Come so far

Suzanne Boles

11 hrs · 

I’m on Option B support group: Coping with grief FB . This is one topic I hear over and over again so I posted my response. Now I realize how far I’ve come, and responses have been positive saying I’ve given people hope, especially the newly grieving. 

“I hear a lot of people sharing about the demise of relationships after the death of a loved one. I can totally relate. I had similar issues. I felt so alone. At times I was very angry at others. And I was angry at life for taking away the man I loved.

After six years, I’m finally rebuilding my life and remembering my past life with love, but not in a torturous way. I live each day with no expectations, and then anything that happens is usually something wonderful and unexpected.

My struggle was complicated by mental health issues so six years may seem like a long time, but for others it only takes two or three years.

I post this just to tell you that it does get better. You gently move into that new normal life and realize that you are doing things you never expected and probably would have never done with the love of your life, and you are grateful to them for giving you the second chance.

I will never stop loving my husband but I carry around so much less baggage and anger and feel much lighter for it. Every day you are closer to healing, as best you can. 

Reflections

I’ve had time to reflect tonight. It’s the first weekend I don’t have plans, but I’m making a few things happen.

Two years ago, I would have been devastated to be alone on a weekend. I would have thought “all these happy families and couples are together. Why not me?”

Two longer-term relationships later – I failed one and the other failed me; in short they weren’t meant to be – I feel ambivalent about relationships. I know that I didn’t have a perfect marriage. Who does? We didn’t do a lot on weekends. We worked during the week so winding down was the agenda on weekends, or we were busy with kids when they were younger.

Once the kids got older we didn’t go to beaches in the summer. It wasn’t Bob’s thing. I acquiesced, I guess, because you can’t force someone to do something they don’t want to do, or you can try and it ends up in a fight. Besides, he didn’t have great health so he needed to regenerate after a busy work week – at least that’s what I told myself. In relationships you often concede rather than push. 

Six years after Bob passed away I know I have lived a different, fuller life. I’ve done things I would never have done before. I put myself into situations I would have avoided – large crowds for example. I had a year at a lake every weekend (relationship #2). Didn’t turn out to be  all I’d hoped for in my mind when I thought I wanted it with Bob, but I did love being near water.

It took me four years to even think about dating (because I was battling very deep depression). And when I did, I chose online dating, resulting in more misses than hits, a typical ratio before you meet “the one,” or the “the one” you think is “the one,” (who, it turns out, actually isn’t).

Somehow I lost four years and maybe that’s why I feel many years younger than I am. But reality says I’ve actually moved ahead a full decade, as far as age numbers go.

Reflecting on what I thought and what is, I always believed I’d be in another relationship – the “after Bob,” different than our relationship because I’m different now, but that hasn’t happened. And now I’m not as sure as I was that it will happen.

I don’t believe that humans were meant to be alone, but some people make a conscious choice to spend their lives without a partner. I look at couples now and realize they aren’t always happy.  I see them making accommodations for their differences and wonder if I have the energy to do that, let alone set the intention that I want it.

But one thing I do know is that you really do have to be happy with yourself before you can share yourself with someone else (law of attraction) and before now that wasn’t where I was at.

Right now I’m the happiest I’ve been, probably in my entire life. With my depression under control I have more energy. I can work. I don’t have negative self talk. In short, I feel ‘normal.’ And that’s very strange for me because I realize now that I’ve never felt normal in my life, at least the times I can remember in my life.  

As with any reflection I don’t know if there’s an answer here. I think the question is “Will I be alone forever?” I do know that somewhere inside me I’m being told to let life happen organically, rather than pushing it (read: online dating), and be true to my new-normal life belief that you need to live life one day at a time. But sometimes, when you think you’re not looking for anything, it actually appears right in front of you.