Me, Myself, and I

As I kick off my newly titled Blog “Party of One”, I am looking at how over the past 7+ years I have survived my journey with grief since the loss of my husband. Surviving is really all we who are left can do. Or so I thought when Sam dropped dead on the bathroom floor that night in May 2012.

I was a young widow of 62. I had taken early retirement and all of my friends and family were still working and had each other. Feeling like the odd man out, it took all I could do to muster the courage to leave the house. People tried to help me but they had no idea what I was going through and I believe that being around a grieving widow truly made them uncomfortable. It’s surprising how you can look back and things are so clear when you do. Grief is a fog that clouds your mind and you are not present in the moment. You think you are because everything feels so painful, so fresh, but you’re just going through the motions. Grief has made me tougher. No kidding. Sometimes I feel as if it can’t get much worse. Grief has made me more empathetic, you can’t feel pain for someone else unless you too have been through it. Grief has made me more spiritual, I know Sam is with me, I feel him and I talk to him, and I know he hears me.

Something happened this past Sunday morning. After 10:30 Mass I was heading home, but wanted to stop somewhere for breakfast or brunch. I called my neighbor to see if he wanted to meet up, but he was heading to the beach with friends. So I tried another friend Kathy, she had already eaten. As I was quickly passing all the good places to eat, I decided “Hey, I don’t have to have company to eat” I’ll just stop at University Roadhouse and have brunch. I really didn’t give it much thought. Just pulled in, parked, and took a seat at the bar. Normally I wouldn’t have done that but I didn’t feel awkward. Boys and girls, that’s what I call progress. The fact that it took almost a decade is beside the point. I was finally comfortable in my own skin. Hopefully this feeling will stick with me.

Life is lonely when you don’t have a plus one. Am I the only one who has lost a spouse and feels this way? I would be curious about my readers who have gone through this and what you do that helps you cope with loss of this magnitude when you are out and about or just trying to find someone to eat with. Please share in the comments below.

13 thoughts on “Me, Myself, and I

  1. Theresa, I so like your blog. It’s been 4 years for me and I’m still going to some couseling. I guess the grief never completely leaves. I’m learning to live with it,and I really don’t have any family any more. It’s good to have backup! I do have some good friends though. You need people to talk to!

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  2. Hey Theresa. I lost my husband of 32 years last year. It took months for me to even get out of the house. I didn’t want to eat. One meal consisted of Fritos & a glass of wine. At first “friends” would contact me to go to lunch or dinner but I realized later when they didn’t have time to go for another meal was that they only wanted to know how he died. I couldn’t sleep without sleeping aids. I still have days that are a struggle but I have the love & support of my family & 1 very special friend that make it bearable. Hope you find peace. I’m still looking for mine.

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  3. Lynn: Your loss is still so very fresh and it takes such a long time to realize what is going on. I have friends but my Son and Grandkids are in Atlanta. I have to admit I drank a lot right after he died. It eased the pain. Doing better now and writing this blog helps me a lot. Hope in a way it helps you too.
    God Bless

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  4. Well said my friend. And divorce can be as much a grieving experience.. devastating. I found that finally I was okay to be by myself..took a while though…but I found not always were people available too. Every time tho I ventured out alone it made me braver..God granted me a great guy…but I had to be receptive. Hugz

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  5. This year marked the fourth anniversary of my wife’s unexpected death. It is not possible to describe the magnitude of the suffering that accompanies the loss of a longtime spouse. This summer I have finally accepted the reality of my new life. There is a comforting peace that comes from this acceptance, but the process proceeds at its own pace. Much of the past four years does indeed seem emerged in a fog. I was only partially there in the moment, but now am emerging into a new world of clarity. There comes a realization that you still have a life to live and it is you who primarily will determine the quality of that life. I enjoy your writing Theresa, and it is important.

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  6. I think part of my ability to strike out on my own comes from clarity of my own situation. It is difficult to write about my loss, but if it helps even one person, it is worth it. Plus it brings back good memories of Sam. Thanks Mike..

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  7. Hey lady…it’s been 12 years for me now, I was 57 when I lost Rick. Yes, there have been many difficult times, but also many, many good memories. I see him in my children and grandchildren and know that he is still with us each and every day. I had 39 fabulous years with the love of my life and never regret a minute. We keep his memory alive and for the youngest grandchildren we make sure to tell the stories so they will know their grandfather. Life is sometimes very unfair but we learn to cope. I have also become stronger (sometimes my kids think too much so) and am not hesitant to travel and dine alone. It is surprising how many of my friends wish they had the courage to do the same. You meet interesting people in your journey but you also must be cautious and safe. I spent 7 months traveling this past year and what an experience. Lonely sometimes but still lots of memories and many new friends. You get one chance at life and I say “go for it”.

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  8. Theresa, thank you for sharing the story of your life’s journey. My wife and I were married for 26 years and then the divorce happened. The most stressful situation I have ever been in. Each day when I woke and told myself “it can’t get any worse” something would happen to make me wish it was yesterday. My ex-wife died in an auto accident just a year after the divorce was final, so we never got a chance to seek any common ground on which to move forward. But, things eventually got better day by day and now I am in a better place to be. I hope your journey will find you in that better place also.

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  9. Thanks so much Dan for sharing with me. I knew something about what you went through via the ever popular grapevine. We grieve through divorce, (been there too) you always wonder if you could have done something to prevent it and then there is the failure aspect we put on ourselves. Then to top it off you lose the person and all hope. I am so sorry for your losses, but am happy that you found Mary Eliza with whom you can share the future.

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