Saturday, November 30, 2013

Afterword. New Resolution: Don’t Look Back

Mid-November was my wedding anniversary. Last year, so soon after Andrew's death, it wasn't an occasion for extra grief; it blended in with the rest, one long grieving process. This time, having finally arrived at quite a nice place after a year of grieving, suddenly I was hit with another round of crying which lasted the rest of the month. 

Looking back to the happy times, I cried because those times are past. Looking back to the traumatic times, I cried because I was unable to make life perfect for him. And then, watching a TV program about someone far gone with Alzheimer's, I cried with thankfulness that he (who had it only mildly) never got to be like that. 

Additionally, I've again experienced shaking and breathlessness, things I need to remember popping out of my mind almost as soon as they pop in, and the deadening effects of depression. 

'So I know the grief is liable to recur at all sorts of times, in all sorts of ways. I am not so stupid as to imagine I'll ever 'get over it'. But I don't want to court these recurrences. I've decided I must stop looking back. It will happen unbidden of course, so in practice that's likely to mean nipping it in the bud, switching my thoughts as soon as I catch them. 

It's not as if I've been suppressing my feelings for the last year. I don't think it's unhealthy if at this point I refuse to wallow. I might have many years of living left. I'd like to live them, not stay tied to the past.

So, OK, no looking back — but how do I look forward? The unknown future confronts me. I have no idea what direction it will take. Anything could happen. My only plan is to be present for it.

7 comments:

  1. Hi Rosemary ~~ This is a hard one, reading of your tough times this month. But we should read and you should post, like you say it has to be worked through. I don't know a whole lot about our bodies, but please be sure there isn't anything medical that is making you have the shakes and breathlessness. There are things that linger, I think. After 40 years I still have an impulsive stifled sob at times when I am 'sighing'. (My devastating experience was an unexpected divorce.)

    Tomorrow we will attend our very good friend's funeral, he died Friday. His wife will have to go through things similar to yours I am sure. She is a Christian and her faith is pretty strong. I have doubts that her prayers will change things physically very much--we never know--but to her Jesus is a companion, always there for her for confiding and consolation. Though, when I can't sleep and if I can remember, saying prayers generally puts me to sleep, it may help her that way.

    Another friend lost his wife about two years ago. I occasionally play golf with him. That means spending about five (more if we eat afterwards) hours together, hitting the balls, riding together, and talking. I should play more often with him as I am sure at the least it helps him to be occupied without too many of the dreaded 'all alone' moments that go with grief. He is a Christian too but we don't talk very much at all about what help he gets from this.

    Bless, you Rosemary, my wishes for you is for a much clearer and happier year ahead. I will pray for that along with the wishing.
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    1. Dear Jim, I so appreciate your always kind and thoughtful responses, and also your prayers.

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    2. PS Good suggestion about the medical check. Those symptoms have subsided, but I'll keep an eye on things.

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  2. That's good. I am sorry about your husband. The grief may never go away, but I am glad that you looking towards the future. : )

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  3. I think you should feel whatever it is you feel and if you want to wallow, wallow…But that is the beauty of time. I wouldn't say time heals. It doesn't. The pain, sadness and hurt always remain. But time does make daily life easier. And that is what you have to focus on. And you also have to focus on what makes you happy. That is what your husband would want. Take every day at a time and whatever happens happens. Just be open to it. One of my friends lost his wife last december. while she wasn't sick long she was very VERY sick for when she was. He had his mind totally closed to meeting anyone else. But he did allow himself meet new friends and one of them now is someone he is seeing and falling in love with… It is hard for us to see them together but wonderful to see a smile in his eyes...

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    1. Thanks for your wise words, Hilary. Right now I don't want to wallow any more ... but it may be that tomorrow I will. I am learning that this journey is not predictable.

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