraged me to keep all pics of Mike up in the house......and was impressed when he also met with my grief support counselor, am still heartbroken about Mike and as my counselor says "you know you will never get over Mike, but maybe what has happened is the fertilizer to make something beautifull between you and Ed" We will see am very guarded here....but still very akward.....Actually a great day here, for today.....alot of fun with Ed.......but other things came up.....feel that I have stepped back in time.......and yet as Marty says......I have learned how to deal with the downs in my rollercoaster ride......we will see....Best wishes to all! Dave ps QueenieMary the pic is great, sure miss the changes of the trees in az

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Dear Susie,

You said it all about finding someone else, to bring into our homes. For one I have no intention of taking off my wedding ring, or taking down pictures, and most of all I think I would always be trying to find another Pauline. Which I know I never could. It would not be fair to the other person either. It is a real dilemma when we are both so young in life. To think that I could live 30-40 years easy, but yet stay alone the whole time, that doesn't seem like I would ant that either. So what to do, for now I will just focus on my goals and let things be for now. Maybe in a couple years, I just don't know. That is the difficult side of finding your true love, soul mate, best friend, then they are gone, after a lifetime together, but I could live another lifetime, pretty close to what we had together. Our new lives are filled with so many difficult decision, as we travel along. My Father in-law was seeing another woman just a few months after Pauline's mother past. I just don't get that either. Did they fall out of love for each other, or did he really could not stand to be alone. The woman he married is like Pauline's Mom in a lot of ways, and the argue just like, when he was married with Pauline's Mom. Who wants that. I sure don't and yet every time I see him he asks me if I have someone across the table to drink coffee with. I just tell him I go out and drink coffee with someone. I just don't know right now. It just does not feel right for me right now.

God Bless

Dwayne

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George was in every sense of the word, my soul mate, my best friend, the love of my life. From the very beginning, we clicked, we related, we communicated very well, we felt each others hearts, we cared about each other. When he died, it was such a shock to my brain...it jolted me to the very core. I'd thought we had years and years left together and I got no forewarning.

I remember feeling frantic, scared, afraid of being alone for the next 50 years.

John called right after George's memorial service, said he was his friend, we talked about George and it was nice to have someone to listen and share about George...this came at a time when everyone else seemed to move on and left me alone. Looking back I can see he preyed upon my vulnerability and I was trying to rebuild my life. He was in every way, nothing but a con man who broke my heart and devastated me financially. I will lose my home because of him and now that I've lost my job, it may be sooner than later.

I would only caution people going through this to give it at least a couple of years, it takes time to adjust to being alone. It also takes time for your brain to clear. Pay attention to red flags and listen to your family and friends' opinion...my son did not like John from the first. I'd thought it was because he didn't want to see me with anyone but George and that may be true, but it was more than that...he has great insight into people's character and I wish I'd paid more attention to what he thought. Some people may luck out...I did not. I wish I'd given it more time to really get to know this man before allowing us to become involved.

I never had the dilemma about removing my wedding ring because it got way too tight and I had to remove it or risk having to have it cut off...I can't even get it on anymore and it can't be re-sized. I still have George's pictures up. That's just how it is. He is a part of my life and I don't intend to shove him into a closet. It may be easier for two people who've lost someone to death to get together because they understand and accept the situation easier but they'd still have to be careful not to base their relationship on that commonality because it takes so much more.

I don't feel it's disloyal to share your life with someone new, although some do feel that way, after all, some lose their spouse in their twenties, are they never supposed to have anyone in their lives? When we lose our spouse though, we do still feel married, we didn't ask for this or choose it, it was thrust upon us, and any inference to the contrary is appalling to us! But whether or not we go on to have someone in our lives or not is a personal choice...I just ask that each of you give it much time to know the best avenue for you before proceeding, I wouldn't wish what I went through to happen to anyone here.

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Hello Everyone,

I felt the need to get in on this one as I'm in a relationship and have some input that can be taken as seen fit...

We both have lost our spouses and have fully decided to continue our lives with new goals and memories that are our's never intending on comparing or replacing our spouses.

---

First SusieQ,

You wrote the below and my input is below your question...

"-could I take off my wedding ring?

When you feel the time is right yes.

-could I put the pictures of us in the house away or relegate them to a lesser place?

NO, In my new relationship both of us still have the pictures of our spouses hanging on the walls as well as the new pictires of us.

-would I endlessly compare and judge?

You may have some thoughts but if you find the right person you will find you are fully aware of this new unique person and accept them for them

-could I leave our home or invite someone else into it?"

Yes, once again if and when the right person comes along you will find your excited about sharing your comfort zone, and you will establish your own new comfort zone with this person.

I hope maybe you found an answer in there somewhere.

---

The biggest question everyone should ask themselves before and if you are considering a new life and love is are you willing to grieve again? Because that is indeed a very important matter to consider...the very first night Brenda and I shared our first kiss and discovered we had crossed the line from friendship to love she ask me "you do know one of us will have to grieve again if we go on" I looked at her and said I know, but I'm willing to because the feeling of Love and devotion, along with sharing one's life in whatever aspect it reaches out weighs the grief for me...I feel my higher power and what I've learned on this journey will carry me yet again if needed and for Brenda, she is an amazing strong independent woman who has learned much as well, including the the faith aspect that I am sharing with her so she also will carry herself and survive...for me life is much to precious and short to be alone, we both have found this to be a totally new, real, journey and we are making it "ours", but we are still loving our spouses in a differant way as we go on...may you all find the answers you are seeking...

NATS

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Queeniemary,

If alone are you really happy? If surrounded by friends are they both male and female? I find that I miss male companionship... and I don't mean sex. I miss hanging in the garage with my husband, watching him tinkering in the garage. I miss talking about my day and his male perspective outlook on life. I grew up with brothers and find I need the male balance in my life. Trying to develop "male" friendships at this point in my life seems to bear certain misunderstandings. I find because I married my best friend and we spent all out time together our friendships outside our marriage were other married partners. It is hard now to find other male friends who just want to be "friends".

I do know that my husband would want to see me happy again just as I would if our stories were reversed (ie, I had died instead). Our human hearts are made for love, we are filled with light. I remember how wonderful it felt to share that feeling, to be held. Today...these feelings of darkness, coldness and fear are not a way to live on this earth. If truly happy in the heart and staying single, no longing for another then so be it but live let's in honesty. Deep inside I feel one day my heart will be whole again, strong enough to be shared, to risk being broken once again and I am working on it, reaching out.

Deb

redesign08.blogspot.com

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Happy that some of you choose to find a partner after the death of your spouse. Certainly not a possibility for me. I lost a female friend three months after my husband's death. I knew her and her husband for 25 years. He and I are helping each other through this devestating journey w/o our spouses. I am no where near ready to have a relationship, if I ever will be and he is very much so wanting too. I have been honest from the beginning, it is a friendship only and he has respected that, but I still wonder if he is looking further out that something MIGHT happen. I just know me and it won't. I feel like I would be disloyal and disrepectful to my spouse and I still miss him. How could I ever settle after having the BEST. It would be a comparsion all the time. Further, I don't see the need. I plan on having my cup full by all sorts of friends, not just one. I know we are all different, but I just don't understand. Everything I read says don't do anything for a year and I will honor that. I think you can have male companionship as a friend if you set the boundaries early on. I have many female and male friends and plan on leaving it that way. No relationships on the horizon for me. Best of luck to the rest of you. :)

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Dear Becky,

You said it all, " how could I ever settle after having the BEST. " Those are my same thoughts as well. I have had many woman, of all ages approach me and start a conversation, yes it is nice, but that is all. I have to many things I want and need to do before I would ever be ready to start a relationship, if ever. I have, good friends in my life now and that is just fine. I can be myself, cry if a wave hits me, and it is OK. They knew Pauline as well as I, they knew, the GREAT love we had and still have.

God Bless

Dwayne

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Hello Everyone,

OK...first what is the BEST? and How Do We Know It?

I think we feel we had the BEST because that's what we know and have lived for however many years loving that person, we all fall into a routine and most of us do not notice that as long as Life is Good, before I proceed let me say I Love my Ruth with all my heart and soul, always will and I would have traded places with her in a heartbeat as to seeing her endure all the pain, fear, and sadness knowing she was leaving, but I couldn't that's not the way it was supposed to be for some reason...the new relationship should you decide cannot be compared in anyway to your previous relationship as each of us is new to the other and we will never "replace" that special spouse, but you can learn to Love again as you are building "new" memories...we are such creatures of habit we find it hard to face change some more than others, my Ruth was also a BEST but I'm learning really there is no BEST for me as I am discovering all the quality's and outlooks on life this new person radiates is also a BEST in her own way...I am in no means saying or stressing you find someone many will and many won't just a fact, but allow yourselves the ability to feel and explore your journey with all options open for all of you have so much Love to share, someone should feel that and be part of your lives...but one thing I've learned is "time is just an element" and I no longer am in a rush to do anything, of course I do the day to day living motions but other than that I am fully just adapting and finding the new me with no deadline or timeline and I am living each day as tomorrow may never come...doing the things that make me happy and sharing my heart and soul with a new individual, and during all this our lines of communication regarding our spouses is as common as the news, we speak candid and free both being able to express many of the not so perfect times in our previous relationships with our spouses, after all no couples life is all roses, now this is in no way negative of them, that's just how they were and part of the reason we Loved them so much...just as we had those things our spouse will not be able to share with us that used to drive them crazy...as always just my thoughts and feelings, we all have to follow or own hearts where ever they may lead...

NATS

Edited by nats
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Mary,

Lars will be gone 2 years on Dec 11th and while it is still hard to believe and go on at times, they are becoming less painful as time goes on.

I met a very nice man a few weeks ago, he has a wonderful smile that reaches his eyes, he's very articulte in his speech, and has done a bit of travelling in his job. After spending a few evening together,enjoyable as it was being able to banter with a man again, I realized that this was not for me. Having lost his wife , he was understanding to my feelings.

Will this develop later?I sure don't know, but one thing I realized was that at no time did I compare him with Lars.

Lainey

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Nats,

I understand what you are saying, and like grief we all go through it different. The same is said for a new relationship. For me I am not ready yet. I have my goal of becoming a nurse first. That is my number 1 right now. I need the training and then a job. After there will be time for a new relationship, but for now my focus has to be on my training. Being on unemployment just does not cut it. Living week to week and bleeding money, if you have a job that covers all your expenses plus things you like to do, well you are blessed. That is my goal now. I can do it and it will happen. I will find out Friday at 11:15, if I start school on Monday the 7, if not my next start date is the 21. I just don't get it. Down in Washington all they talk about is getting people back to work, but yet they have not released the funding for the Career Centers, that was supposed to be sent out on July 1. How can they do this. The funding will help train people in jobs of today, and it will get them back into the work force, which in turn means more revenue coming in. It is that simple, but yet those in Washington, cannot see it that way, so I wait until they do, whenever that will be.

God Bless

Dwayne

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Deb, I can relate...it IS hard to find male friends. Unfortunately, many are "hopefuls", no matter what they tell you. You can agree on being friends but inwardly they are hoping for more, and that leads to problems. I would love nothing more than to have male friends who really are just that and don't mix it all up.

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All of you, thank you so much for your words and support. I have been out of town visiting with my sister in law for several days, and have just now been back on the computer.

I had a wonderful visit with Joyce. She and my brother have a retirement/vacation home in Hot Springs, AR on the lake. They still live in Bryan, TX, and he is at Texas A&M in neuclear chemistry research, or something like that. He is retiring in a couple of years. They come up to Hot Springs quite often. She comes up several times a year, just by herself and spends some time at the Hot Springs house. This is probably the first time that she and I, in all the 40 years that they have been married, have had this much time together alone. We talked about all sorts of things, and it was great for both of us. We agreed that what was discussed in Hot Springs, stays in Hot Springs...lol.

I did discuss with her the date, and my reaction to a relationship at this point. She agreed that just being lonely at times is not a reason for a relationship. She really loved Mike also, and we talked some about how she felt when he died. She and Mike were good friends, and bonded over the fact that they were the in-laws. We loved to visit with them in Texas. We are all very competitive in playing games. She and Mike loved to team up against my brother and myself.

I have lots of friends, both sexes, and that is just going to have to do for now. I am definitely not ready for anything else, but I did not understand that until I tried it. I have my friend Tom, who also lost his spouse, and is a classmate of my brothers. He and I do get-together for meals, and visits, but there is no pressure for either one of us. Neither of us is ready for anything more. Lots of people in town think we are dating because we are sometimes seen together, but we just laugh.

I am just glad for my friends, and appreciate all the things that you guys here said. It makes me feel better and a little less foolish to realize that I am not alone in these feelings. I will be 66 in a couple of weeks, and I would hope that I would not be so foolish at this age!! Guess we are never too old to learn lessons.

Appreciate all of you so much.

Mary (Queeniemary) in Arkansas

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Mary, I also have a male friend (widowed) that I spend some time with but only as friends, and it is NOT going to go anywhere except friendship. It is nice to have someone share a meal or watch a movie or give each other a ride, but no expectations, just friendship...to me, much preferable!

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Dear Mary,

I have a very good female friend. Donna who was Pauline's best friend for about 28-29 years. She feels very comfortable with me, and we can talk about anything, just like her and Pauline had done for so many years. I have said to her many times, I am glad that she can find comfort when we talk, and the same for me. I can tell her anything, and know what we talk about is just between us. We tell no one what we have talked about, even her husband Greg, who has, now became another of my best friends. What we tell each other we do not tell others. I am bless to have 2 best friends in my life now. It is a very good feeling, to be with them and, they understand when a wave comes over me, and tears flow.

God Bless

Dwayne

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