It’s nice to have options in life. That means that we must make choices but if the alternative is to be forced into something I would rather have a choice to make. When my focus was on moving I stopped caring about where I am now. Why bother if I will get no benefit from what I do? But since I shifted gears and put a stop to moving plans I immediately found myself not only caring about where I am but also willing to spend time and money improving where I am.
I had to weigh if being near my children was worth the time and money and stress it would take to make that move happen. It still might happen. But for now I am making where I live more comfortable and nicer as far and as much as I can. I decided to wait until after the holidays to sort out in my mind what I need to do going forward.
So it is nice to have options. It is nice that it is not conflict or anything negative that inspires me to uproot myself and leave. It is not financial collapse or job opportunity forcing me to move. It is purely my desire to be closer to my children.
Live is full of trade offs. Nothing is perfect. The thing that makes life worth living is working out what is best and then doing it to see how it turns out.
The realtor today told me what my house is worth. It’s good but not enough to move to a newer, smaller place near my family. So call me Mr. Disappointed.
In going through some papers I found folders of material from the time that I went to a Griefshare group after Kathy died. I was reminded of things that were helpful and important a few years ago and so I thought I would share some of that with you now.
These are from the ground rules for attending a Griefshare group. Paraphrased.
- Respect people’s right to confidentiality. Things shared in the group are to stay in the group.
- Never compare your grief to others. Everyone grieves in their own unique way.
- There is no right and wrong in grief. Feelings, emotions, tears, words just are. Never judge someone’s grief.
- Do not give advice except when it is non grief related and specifically asked for.
- Do not interrupt someone to share your own thoughts. Give everyone their chance to express themselves.
- Do not monopolize the conversation. Give others not a bold as you a chance to share.
- Grief is not an illness. There is no cure for grief. There is no quick fix for grief. There are no logical steps and set time for grief.
- Finally, support means that I will walk with you, I will not try to change you or to criticize how you feel. I will simply be beside you present and caring.
I have reached a point in life when, for some strange reason, I thought I was done with surprises or life changes. I do not know why I thought that nothing would happen to me that would upset my plans or change my circumstances. Life evolves and shifts and adapts up to the day that we die.
Leaving where I live to live somewhere else is a bitter sweet time for me. I have memories here. I have never lived there. So while a part of me will miss my friends and my neighbors a part of me is looking forward to the adventure of starting over in a new place.
For a long time after Kathy died I wanted so bad to run away from the memories of the life that we shared. I wanted to be somewhere else, anywhere else, but here. I got through that awful time and I had begun to settle into my life here in this house and in this environment.
I’m not sure how it all happened but today I am making plans to move and it just feels like the right thing to do. I am being proactive not reactive. I am moving forward deliberately not running away. Every day now that I go for a ride or I go to church I savor every moment knowing that I am cementing memories that I will take with me. And I am at peace with my decision.
I have made a decision and so I have big news. I have decided to sell my house and to move closer to my family. I live all alone where I am. All of my family lives somewhere else and I rarely see them. So I had two people that I wanted to talk to first to get their feelings and they both thought it would be a good idea. So as soon as I can get everything in order I will make the move.
There come times in life when it is time to make a change and that time for me is now. For the first time since Kathy died I feel right about moving on and making big changes. I am not running away. I am moving on in life.
Please forgive me if I seem to be complaining a little bit today. I just got back from what I hoped would be a new level of bike riding only to find that mountain biking is way out of my comfort zone. So all of the time that I spent bike riding has only equipped me to ride where I always ride.
I enjoy hiking. But where I live, in the mountains of Arizona, every hike is a lot of climbing. And again once you get in hiking shape there is nowhere left to go hike that you haven’t already been.
I did some camping. I will be camping this year over Christmas. But you get the swing of camp routine and then you feel like, now what.
That is where I am in life today. Now what? What next? Grieving the death of my wife Kathy who died in 2014 changed me profoundly. I have spent the past 3 years trying to figure out what to do with my life. I have done things that I enjoyed but the thrill goes away as soon as I feel like I have mastered that activity.
There are things that looked interesting to try until I looked at the price tag. Money brings reality to life. I have been spending time and money on my house but alas I run out of interest long before I run out of jobs to do.
I feel as though I am stuck where I am. I know the grass is no greener somewhere else. I know that once the newness of a new place or a new love or a new hobby wears off I will get bored with it or with them.
There, I got all of that off of my chest. And ideas?
There are the 5 stages of grief that you may have experienced. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I have been through all of them many times. But lately I have been wondering what is wrong with me now and that is when I found another stage of grief: the loneliness of grief.
There comes a time after the death of a loved one where you have said everything that can be said and you have cried until there are no more tears to cry and you have exhausted all of the emotions you have and you find that there is a lingering, underlying, nagging loneliness that won’t go away. Some call this the what now or the what next phase of grief.
This loneliness is not simply being alone or coming home to an empty house. It is the feeling that something is missing. It is a loneliness that being around other people does not cure. You reach this plateau and can’t seem to find clarity on what to do now. One article that I read suggested that maybe instead of trying to find what to do maybe it will help to look at things not to do.
1. Don’t confuse companionship with completeness. A new person will never fulfill every need you have so don’t put that pressure on someone.
2. Don’t hide by being too busy. Working yourself to exhaustion to avoid grieving is not healthy.
3. Don’t beat yourself up over what happened. Avoid the what if or if only traps.
4. Don’t hook up with a bad person just to have someone to cling to.
5. Don’t be afraid to try something new. A new hobby, or a new club, or a new class, or a new charity. Try things with no expectation of how they will turn out.
I am currently in this plateau phase of the loneliness of grief. There is no simple solution to this complex problem.
This darn covid-19 thing. I am so tired of life on hold and of plans getting upended by outbreaks of this virus. I am not sick and the CV has not effected me personally. But it seems to impact me in other ways.
My daughter told me that where they live there has been a surge in covid-19 positive tests. So they are taking precautions on their end. Of course, that is where I was planning to go for Thanksgiving holiday. So in the end I am not sure if I need to cancel my tickets and call off the trip.
So once again I let my hopes get up only to have them dashed around me.
When I first started using Facebook it was fun and it was novel and like a lot of people I enjoyed using it. I kept using FB as a means of keeping up with my family. But today it occurred to me that my family is not active on Facebook. I have very little family activity on my page. And once again during this election I am hassled by strangers for anything political that I write.
So I took FB off of my phone today. I have not killed my account. But it is not going to be front and center anymore. None of my close friends are using FB. So I have decided to wean myself off of it starting now.
Do you use Facebook or other social media? I still use Twitter and Instagram but not actively. My activity on this blog is on my desktop. That’s how out of sync with pop culture I am.
As I continue on my healthy living path I have encountered one small problem. I have clothes that I can no longer wear. Mostly pants and suit jackets. They are all much to big for me now. I have not replaced my wardrobe completely yet as I am not sure how much more weight will come off of me me until I find a balance and settle in at some ideal weight for me.
I bought a couple pair of pants at Walmart to get me by for a while. I am not a shopper so I will do what I can with what I have.
This is a nice problem to have.