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Is This Normal? I Feel Like There Are Too Many Choices.


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When Arthur was alive I knew where our life was going. He had specific life goals and I was happy to support them. He was an RN and had goals professionally. We had dreams for our 'forever home' and how many kids we were going to have. Truly Arthur had his whole life planned out and since my goal was simply to be with him, have a family and a home I was happy to support him in reaching those goals. Now that he is gone I feel a drift.

I lost my husband, my best friend and the life we had planned together. Now I am not sure what I want. I know 36 is to young to give up on life. My husband is dead, but I am not...there is a good chance I could live another 30 or 40+ years. I need to do something with that time, but I am not sure what I want. I mean I know I want Arthur back, but that is not a choice.

I have enough money for right now to think about this...but I will have to figure something out eventually. I am going to have to get a job, or start a business of some sort or do something...both for financial reasons and simply so I am living rather than simply existing.

I have lived so much of my life based on what others wanted. I went to college because it was expected of me. I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life so I randomly picked a major. I majored in Psychology because it seemed like an easy major. I realized as I was graduating that I could not think of anything I wanted to do with that major.

I have never had big goals in life. I want to be happy. I want to be a mom. I want a home. Basically my life dream was to be a stay at home mom...which I was...but now I am going to have to find another dream. I have to figure out how to keep my home, feed my daughter and find another 'happy place' in life.

This all feels so huge and scary. I feel silly saying that I am scared because there are too many choices when so many people in this world don't have any at all...but it is how I feel. The world is so big and I am not sure which life path to take.

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You are so very young to have suffered such a terrible loss, I'm sure everything is so overwhelming, frightening and the rest of your life looms huge.

I think we devote ourselves to others and do not spend enough time discovering who we are. After our "other half" is gone, we are adrift. I know I never spent time thinking about what I would do if I was alone. I spent my life enjoying my "married" life and doing things to enrich our lives as a family. I guess I never thought I would be alone.

At the last meeting of my support group, we talked about this very subject. What do we do with the rest of our lives....what do we do next....how do we discover who we are now.....how do we plan for the future when we honestly aren't very interested in the future?

Wish I could report that there was a simple, doable, quick fix answer. But unfortunately, we couldn't find one.

Here are some things we did agree on:

begin thinking about ourselves as single

boldly take one step at a time

try not to over analyze every move we make

accept baby steps

be willing to fail and keep on trying

give ourselves time, there are very, very few decisions that have to be made immediately

try different things to see if "they are you"

decide that for a while, the only person we really "need" to please is ourselves

accept that time is our friend and to just allow ourselves time

I know there are many, many more things that others could add to the list.

It has been four years since Dick's death and I am just beginning to discover things that please me. At first, it seemed disloyal or something to accept the fact that I actually have different interests and that my situation has changed, therefore, I will be doing things differently.

None of us are assured a picture perfect future, we are given one day at a time and it is our day to fill. Sometimes we will fill that day with happy, fun, positive events and sometimes we may fill the day with sadness and doubt. The day will be our day to do with what we wish.

Your grief is so new, your mind is in such a jumble....give yourself a break and accept time.

Hang in there, it just marches on. Am so glad you talk to us. It keeps us connected as well as giving us the opportunity to consider where we are in our journey.

Hugs..........Anne

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I don't think it's silly at all to be scared! None of us were used to making decisions alone so this is new territory, as well as everything you thought would happen...well it is getting rewrote.

Many young people don't know what they want to do with their life at the age of 18 when they pick a major. My son was fortunate enough to spend some years doing different things before he figured out what he wanted to major in and set about going to college (incidentally, he picked what I had him pegged for at age two...does a mother know her child or what!). Maybe you should look for work and see what appeals to you...if you took a job doing something you might discover something you like and might even want to go back to school in that field. Is there any hobby or interest you have that could be developed as a career? A love of pets, arts, find you are good at bookkeeping, like taking care of children, etc....maybe just explore some possibilities. If you're considering starting your own business, contact your local community college, they'll have some pointers. SCORE is a good place to make an appt. as well, they are volunteers, usually retired businessmen that have a lot to offer to give direction and ideas.

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Dear Lina,

You have taken a huge step just by identifying where you are, what your fears and feelings are. It is a slow process. Anne and Kay have provided great input that I totally agree with. Be patient...it all takes time. Peace, Mary

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Lina,

You have time to give yourself time to think it through. Yes, eventually you have to decide, but not tomorrow. I suggest you get a notebook with nothing else in it (new or used) just take everything else out of it and have it as your thoughts notebook. By this I mean write down any interest you have currently or in the past, such as painting, sewing and so on, then how you could connect those to a job or business you would enjoy. This will take some of the scaryness out of it. But, anything new we start in life is scary, until we find something that fits. You will find something that fits you when the time is right, don't rush into it, once you write things down you can go back and even narrow it down from there. Take it a step at a time, that will ease the stress and scaryness, too!

Keeping you in my thoughts!

amw

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Lina,

I know what you mean about too many decisions. I was asked the other night "what do you see in your future?" I couldn't answer a simple question like that? I always had a plan or goal in mind. Now without Celene, I don't know what Iwant to do. From what I have read here is that only time will tell. I guess we are on the right path.

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The only thing I know is that I want to get to a point where I can be happy again. I know Arthur would want me to be OK. I put a sign up on the wall that says "I will do more than survive, I will THRIVE." I am working hard to make sure I don't suppress this pain. As much as it is so hard to imagine a future without Arthur, I also can't imagine Arthur wanting me to ever give up. He was a fighter...he used to say he had the heart of a warrior. He would want me to fight to be happy again.

I don't know what I will be doing in six months let alone six years...but I have to believe that I will feel more at peace and happier then I do now.

With that in mind I just ordered myself a hammock....so I can spend hours this summer swaying under the trees in the backyard feeling, thinking and hopefully healing. I have also been working to make sure I go out. I have been connecting with my friends. I have also been making sure I take care of the practical stuff so that I have choices even if I don't know what I want those choices to be. Mostly I haven't been allowing myself to shut down no matter how much I want to.

June is such an intense month for me...between our wedding anniversary on the 5th (two days ago) and my 37th birthday on the 26th....it is just a really hard month to have him gone.

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I know how hard it must have been on your anniversary day. Celene and my anniversary was 5 weeks after her passing. It was the same day as my parents. I am not sure how I made it thru the day. I can remember making a posting on her memorial site, my first night back to work, and having dinner with my daughter, father and a couple of friends. My birthday was 4 days before Celene passed. She made mini cakes and a couple were left over. I wanted so bad to keep the left over cake she made me last forever, of course it didn't. Looking at that cake reminded me of how happy we all were on my birthday and I just wanted to be happy. On days when I am feeling down, I look for reminders of the happy moments we shared.

Anthony

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Lina,

I know what you mean about too many decisions. I was asked the other night "what do you see in your future?" I couldn't answer a simple question like that? I always had a plan or goal in mind. Now without Celene, I don't know what Iwant to do. From what I have read here is that only time will tell. I guess we are on the right path.

I think it's ridiculous that someone would ask you that when you're newly grieving, good grief!!! I'd tell them something like "despondency" or something...it might hit them but gosh if they don't need hit!

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