I’ve had a lot of time since my husband died to think about what my purpose on earth is, besides taking care of me, myself and my stuff. We all need a purpose in life, a goal just to get up in the morning. I used to have a goal to get up for, a husband to take care of, cook and clean for. Now I only have me and I am at loose ends. I have too much time. I have no one to tell me to do this and not to do that, to go here and not go there. I have no one to answer to. I used to resent that. But now I see that I need those boundaries. I used to want more freedom. But now I don’t know what to do with it.
At the beginning of this year, I wrote, “If I have no other purpose, skill – my goal can simply be to help someone, each day, in some way. I don’t have to wait to do some GREAT! thing. It can be a simple thing such as a kind word or smile to brighten someones day. It could be an short e-mail, snail mail, an encouraging word, just listening to someone who is lonely. There are many ways to help someone, as many ways as there are people….” and I went on and on describing how to do that -but it was not so easy to do, especially every day, when I wasn’t feeling well. I had to give myself some slack, and I have to give myself even more slack now, without totally not involving myself in anyone’s life. Sometimes I just want to pull the sheets over my head and go back to bed and I do, more often than I should.
I have also found that I have to be able to ask for help a lot more than I used to, and this is not a easy thing to do. I thought my husband was independent, but I find that I am independent too and it hurts my pride to ask for help, and if they refuse, I feel like a burden. We all get old and need help. It is a hard thing to adjust to, not being able to do things that we used to do; – having to have more help with the yard work, that I used to be able to do and enjoyed doing – (And no one does it the way I do – even the young boy I have had working for me since he was about 13, and now he is 17) – having to have someone else change light bulbs as I am not supposed to be on ladders. And so many things-although I have come up with solutions for some things to make it easier. (It is hell getting old, my husband used to say, but it is better than the alternative. I think the alternative is looking better! LOL!)
So how do I help others, when I can hardly help myself? Everyone says I would feel better if I volunteer or get involved in something. I just need to find someone that needs the skills I have and and then find the energy.
I wonder if any other widows or widowers have experienced this. Or even younger suddenly single people who have lost someone. If so, I would appreciate your comments.
(Written Sept 25, 2012 and Jan, 2013)
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Tonight I am remembering the clothes my deceased husband used to wear. He was a creature of habit and wore the same thing over and over. He loved this one denim shirt so much that I barely had time to wash it and when I did, I better get it done the same day so he could put it back on, even though he had lots of other shirts. The elbows on this shirt became so worn that I had to patch them several times. I considered getting some leather patches and sewing them on like the English do with their jackets.
He was that way with dress shirts too. He had 2 yellow, short sleeved yellow shirts that he liked to wear on special days like Easter, Mothers Day, birthdays. They did look nice on him, but he had other nice shirts that I would have liked to see him in – some I had given him.
I was getting stuff ready for a yard sale this weekend and I got these shirts out to sell. I had kept them back last year when I had went through my husbands clothes shortly after he died to give away to family or charity. (I didn’t want to wait to long or I would get out of the notion.) He also had several flannel shirts he wore in the fall and winter and I gave some to my son but could not bear to part with all of them. I feel the same way about the denim shirt mentioned above. I can cut off the sleeves and wear it to work in the yard, or perhaps cut it up into squares for a memory quilt. I haven’t made up my mind yet, which. Should I wear it much the same as he did, in daily activities to remind me of him- or should I make a covering to keep me warm at night when I dream of him?
By chance I just read a blog by Bonnie Dean, who writes a blog about losing her son <grief;onewoman’s perspective.com> and also has a ministry of making ‘memory bears’ for families to remember their loved ones, from their articles of clothing. Go to < memorybearsbybonnie.wordpress.com>.
I could do that, I could make a bear to remember him and add it to my Bear Collection I have!
Or maybe not. I can just hear him saying “Not another one of your projects!!”
Maybe I’ll surprise him this time.
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I have been meaning to blog about my husband leaving this earth to be with the Lord (what many call “passing”-very few say “dying”) May 25th will be the first anniversiry of his death. That word is so hard to write.
He was in a coma for 3 days before he died. I will be writing about that time, sharing some from my journal written while I was staying at the hospital with him. I hope that it will minister to others who have gone through a similar experience of losing a spouse, or loved one,while also serving as personal therapy in the hopes that by writing about my memories, I will find some kind of closure, release and healing from the twin demons of guilt and depression. During this next week, as memories of my husbands passing will be especially close to my heart, I will be adding bits and pieces of my heartache to this blog.
This material is copyrighted, May 18,2013, and cannot be copied or reproduced in any manner without permission from the owner: clarabetty/Reflections on Life and Love.