As I checked my e-mail this morning I received a note from an old friend, a widow who took exception to my last blog. I quickly wrote back and explained the meaning behind this series of blogs. I am putting aside what I thought I would be writing in the second attempt to share the feelings of what I am considering a rehearsal for the rest of my life.
Instead, I am going to share some excerpts from those comments with all of you and hopefully I will get some feedback, to let me to delve further into this surely universal state as we age. One thing can be guaranteed, in every couple one of you will be left without a partner, that means fifty percent of the couples population will face these circumstances. If we then factor in the larger population who have never been in long-term relationships we are dealing with a human condition that cuts across all of society. I presume loneliness is a universal theme and is probably more related to how happy we are with ourselves and less with having another body in your house.
I read your current blog and feel I have to respond to your “joy” in being alone. Being alone is not a time for celebration.
I am not feeling any joy at being alone. I had a great job and did not share a lot of interests with my husband in the first place so I have always been quite independent. By now, I have enough widowed friends to be more than aware of the issues they deal with. I did have several older friends at work who’d been widows for twenty-five or thirty years and I often discussed with them why they had never remarried or even dated. I think in that generation, many women, including my mother, never considered finding some one new.
On the other hand one of my Mother’s best friends, immediately went to grief counseling and met someone. She then repeated the same pattern every time she lost a significant other, she died recently at ninety-five and had a beau at the time of her death. She is my role model but is this because I have always had a man in my life. My question, is less about having someone who loves me, but more about my being in love. I can barely remember a time I was not in love with someone.
You might feel this new freedom will be a wonderful time for you to make your own decisions, go where you want to go, be with whom you want to be with but all the while knowing this is a temporary state and soon Barry will be home.
I agree completely with this point, indeed I do know he will be home. I am sharing the feelings of a rehearsal, of trying to somehow simulate the feelings I might have if he were not coming home. We are both getting older and my husband has had some health issues and it seems to me I should be thinking of these things now.
I do not know if I have ever mentioned in these blogs that I am, by nature an acute person not a chronic one. I prefer to know what is coming, I can deal with most problems if there is a clear-cut path to the other side, I don’t do well with the unknown. I know I can’t predict how I will react to the loss of my husband, but maybe this experience will give me some small insight into my future .And with this I believe I will give my friend the last word!
To be truly alone is to be lonely, to feel a deep loss of life as it was (whether good or not so good does not matter). I think that rather than using the word “ALONE” to express your new-found condition perhaps you should look at it as a hiatus from the normalcy and every day expectations of your life.