When a pilot puts his plane on Auto he first sets the course then flicks a switch and sits back and relaxes knowing the Autopilot will get him to where he is going.
I feel as if I’m like that. I have set a course. I want to lessen the pain and head in the right direction. But everything seems as if I am just ‘going through the motions’. I have set the course but can’t relax. Why?
Is it because I have no faith in the Autopilot? Call it what you will. It’s working fine so what’s the problem? ME!!!
I’m not able to relax into the suffering. Now I am not for one moment minimising it, God knows! By relaxing I mean go with it, bend with the wind. I brace myself for every day as if I won’t cope. But I do.
I still resist the feelings instead of accepting them as a normal process. I still avoid situations instead of facing them head on, painful as that can be. I still avoid people who might say things that upset me instead of forgiving them because they don’t know.
So why do I go on doing everything that helps not one bit? It seems as if I’m in the grip of some monster who is taunting me. I am in ‘Doubting Castle’ under Giant Despair. (See…‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’ by John Bunyan.) I know I have the key to all this just as Christian had, but at the moment can’t find it.
So what can I do? Switch on the Autopilot and have faith in it’s promise to get me there. I know it will eventually, but the frustration, guilt and pain still hang around.
The Autopilot will carry us through dark clouds and storms if we trust it. I am learning. Bit by bit, step by step. When I arrive at my destination perhaps the pain will diminish and I can begin to see things differently. Blessings to all.

Dear Jonathan

The autopilot - I think that sums me up. Filling the days - keeping busy, trying not to think about the future without Gary - almost as if I keep going it is just a transition and at the end it will all be OK. It has though become a never ending journey - nothing even on the horizon - just carrying on. I feel like the child on the way to a holiday - who asks when will we get there before they even get to the end of the road. But in our case what is the holiday? Is it acceptance ? I don’t know.
Well I need to keep travelling - back to cutting back some plants in the garden. Another tick for the list…

Take care

Trisha xx

I am not sure how I can follow your very profound message Jonathan, I do however feel in my heart that you need some TLC.

You have helped and are continually helping
so many people (me included) on this forum with your words of encouragement, today I detect it is you who need our support.

The two days of the week when I feel really down are Saturdays and Mondays, why I have no idea

For me I am not comfortable knowing a plane is flying Autopilot, it is beyond my comprehension, it took months for me to have faith in my car wing mirrors when reversing (I have been driving 57 years) as I needed to ‘look and see’ where I was going. So you see Jonathan I am not a controlling person just like to be in control. This grieving process doesn’t allow us to be in control.

Even my faith, I sometimes think i know better than the Pilot, until I realise not so.

I have a Pilot who guides me, night and day
Through cloud and sunshine I trust him, come what may
Dangers may threaten, but I never fear,
I’m full of confidence while he us near, I have a pilot who guides me
Along lifes way.

It was many years since I read Pilgrims Progress, by John Bunyan, at the moment my concentration is not good but as soon as I am able I will re read that wonderful book.

Thinking of you, take care,
Remember you are NOT the problem, it is where we find ourselves.
Lonely, bewildered, we have been severed from our loved ones
Life is cruel and hard but we will make it.
Go for a lovely walk, find something to make you smile. Xx

Jonathan, your words are sad but you write so beautifully that it gives hope that one day we will all travel through the dark clouds and storms and have faith in the auto pilot of life.
I think of me left with a shell of a body and having to re-build it, bit by bit and at the moment not getting very far with the construction and being an impatient person this frustrates me.
Everyday I make sure I do something. Yesterday a long walk early in the morning and three hours on my allotment with my faithful dogs, family visit in the afternoon. Today a long early morning walk to the seafront and through the woods where I looked up to the sky and prayed for some peace from this confusion I am feeling.
Jonathan I can relate to every word you say as I’m sure many of us can and like you I am finding myself avoiding situations which I would never have done before. It’s a case of can’t be bothered, don’t want any complications when I used to thrive on dealing with situations.
What I can’t understand is that I seem to be accepting that Brian isn’t around physically, I accept my own company, of course I have my dogs, who are a blessing and my house never feels empty, so perhaps my Brian is here with us, yet I am still so empty. A lost soul wandering around in the dark.
I like your description of being on auto pilot but I am hoping that one day I am going to open my eyes and all will be well again. Not going to happen is it, but perhaps something that gives a reason for each day.
God bless and thankyou.

Thanks Peace. You are right in your feelings. I am going through a rough patch, but it’s not the first time and surely will not be the last. But this grief is all about ups and downs.
I love that little bit of prose in your post. True!!
I found 'The Pilgrim’s Progress inspiring when I first read it. Although in medieval English, and it takes getting used to, it still come over as a great piece of inspired work. And when you realise it was written in Bedford Jail even more so.
Life is a journey, but I believe it doesn’t end here. No way! We can make it hard going, or it can be made hard going when things happen over which we have no control. The apparent finality of death is one of the most frightening of experiences, that’s if we believe it is final. I don’t!
The universe is billions of years old, and our lives but the blink of an eye in eternity.
But that does not make that blink any the less precious.
A task to fulfil, a job to be done. Then we move on.
Thank you so much for your empathy. Take care.

Hi. Trisha. ‘Nothing on the horizon’! But when we look out to sea there’s always that bit below the horizon. We can’t see it from where we are now but as we go higher in our thoughts and emotions, a bit more below the horizon is seen.
A place of peace? I don’t know yet. Perhaps a lovely desert island with palm trees and soft warm breezes.
In all religions they have this place. Buddhists call it Nirvana. Christians Heaven. Norsemen Valhalla. But in every place there’s love.
Then there’s the Sue Ryder community where it’s all love and understanding!
It is said that when you say ‘I don’t know’ it’s the beginning of wisdom. An open mind is a great asset.
Keep going Trisha and keep gardening. You are an inspiration. Hugs.

Hi Pat. Good to hear from you again. Brain isn’t around physically as you say, but the acceptance of that is a big step forward.
I believe though that he is around and enjoys your days out as he always did.
You may feel like a lost soul, I do too, but we are not wandering in the dark.
That little light called hope is always there. Can you see it? It may be very dim to some, even none existent, but it’s still there. Nothing can diminish it because it lies in the human heart.
Day always follows night. Light can eliminate darkness but darkness can’t eliminate light. Little even a small candle in the dark chases out darkness. That little candle is hope. That thought keeps me going.
Why won’t it happen? Of course nothing can ever be the same, but I do believe that some sort of peace is possible if we accept the pain and grief rather than regard them as frightening emotions.
But hey ho!!! Such is life. It’s ok to wax all philosophical now and then but does it help? Well, it helps me.
Take care Pat. Bless you.

Dear Jonathan

I do love the way your write. And you are an inspiration to so many of us on here. I am sorry you are going through a rough time - you are correct this roller coaster takes us down so many times and sometimes we just don’t know why the feeling of grief washes over us and makes us cry for what we are missing.
I hope your rollercoaster is travelling up again tomorrow.
Sending you a hug tonight.
Trisha xxx

Hi there Jonathan, hope your not having too bad a day today. Like Trisha says I too like the way you write. Inspirational, you help so many of us.
I am now trying to accept the grief as my love for Brian. The cemetery where his ashes are with his grandparents is just a short walk from my home, so today I decided to go and have a chat with him. I knelt on the ground and started to pour my heart out to him. Not sure what brought that on. The tears came and then went as I walked up to our allotment, just along that road and did four hours of work. I realised I had gone from heartbreak to my normality in just minutes but I had a good morning and came home with a bag full of allotment food, so suitably pleased with myself. Yes, that light is dim but it is there and sometimes I can see it and pray everyday for it to get brighter.
Love Pat xxxx

Hi Peace 45, Severed is the right word in this context.
It feels as if having been severed from our loved ones weve been left with an open wound.
Some days we can dress this wound and feel a little comfort and relief. On other days the wound throbs and aches and theres no relief from the pain.
I dont know if one day the wound will ever heal.
Maybe we will get some respite in time and the wound gets better, but I think that it will never fully heal
We may knock it accidently and the pain comes rushing back and you get that punch in the stomach.

Its was 13 months yesterday since I lost my soulmate and the yearning for him just grows stronger.
Although I am carrying on with life as best I can.
I visit places we went together. I go with my son or daughter.
I’m sure Phil would want that.
That’s good, I’m keeping busy. It’s just the return home that’s painful, to the empty house.
Saying that quite recently I have found some comfort in that.
I feel a closeness I cant find anywhere else.
Probably because I know hes here with me. Maybe as time moves on this it what happens. We sense their presence more and find solace in our home. Unlike at the very beginning when I would have a meltdown every time I closed the door behind me.

We can only hope that as we move forward one step at a time the wound gets better,

Love Sandra xx

Dear Sandra,
Thank you for responding to my post, responding doesnt seem correct but that word severed has touched that tender spot.
Sandra you are 6 months further on than what I am. I cannot say how I will be as time goes on.
Some people have commented that the second year is worst than the first year but then the days get brighter, other friends have said the second year was better, so much depends on the individual, their circumstances, their personalities, we have to remember we are all different.
Am I getting complacent? seven agonising months have flown by, I am beginning to feel positive, although still have butterflies in my tummy if i find myself in a situation where I have to explain everything. Much prefer either my own company or people who I know or have got to trust through this forum.
Although feeling positive now, maybe at the next junction I will come to a halt and the fear and anxieties will reappear.

Today I was all ready to do a little shopping, changed my mind. Stayed in watched a lovely film, may go for a walk later. Quite content with that. Mondays and Saturdays not my favourite days, I dont know why.

Something that does happen to me, a few days, a week maybe leading up to my mums anniversary I get very down and really need to be alone, always buy myself her favourite flowers. As the day enfolds I feel myself returning to my old self and then I am fine. My mum died 30 years ago, this happens every year. Maybe just maybe you are experiencing a similar reaction.

Yes that wound will heal, depending how deep it is, all wounds must heal from the core upwards otherwise you will get an infection and then the pain, starts over again.
Give yourself plenty of TLC. You will be left with a scar but that will remind you how you are healing and have healed.

Sending you lots of love, please keep in touch. Xx

I wish I could leave this journey in autopilot all the time. When I do, it is just for short periods. Then, I get scared try to be in control but i make it worse. I become a frighten pilot!! And the down began and go so deep that i enter into a dark and lonely place with no end where I fly with no direction. That is where i am now.
Today is exactly nine months but 2 hours when I lost my best friend, lovely husband and a beautiful human being. That open wound that resist to heal, it’s so sore and painful that the pilot is not only scared but wounded and out of control.
I hope to find the confidence and control that I need, to continue this journey alone but with my husband very much in my heart so I can see/meet him one day in that promised eternal world.
Sorry if this does not make sense. I can’t think straight today and feel lost.

With blessings


Hi. De. Like any pilot it’s so frightening to be out of control. ‘A dark and lonely place’. That describes it so well. Yes, the wound is open and the healing process can take some time. There is no time limit. Everyone copes in their own way.
Of course it makes sense and you are very brave to have opened up as you have.
I believe he is in your heart and you will meet again.
You will find the confidence and control you need, but don’t try and force anything.
Nine months is not long.
To continue the analogy. In a steep dive we can just let it go and crash, or pull the control column back and pull out of the dive. Pulling back takes a lot of strength and courage. We all have it. It’s not just given to the few. We need hope, but hope will not pull us out of the dive on its own. We also need courage, and that’s difficult.
Flying straight again will seem strange, but it’s possible. You will never forget nether will you always be in pain, although grief can linger for a long time.
Take it easy. Allow time to pass without fighting emotions. Go with it.
Bless you.

Dear Jonathan. Thank you so much for your wise and kind reply. It’s definitely a hard journey for us all. For me, the hardest of all. This has changed me into a person that sometimes i dont recognise; (insecure, demotivated, sad and fearfull) and, I need to go back to the person my husband loved (cheerful, resourceful, positive, with even the Latin “drive” or may be “temper”? …that he said I had! But all gone in the past 9 months.

I just hope that the plan made for me however painful, will include that inner peace I so much need to take control of this journey again wiith the support of the gentle blow and guidance that push us into leaving our lives in autopilot sometimes and “take a day as it comes”.

For some reason I have in my mind at 2am! Aslan and the mission of Jill and Eustace. …?

I wilk try ti have some sleep as tomorrow /today is another day without my darling husband and soul mate.

Take care Jonathan I know you have your own journey to take.

With blessings De