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Widowhood
figuring out this new phase of life
EleanorSews
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EleanorSews  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/9/11 12:09 PM

Recently I've been thinking and wondering if it makes sense to have some kind of on-going topic for sharing what this new experience is for those of us who have lost a spouse. In my town, there is an informal group of widows who got together about 10-12 years ago when a half dozen women who knew one another in a variety of ways realized that there was a small group with a shared experience and they "got it" when one of them said something about what she was going through. Over the years, this group has grown a bit. The invitation to join comes if you are lucky enough to know someone who is a part of it. We all mourn differently and have different ways of coping, but we all get it when someone talks about reading a book and there is no one to share a quote or comment with...

This morning brought me yet another light bulb moment. I was talking with someone and related the conversation DH & I had right after getting his lung cancer diagnosis, recommendation for treatment and the prognosis which was not good. DH finally looked at me and said, "we know how this is going to end, we just don't know when". He went on to suggest that we had choices, we could sit around and worry about when and what and how or we could choose to live as fully as possible until the end came. He was opting for living. As I was relating this, it occurred to me that I had been applying that approach to this new phase of my life. Rather than allowing myself to fall into depression and pining for him, I had chosen to live as best I could, forging new firendships, nurturing other freindships and continuing to do the things we'd always enjoyed doing. Granted, it helps that my tendency is toward joyfulness and finding what is good and hopeful in life, but drawing the line of this parallel thinking was new to me. It made me feel as if DH was with me in that moment reminding me to choose life and telling me I was doing the right thing.

I really do miss my DH more than words can say and as the date of his death approaches, it is difficult to push aside the thoughts of those last few days, let alone the moments at his death. But now, I'm going to try to force myself to remember his wisdom.

Anyway, there you go. If anyolne else is going through this and looking for somewhere to go and someone to walk this walk with, maybe this is another possible choice. We will see...

Eleanor

------
"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nin

"Attitude is the difference between an adventure and an ordeal." unknown

JTink
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In reply to EleanorSews


Date: 12/9/11 12:21 PM

Eleanor, I'm not a widow, but I think this would be a wonderful place to start an "outlet" for widowhood. This site has always lent itself to a caring, supportive community. It's only my opinion, but having an ongoing topic of this nature, could the only opportunity some have to reach out.

poorpigling

poorpigling
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In reply to EleanorSews


Date: 12/9/11 12:34 PM


Good for you Eleanor.. getting on with life.. I remember my mother saying after my father died.. that we should never put any facet of our living our lives on hold .. waiting for this or that to happen before we allowed ourselves to get out and enjoy our lives to the fullest..

Too often we don't learn this until someone dear has passed on and we then realize how short life can be..

Your postings during your DHs illness inspired me to do more with my life.. and I am happy you are finding some fullfillment in your widowhood.. You know we all love you.. so many to help you thru this time..

This thread indeed is a very good idea..

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Date: 12/9/11 1:03 PM

This is an excellent idea. I am 2 years and just over 9 months into this walk of being a "me" instead of "we" and while it does get easier, you never "get used to it" as some might imply. The anniversaries don't come with quite the same dread anymore, and looking at family photos doesn't hurt quite so much.

I used to hear a funny story and think I must remember to tell my husband, only to remember I couldn't do that anymore. That doesn't happen as often these days.

Blessings on all during this difficult time, and especially for you, Eleanor, as the first anniversary rolls around. You can get through it.

Linda

------
Grandma to arguably the cutest 8-year old ever!

lisalu
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Date: 12/9/11 3:18 PM

I'm not a widow - in fact today is DH's birthday (we have been married 32 years.) Your post does make me think about appreciating someone who "gets on my nerves" now and then. Since DH lost his job more than a year ago and now does consulting work from home, that aggravation has increased. It is hard to keep my perspective sometimes about how much I'd miss him if he wasn't here...and I know I'd regret all the times I just wished he'd get out of the house and go somewhere!

I'm very sorry for your loss. I am glad you have shared it here to give comfort to those who walk in your shoes and to give others of us a glimpse of what we may experience some day so that we might enjoy every moment with our husbands while we can.

------
Jim (Singer 301), Margaret (Singer 201-2), Betty (Singer 15-91), Bud (Singer 503), Kathy (Singer 221), Liz (Singer 221 Centennial Edition)
http://runningstitches-mkb.blogspot.com/

Miss Fairchild
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In reply to EleanorSews


Date: 12/9/11 3:26 PM

Eleanor, your courage to pull yourself up and move on is phenomenal. Thankfully DH was able to talk with you about what you needed to do; mine wasn't when he passed. Holidays are always tough; even for those who are living, and to get through them by looking back and saying, "Yes, I made it another year", can at times be daunting. But it's the courage that your DH also had to tell you to choose life is what pulls you through. Rethinking your life as a sole person isn't easy to do; it took me over 2 years. And to think you've had this revelation early on--good for you!

------
"Play the cards you are dealt, but choose who is sitting at the table"..AARP magazine

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sewbehind
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Date: 12/9/11 11:10 PM

Not a widow either, Eleanor. Your words speak truth and courage.
Wishing you peace and comfort as you approach the "anniversary." This time of year is always tough for those who have lost someone.
Helen

ConnieBJ
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Date: 12/10/11 9:25 AM

Also not a widow. Thank you Eleanor, for your wisdom, and courage. What a wonderful relationship you must have been blessed with.

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Connie Bontje

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ShantiSeamstressing
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Date: 12/10/11 2:38 PM

Thank you, Eleanor, for sharing on this topic. I'm not yet a widow, but like you, I have a natural tendency to gravitate toward joy and look for beauty in life. I was blessed to have a grandmother who was widowed much of her adult life and lived just as you, focusing on living life and what is and can be rather than what was....I don't know what it may be like some day, but with God's help I hope to do as you and my dear, dear grandmother do/did. Thank you again....

Vintage Joan
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Date: 12/10/11 3:33 PM

I'm not a widow (have been on my own for years, though) -- but I just wanted to say this is a great idea for a topic.

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my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

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