Wednesday, April 17, 2013
I bought a book from Amazon and had it downloaded onto my ipad. The name of the book is “Seven Choices: Finding Daylight After Loss Shatters Your World”. I am still trying to find some balance in my life since Pati’s death last June 16, 2012. You would think I would move on by now and accept what is but I haven’t, however I am working on it. I am going to talk a little about that now. If this makes you uncomfortable, my only suggestion is to hit the delete button. Actually that’s how I feel about a few issues I will be writing about…..I feel like my delete button was pressed.
I was only a 22 year old naive GI when Pati and I met in January of 1965. We got married one year later January 22, 1966. I fell in love with her at first sight on a blind date and have known nothing but a wonderful and loving life with Pati for over 46 years. Other than my year in Viet Nam and some overnight business trips I had to make, we were never apart. We had two wonderful sons and we love them dearly and raising them was the joy of our life. I loved Pati unconditionally and we grew up together and our life together was magical; she and I together forever. I knew before I married Pati that she had medical issues from her childhood that may someday take her from me but I always hoped we would live forever. Doesn’t everyone? Even the nineteen years of assisting her with her special needs after the second brain tumor operation when she had a stroke and then six more brain tumor operations and many other medical issues, like losing her hearing and eyesight in one eye, didn’t stop our hope for forever. We never wanted to accept that one or the other will have to die, even after I had a heart attack at age forty six. I knew I could never leave her alone and I could not allow myself to be weaker than she was.
As I write, I will be paraphrasing this book I am reading for the second time, to try and express my feelings. I am reading a chapter called “Stumbling in the Dark, A time of Second Crisis.” It tells of a bleak, hopeless and empty future for someone like me unless I make some major changes. The structure, shape, focus and direction of the past are gone, and there is absolutely nothing to take their place in the present. The world as I knew it has been shattered. The writer says all one can do is make a new and different shape for their life because what has happened is irreversible.
I have been crying and sad and lonely for over eight months now and I am doing everything I can to try and get a grip on this issue. The best thing I have read is that I am not alone. Did you know that over 800,000 people lose their spouse every year? The writer tells of other people’s loss in their own words regarding anger, loss of faith, strained relationships, guilt etc. Also, the writer says, “Now, not only must we mourn the absent one but we must mourn the loss of the future we naturally assumed we were going to have”. As I move forward through this book, it tells me some things that I have already experienced and don’t understand. Why are people scared and embarrassed by death? The pain and loss of a partner only intensifies when others are uncomfortable about acknowledging the relationship.
So….after reading this book twice, I feel a little better that I am doing some things right. I want my future to be less stressful, less sad, more happy and more productive. I believe I am headed in the right direction by being out here in my travel trailer traveling and making a new future and meeting new friends. Some days are very long for me but I am finding that solitude and loneliness are two very different things. I actually relish my solitude as it gives me time to ponder and plan my new future and relish my past…..and read a lot!
I am really looking forward to some great times while in Montana this summer where I am closer to nature and all its beauty. Right now I am enjoying the beauty created by the owner of this beautiful East Texas country property I am watching while they are on a six week cruise. Every time I look up or out the window I see or hear something new or exciting….like a butterfly or a bird or a fish jumping in the pond or a new bush or flower or tree I didn’t notice before. Nature is worth watching and I get the feeling she is watching me too and spreading her beauty with a smile just for me.
Maybe Pati has something to do with that. The thought that it may be so makes me happy, and that’s what Pati would want.