My wife passed away on 6 August 2012 and on that day not only did she pass away, but for me my world stopped moving! I stopped living and I might as well have passed away with her! For the first few months, I felt very sad and lost. We’d done everything together for nearly 52 years and suddenly I was all by myself. There I was in an empty house with only my son who had been living with us and helping me take care of my wife. He was still there, but for me, I was all alone. My son might have helped me some, but he was not the same as my wife. I couldn’t talk to him about things like I could my wife. We had an intimacy and a relationship that went beyond just companionship and a normal marriage. We had a closeness that was as about as close as two people could get. We did everything together and we told each other everything! We had no secrets, we had nothing to hide! I was her and she was me!
So, on that day in August, 2012, I lost my wife and I lost my life. I didn’t feel like doing anything; I didn’t feel like living! I felt that way for at least three or four months and during that time I jumped in and did things like a madman – I cooked, I baked, I made wine, I made beer, I cleaned, I hiked, I jogged, I kept so busy that I couldn’t hardly keep up with myself. All the keeping busy helped, but I was still all by myself and I was still sad!
One day, I decided to have a talk with myself and see where I was and where I was going. I really believed that someday in the future, I’d get over being sad and that, like I’d read, I’d get to the point of actually being happy again. The conversation went something like this.
“How long will it take for me to be happy again?” I asked.
“I don’t know, but I’ve heard that it usually does work that way!”
“Am I looking at a few years down the road?”
“Actually, I don’t know, but very likely a few years!”
“Well, if you’re going to someday be happy again, why wait?” I asked.
“What choice do I have?”
“You can wait until happiness hopefully finds you again or you can start, right now trying to find happiness!”
“How can I possibly find happiness right now, when I just lost half of me and feel like I can’t go on with half of me missing?”
“There are ways to do it, but you have to quit thinking 24/7 about your wife and how much you miss her!” I told myself.
“How can I possibly just turn off those feelings? That would be impossible and I’d feel like I abandoned her!”
“Would you feel that way in a few years from now?” I asked.
“That would be different!”
“Well, for one thing, I would have a few years to get used to being alone!” I answered. “I would be able to learn to get along without her!”
“You mean you could learn to get along without her in a few years, but you can’t do it now?”
“That’s right! It takes years to get over grief and I’ve just began! Give me time!” I pleaded.
“If you really want to get over the grief and you don’t want to wait for years, you can do something about it!”
“Really? What could I possibly do to speed the process up?” I asked curiously.
“You can start by accepting the fact that your wife really is gone, just like when a pet dies, and you can make a conscience effort to stop constantly thinking about her.”
“But, how can I just stop thinking about her?” I asked.
“It will take lots of work, but it can be done! It’s basically your choice; you can do it now or you can wait years for it to hopefully happen!”
“Well, I don’t really want to wait years, so I am willing to give it a try and see if I really can do it!” I answered, but wasn’t exactly sure about it.
That was the beginning of my getting away from the sadness and starting to live again. I was surprised that I could actually go about the day and not think about my wife. At first, it took a lot of effort and I felt guilty, but then it got easier and I began to feel less guilty and began to feel that I was doing the right thing. I was actually beginning to live again, just like my wife and I had said we should if something ever happened to one of us.
I started to wonder if other people could do the same thing? I don’t know, because I truthfully didn’t think that I could do it. They would have to want to do it and then give it a try, just like I did. All I can say is, that if they can do it, then they will feel much, much better! It worked for me and I hope that it can work for them.
Although my world started moving for me again, a small part of my past will forever be embedded in me and that part will never move. I can live with that; the important thing is that the rest of my world is moving on. I’m once again able to face the future, and I’m happy that I don’t have to wait for the future to be able to do that! To me, a future with a future is better than no future at all, which is what I had a very few months ago!
Today, I’m alive and my world is moving once again! If you want to follow my daily essays about life and living, you can find them in my online store at http://www.bestassistedlivingaids.com/daily_stanism.htm.
Thanks for reading!