You Are Not The Same

Yesterday the Griefshare Daily email was on this topic. How grief changes us. I wanted to share some of their thoughts, with my emphasis, with you.

You are not the same person you were before your loved one died. You will never be that person again. Too much has changed in you, both inside and outside. You do not act or think or feel the same. That is why it is so frustrating when you try to say or act or be like the person you used to be. You struggle to fit into your old patterns and activities. But that is a lifestyle for someone who no longer exists.

One thing that is vital to anyone who is grieving the loss of a loved one is you must move forward in life. Their life ended, but yours did not. You must either learn how to do the things that seem impossible and strange to you, or you must discover new things and new ways and new direction for your life.

Growth is inevitable and essential to any living being. When you stop growing you start dying. In grief you must grow and move on. You will never be who you used to be any more than that dead person will walk through the door one day and say, Surprise! You must grow into someone who you have never been before. This is hard, this is scary, but this is critical for you to do.

One day the sun will shine again and if you have come to grips with the reality of your new situation you will be pleased and proud of what you have become.

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A Tale of Two Eateries

There are two restaurants in our town. Both well known. Both have their fans.

Restaurant A is a nice place. Not too big, but cozy inside. It has good food, good service, and a good location, according to the critics. Only the best kind of people eat at restaurant A. It’s too bad that the wait staff are angry at the cheap tippers who they serve.

Restaurant B is a bad place with bad food and bad service in a bad location, according to the experts. But restaurant B is 3 times the size of restaurant A. Restaurant B is full every night of the week with a long waiting line to get in on the weekends. The customers love the place, the wait staff make great tips, and no one ever thinks to see what kind of people are eating there.

Which is the better restaurant? It depends on who you ask. Which restaurant would you want to eat at, or to work at? I guess it depends on the kind of personality you have. The people who eat at and work at restaurant A think the people at restaurant B are low class rednecks or unsophisticated losers. The folks at restaurant B don’t think much about their neighbors at restaurant A.

Just because you judge something or someone to be inferior doesn’t make it so. You cannot argue with success. And being a snob or better off doesn’t make you a better person.

So when you are sipping your drinks in the quiet solitude of your favorite restaurant, the folks you despise will be expanding and growing and making more money than you could in 100 years.

Throwing Things Away

You may think nothing of it when people throw things away. We all throw away things we no longer want or need. But it is different when you see people throwing away things that you wish you had.

Have you ever been hungry and seen food being thrown away? It may only be your pride that keeps you from being a scavenger of other people’s waste. This could be applied to any commodity in life. Talent you wish you had being wasted. Time you wish you had being wasted. Relationships you wish you had being wasted.

I just found out that a couple that I have known for a long time are splitting up. And here I am, alone since my wife died. How many times have I wished for and prayed for someone to share what’s left of my life with me. And then people who have a companion throw it all away. Why is unimportant.

I am content being single at 62 years old. But it still hurts me to see people who throw away something that I wish I had.

Feeling Better

This week is done. Supper is over. Not much left to do tonight. I wish I was with my family in Texas at their high school football game, but I’m here in Arizona. Too far to commute.Tomorrow is hiking day, weather permitting. I am looking forward to that. One thing I have discovered is that where I live has hundreds of hiking trails in the Prescott National Forest.

I wanted to write specifically about the aftermath of grief. It has been a long time since I struggled through the day feeling sad or depressed. It has been a long time since thinking or talking about my dead wife was hard, if not impossible. It has been a long time since I felt the awful pangs of grief inspired mixed emotions. And it has been a long time now that I have felt normal.

There are still unanswered questions in my mind as to who I am and what I want to do. But I am slowly working through those issues. Thankfully they do not seem so life and death as they once did.

My point in writing this is to let you know that no matter the cause of your grief, there is hope that you will not feel the way that you feel right now forever. You can feel better. You will feel normal again.

Thoughts on Grieving and 9/11

I saw a news story about 9/11 where they still, after 16 years, read the names and ring the bell for the people who died on that day. Women with tear-stained faces talking about how it still hurts. People who have kept the tragedy of that day fresh and alive and current in their lives.

As someone who has grieved the loss of someone very dear to my heart I watched these poor people. And then I wondered, why is this still an open wound in their hearts?

Grief is intense and confusing and it rocks you to your core. But you come out on the other side a new and different person. Grief is a journey, not a destination. If after many years you are still on the ragged edge of grief may I say that you are stuck in your grief. You can get past this, you must get through this.

You are not honoring the dead person by reliving their death over and over and over again. The Catholics do this with Christ. In their faith He is  perpetually on the cross, never risen from the dead. In this they and you actually do a great disservice to the dead person. You become like those who have no hope and so they are always sad and sorrowful over someone’s death.

I have tried to say this as kindly as I can. If you need help, help is available. Life is meant to be lived, not suffered through. Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning. It is time for the survivors of 9/11 to open their eyes and see that the sun has risen.

This And That

It is a rainy chilly morning where I live today. I planned to get an early start and do some hiking on a nearby rails to trails path. But with rain outside and flash flood watches for this area all day I decided to stay in mostly today. I am a fair weather hiker and camper.

I have tried over the years to eat better. To eat real food not processed factory food. To cook from scratch. To buy organic. And in doing so I end up not eating enough or eating snacks or otherwise eating badly. So at Sam’s Club yesterday I bought some heat and serve meals to stock in my freezer. I started to read the nutrition labels but stopped. I wand fast and filling no matter what’s inside. This is hard for me to do, but I am tired of being hungry and still gaining weight.

I from time to time still find things that I used to enjoy doing when Kathy was alive that I remember but no longer want to do. The county fair is on right now, but I won’t be going. This is one specific thing that I used to enjoy but can’t do anymore. I am finding it is easier to find things to say no to, but harder to find things to say yes to, especially if they are new and unfamiliar to me.

I had a nice dinner after work last night. It was okay food and so so service. But I left satisfied. Now the hardest thing about eating out by myself is that I am in a room full of people and no  one to talk to. I stopped going to the gym because of that. I don’t feel like I am a freak, just that it would be nice to have someone to chat with. It’s because I am there for a period of time, not like the store, where I am busy and then leave.

That about clears out all of the cobwebs in my mind this morning. Have a good day!

Paid To Post?

I received an email today from WordPress to show me how to charge money or raise money from my blog. Do people really do that? I guess I shouldn’t be so naive.I remember being surprised to find out that people were earning money for content they put on You Tube. That was about the time YT went from regular people posting video of their lives to professional content producers and media outlets.

I cannot see a time when I would charge someone just to read my blog. Maybe that explains why some people fret over writer’s block or posting great content.

When you read these words, what you see is what you get. From my heart and through my mind to yours. That is why I do not strive to add pics or video to my blog. Your imagination is a much better graphic inspirer than any GIF’s I can find online.

I you want to read what I write, welcome aboard. You cannot buy anything here, and you cannot even leave a tip in the jar. But if what I have written helps you, then I am paid in full.

Why I Write

I have written about this before. But it is an ongoing things that keeps coming up. So here I go again.

Why do I write on this blog? I do it just to express my thoughts, kind of like a journal. I don’t share everything here, but things suitable for public consumption. I am not writing to impress anyone. I am not writing a book to sell, unlike BBB. I am just writing like any writer does.

So if you want to read my words, help yourself. If you want to comment, that is fine. I will never publish beyond this space what is written here. I will never profit from what I write here. If I thought I could be a real writer I would pursue that elsewhere. Not here.

So that is why I write. I don’t care if it’s perfect, or polished, or publishable. I have words that need to come out and this is one place where that happens. So if that’s not good enough for you, don’t waste your time on my page. Read all of the other wannabees who think they are writers. That’s all for this episode of why I write on WordPress.

Yesterday Is Gone

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”

These are the words of Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland. But these words could easily be the story of my new life.

I have written several times about my journey through grief and how it has fundamentally changed me. This has left me feeling out of sorts, feeling like I am crazy, and feeling like I don’t fit in anymore.

The times this hits me hardest is when I try to relate to people I used to know or to do things I used to do. I look the same on the outside, but inside I feel like a stranger in a strange land. This is why the above quote speaks so clearly to me. Trying to go back to a place and time is a lesson in frustration.

This is why estranged families or other relationships don’t always get back together. Time has moved on, and we all have changed. The me and you from the past don’t exist anymore. The circumstances of our closeness is gone. This is why I have written, you can’t go home once you have left. That segment of time and space is gone forever.

Maybe my life would be easier if I were younger. But I have a lifetime of memories and experiences that don’t fit any more. I find I am just too tired to start over. If I met a nice lady could I even muster up the strength to love her?

I know it’s the end of the week and I am tired. But these issues don’t go away after a good night’s sleep or a good meal.

Turning A Page

I passed a milestone today. For the first time in my adult life I went to work because I wanted to, not because I had to. My early Social Security retirement kicked in today. I could not live on what SS gives me, so I will need to continue working. But it gives me a sense of freedom from wage slavery since I could liquidate my material holdings and then live on what I get. Easily.

I have a million things that need to be done and more that I want to get done. So I will do nothing until the way forward becomes clearer.