THREE YEARS IN THE NEW NORMAL AND COUNTING

by Judy
(Rockledge, FL)

Hi everyone it's Judy from Florida

I also am coming up on three years without my Barry. I still dread the holiday season but even that is better than it was. I make a real effort not to be alone.

When I think about the past three years I am amazed at how quickly it has actually passed, and how on occasion I still feel like Barry's passing was yesterday. I still miss him eveyday but not in the gut wrenching way I did at first. I still catch myself talking aloud to him sometimes when I see somethng I know he would love. I miss him most in times like those, ordinary moments that make up the fabric of our days.

I have been surprised how independent I have become and how I have come to enjoy, even crave, solitude. I walk along in the world alone now, shop alone, eat alone, clean house alone, sleep alone, make all my decisions alone and live with the consequences. So far I haven't messed up too badly.

I don't seem to be very adept at making friends. So be it. This is a benefits of growing older that no one mentions. You really do begin to enjoy your own company. I still hope to find another companion one day but if not I'll still be ok.

I don't live by any clock anymore- there's no one at home to care. I eat strange things for dinner or skip it and run around all day Saturday in my pajamas sometimes. I watch crazy reality shows without guilt. I baby my cat and give her milk on the counter top. Sometimes I even leave the dishes. I am becoming a wild woman!

I have never felt like Barry has come to me, nor have I ever had a sense he is watching over me. I've wanted this, I have wished for it but it never happened. Maybe someone is advising him to cut me off so I can go on.

I still have no clue as to what tomorrow will bring, much less my previously planned out future. What will be will be. You can plan all you want but in the end the man upstairs directs things. I'm not afraid of much anymore. I'll get through it whatever it is.

To all of you here who have been beside me on this crazy road, thank you. We are all gonna make it.



Comments for THREE YEARS IN THE NEW NORMAL AND COUNTING

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Oct 28, 2012
Grief nearing the 3 year mark...
by: HH

Judy,

I can certainly understand and agree where you are coming from. I am still Missing My Love I guess though life goes on and we adjust the Still Miss You will still be there. I also enjoy doing what I want when I want. The only benefit from grief or is it I wonder. Will I be set in my ways doing as I please unable to mesh with others having been alone these 3 long years. I share my life with my neighbor on the back porch but that is all. My social life is a huge void and I filled it with travel and concerts with my son over the Summer months.

Because of this it is a hand to mouth existence but I would not trade it for anything. I think that doing and experiencing the things I have since Paul's death have helped me to understand not just who I am but who I have become with grief.

I do not take joy for granted, When it comes to me I enjoy it almost inhale it as the most fragrant emotion not letting any go unnoticed. The bad days at work are even more tolerable because I understand how much time and energy can be wasted on people who choose to spend their time demeaning or humiliating people for the sake of just being right. I know in my heart the difference between right and wrong and I try to treat people as I wish to be treated.

The people that play the games tire me as I do not want to mess with that nonsense anymore. I guess age but especially grief made that realization possible.

I do Miss My Love as the 3 year mark approaches. I also miss him this evening as Hurricane Sandy nears the Virgina shores. I miss him as my Protector, my Confidant, Lover and Friend....

I still miss what was but know that there is so much more ahead for me in this life and I am not scared to experience it as full as possible. I may die today or 30 years from now knowing that I will Live and Love each day knowing how precious it is.

Only those who have lost everything can appreciate the here and now and look towards the future with wonder and amazement for what lies ahead.

I truly believe that and am ready for anything. Always, One Breath one step at a time...
HH

Oct 22, 2012
good to hear
by: Anonymous

Great stuff Judy. I'm happy for you and also can relate.
I'm only just over 1 year and now am slowly starting to feel a little of my old self coming back. Tears and grief are still close but not running my life 24 hours of the day anymore.
I never thought in the beginning I would ever be able be happy again. But I'm starting to have days even weeks where I'm doing OK and not living too much in the past but getting on with my day to day life and feeling apart of today instead of being stuck in yesterday.
I too have realised it is OK to be alone and to actually enjoy solitude and be Ok with it. I also have nights where I don't wash up and go to bed and do it in the morning, days of doing nothing much, watch a DVD, play music wander around in my PJ's realising now who cares as long as I'm comfortable and doing what I want.
In my mind I now feel my partner would be happy where ever he is now, after all he's had 12 months to settle in with our friends and family who passed before him. So I'm sure he's just fine where he is. No need to worry or feel guilty.
Things do happen from time to time and I wonder if it's my partner around me, guiding me but I'm no longer in a constant state of looking for him or signs of him. I just accept it was probably him and get on with living as best and happily as I can.
Enjoyed your story, thank you, it gives hope. Good luck. Your doing well, great stuff.

Oct 19, 2012
Three years and counting
by: Pat J.Green Bay,WI

Dear Judy,
I am grateul to read your post after 3 years. I lost my husband, Red, his nickname, June 27, 2011. It is very enlightening to hear how you are in your journey of grief. It gives all of us the hope we need to know we all will make it. I used to say, I am faking it until I make it. I am making it. It is amazing how independent we become. We don't have a choice. We all are strong women.
I too am getting used to being alone, eating alone and going to bed alone. I still can't go out to eat alone. I go out to eat when I am with family or girlfriends, who all are widows now. I have a few friends who still have there spouses, but I have this tinge of jealously, because they still have their husbands. I know in time I will get over that.
I don't think we really ever get over losing the love of our life. We just accept our new life and keep our loved one tucked safely in our heart. I miss Red so much. I still shed tears; not everyday, but they are always so close to the surface.
I feel Red's presence. I hear a song on the radio and it is like he is talking to me, or maybe I just listen to the words more closely. I like to believe it is Red giving me a sign. Only one who has experienced our loss truly understands. I too say, it is what it is.
I cherish his memory and I am grateful to have had him in my life. We all wish we would have had them much longer; but the inevitable is we all will die. I do not fear death any more. At one time, I too wanted to die; we all did. Now I want to live for both of us; experience the joy of watching our grandchildren grow up. I talk to him everyday. I share my thoughts with him. I miss the physical part of him, but cherish the spiritually. I am grateful for my faith. It is helping carry me through this journey.
Again, thank you for the encouraging words. They are from your heart and you have experienced it all. God Bless You and All of Us.

Oct 19, 2012
THREE YEARS IN THE NEW NORMAL AND COUNTING
by: Doreen U.K

Judy THANK YOU!! for posting your positive story of survival from GRIEF. It gives HOPE to us who are just in the early stages of our grief and find it hard to HOPE for the future without our loved ones.
You have painted your story and journey and whilst it may be identical to some people it will be similar to all of us who are mature in years and find life that bit more difficult to go forward in our latters years without our spouse.
There are positives in all phases of life but in grief it is much slower.
One thing you say is finding it difficult to make friends. This is similar to me. There are benefits of being alone. We can eat if and when we want to. We can cook whatever we want and eat whenever we want to. If we want to eat out we can. You don't have to get dressed if you don't want to. One day I have promised myself to spent a day in my dresssing gown and do nothing all day.
Life is hard for all of us but your post was a breath of fresh air to those of us who know that better days are coming and we AWAIT those days without the GUILT. We have been given LIFE. We have no CHOICE to live it. BUT HOW?? different for each of us.
In England this is CANCER week where they are showing us how people live with CANCER. They go out and live every bit of life as best as they can, join choirs, or run/walk for charity etc. they are trying to squeeze every drop out of the little life they may have left. This a good GOAL to strive for. It is filled with HOPE. Sometimes we need a little diversion from our GRIEF if only to breath a little and remember our fellow man still in the trenches of living with a terminal illness or others who are fighting this battle of grief and survival. Best wishes to all of you as you go forward in whatever direction life takes you. For those still in the trenches of LOSS. We are still here to support one another till we are able to find life is worth LIVING AGAIN.

Oct 19, 2012
Time goes by
by: M Mack

Judy,

It's good to hear from you and others that have made it to three years. I'm over two years and feel there has been progress. I also do it my way with a snicker of satisfaction. If I don't really like the movie I rented - I don't turn it off. I want to know what happens at the end. He would never hang in there that long. I put whatever I want on the radio - he was stuck in the 80 s. I'm not sure if this is good or bad to enjoy freedom of certain decisions. He was level headed, patient and I jump into things much faster. Maybe not so good. You say you don't get the feeling that his spirit is around you. I know his spirit is here. Try opening up to it more. I've call psychics so many times in the last 2 years. All of them are noteworthy who have located missing persons and have the ability to see and talk to those that have passed. Well, I can honestly say I'm a believer. I've always doubted this ability but now, I actually received and still do get messages from my love. It's amazing the way contact is all around us. One thing you don't want to do if you read up on this is discuss it with friends. Many are not open for it so I go about my business yet know not to go overboard. I actually feel a tingle or a touch on my leg - sometimes it like mild electric shock. Nothing painful but I know he's with me. I'm so glad to hear you're doing better, finding your way. It is our new normal, not by choice. So take care and ill keep you in my prayers my fellow widow. PS - my submit word: accend

Oct 19, 2012
Three years in the new normal
by: June

Judy
You expressed my feelings almost to a "T". Although it has only been 7 1/2 months since my Mike passed away...and I miss him terribly, I too am comfortable in solitude (most of the time). Once in a while coincidences happen, such as thinking about Mike and my favourite song "Together Again" by Paul Brandt comes on. I could and would like to take this as a sign that Mike is around me, but common sense tells me different. I talk to my dog and cat and I know they understand. They are keeping me sane. This is a different life and one that I didn't think would come at this time, but we have to cope with it. I would like to think that this isn't all there is to life but who knows? One day at a time. Thinking about you. June

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