I have not written since the middle of June. It has just been too hard. I have struggled with IBSD and grief and didn’t want to write about all my sadness and anxiety. I have moved to Longhorn Village a wonderful home for those who want to live the rest of their lives with joy and I have met so many people who live life to the fullest. It will take me time to adjust and the grief will come and go on its own schedule. Nevertheless, I am hopeful for the first time in forever.
I will be able to do stimulating mental and physical activities and it is such a relief after covid to be able to go without a mask here and shake hands. Before all this journey we have all been on with virus we would never had imagined how our world would change.
I thank God for all that has changed in my life…the good and the bad. I would have preferred to not go through some of it but I am alive getting up every morning.
For some reason it has been very hard for me to write. It is as if my brain has gone on vacation. In some ways it worries me. Has all this stuff over the last year changed my ability to think? It is a scary thought. One that is particularly frightening one for me. I have worked with families who are suffering through family members with dementia and their pain is great. I hope as things settle I will feel more myself.
I hope that it will only be a few weeks before I more to my next destination. It will be so wonderful to feel that I can plant my feet and settle into a home. The apartment is being worked on at this time and I can move as soon as the work is done.
I have been trying to get some things cleaned up and sorted for the move. That means sorting my husband’s things and deciding what to let go and what to keep. It is going well with some moments of sadness.
Hopefully I will get back to my regular writing schedule in the near future and actually have something interesting to say.
Last week was a lost week. For some reason I was in a bad place and nothing seemed right. It is the first time that I have had such a down time. I think the impact of everything that has happened since last March finally got to me. (Covid, husband in hospital several times, moving to another city, downsizing to an apartment from my wonderful home, losing my husband, paperwork, changing everything from ours to mine.) A lot to take in over that short time. I guess I wouldn’t have been normal if it didn’t get to me. Just letting it all out helped.
I have begun doing mandalas for healing again, my attitude is different and I feel better. Strangely enough the dogs are behaving better. I am sure that my upset has been affecting them. Yes, I am still grieving and that will take time but I feel more grounded
Today has been one of my first special days to get through. It was my husband’s birthday. It is strange to live that day without him around. I was remembering last year when we did a party for him outside in the yard with just family and one friend. He was not well then and didn’t really enjoy it.
I am sure that this day is better for him. He didn’t cope well with being unable to do the things he loved. Even though he was able to be with family during the last months it wasn’t the same for him.
Now it is time to accept this day with joy for the time I had with him. That is what he would want.
For the last few days I have been thinking about what it means to lose a spouse of almost 59 years. It has reminded me of something my grandmother said after she turned 100. She remarked that no one she had known for most of her life was still alive. No one could really grasp her journey.
I have remembered that statement and thought about it over the years. Now having lost my husband and all but one friend I grew up with I can begin to understand what she was talking about. Fortunately for me there are still people around who are my contemporaries and so there are still those who remember the things I do. That is a blessing.
I have realized though that there is a kind of loneliness in missing the person who lived most of my life with me. There are experiences that no one else shared. I know I will continue to miss being able to connect with him over our life together.
There is also a loneliness in knowing that I am alone in a way that I have never been. Thank God I have a loving and wonderful family of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren who will continue to fill my life with joy.
Friends also help to dispel the sense of being along. With them are also many shared memories and I know that there will be many more with those I will connect in the future. I tend to look at the positive and continue to savor all that life has to offer me. This is just an in between time that brings thoughts and ponderings to light.
This past week I was able to get my second covid vaccination. It is a relief. Now I have to look to moving forward. It looks as if I will be moving to the community (that we were both to move to) at the beginning of June. I am so longing to be finally settled. I have felt so disconnected.
We were also able to go to church on Sunday and that was so wonderful. I hope that before long we will actually be able to connect in a deeper way. Masks make it so difficult.
Before I move I need to donate my husband’s things. This is hard to think about but they will mean so much to those who need them. I will feel as if I am giving part of him away but he would be glad that his things can be used. This is just another step in my grieving…another move forward.
Moving my dogs into an apartment with no outside access will be a change for them but I think they will be happy wherever I am. they are very clingy.
This has been a good day. I got to spend most of it with my daughter. The only sad spot was picking up my husband’s ashes. Doing it with my daughter made it meaningful. We will be able to do a memorial service in the fall at the church my husband built. He loved it so. We want people to be able to come and I want a military presence since that was such a part of his life.
We spent lots of time in a garden nursery center that was amazing. Just being outside with lot of plants and flowers brightens the soul.
I was a able to get a few plants to put outside and two indoor ones to make my apartment home. I love plants. However, I can’t say I miss the huge yard we moved from. It was truly overwhelming. I never could reach done….not even for a day. It was just constant. Probably one of the few things I don’t miss after moving.
So much has happened in the last few weeks that I have been unable to compose any posts. My mind has been unable to settle enough. After the week of absorbing my daughter’s breast cancer diagnosis Austin was hit by a winter storm that not only shut down power but decimated the city’s ability to provide water. My daughter’s home had power the whole time but still has no water. We are tired, thirsty and smelly. On Wednesday we moved from our apartment that had no power and only moments after getting my husband settled he died from what we believe was a heart attack. We are overwhelmed. This morning I read this poem in Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Prayers from Prison” and found great solace from the words of the last two verses of the poem “Joy and Sorrow.” I place them here for your reflection. I know I will read them often.
“What then is Joy? What then is Sorrow? Time alone can decide between them, when the immediate poignant happening lengthens out to continuous wearisome suffering; when the labored creeping moments of daylight slowly uncover the fullness of our disaster Sorrow’s unmistakable features. Then do most of our kind sated, if only by the monotony of unrelieved unhappiness, turn away from the drama, disillusioned, uncompassionate.
o ye mothers, and loved ones-then, ah, then comes your hour, the hour for true devotion. Then your hour comes, ye friends and brothers! Loyal hearts can change the face of Sorrow, softly encircle it with love’s most gentle unearthly radiance.”