GRIEF OUT OF NOWHERE

Why is it after three years of being a widow and living on your own, you can be washing up, cleaning or whatever and a song comes on the radio that was playing the night you met your 18 year old boyfriend who then became your husband of 47 years and you just slump down on your knees and sob your heart out. You think you are coping okay, getting through each day going about your lonely life, then out of nowhere a song from many, many years ago can start to play and remind you of what you have lost for ever. You can remember your soon to be boyfriend walking up to you and asking if you want to dance which is then the start of a 50 years love affair. I will be honest, I don’t care how many years I have left on my own but what I do know is that my life was over the day I lost my husband, even with children and grandchildren it is not the same and never will be the same. Our family have their own lives and their own future with their children I would not expect them to put their lives on hold for me but I just wonder how long it will take for my heart not to break each time I hear a song from our past. My late brother-in-law who lost my sister when she was only in her 40’s said to me when my husband died, one day you will smile when you look at your photos or listen to your music as it will bring back happy memories but it will take a long time. I cannot see it happening for me for many more years yet.

Hello again Sheila.
Memories are usually so sweet and do hurt so much. Like you, so much of the past is coming to the front of my mind. I can hear a song that goes back to a certain time, maybe years and I instantly think of where we were and can even remember how we were together. I have also become very sentimental when watching somerhing on TV and my eyes fill up.
Although these memories are bitter sweet, I am now able to remember the wonderful times that we had together and rarely see him as he was when so ill which a massive relief. Maybe, hopefully, this is the healing part of grief.
I sometimes talk to people who lost partners many years ago. When in conversation, they can relate happy or funny times that they had together and laugh about it. Hopefully our toes are just touching the bottom rung and we will be able to lose some of the pain and start to smile. I know for me that the loneliness will never go as I am not very mobile so can’t get out and about. I just go shopping once a week with my sister but this is just a problem anyway.
I have always been into different crafts and have made a collage of photos of the both of us throughout our lives together. Each photo has a special happy memory. He always urged me to do things, especially paint, for some unknown reason. I never did it then but an 'trying’to paint a picture of him and our 2 dogs in the Australian bush. Not much good but I feel him urging me on. With me, getting motivated is the thing but I will do it for him and he will think it great when it isn’t. That was how he was.
Take care xx

Hello June, thank you for your reply. I totally agree with what you have said, I never think of Peter when he was ill, when a song comes on, or I look at a photograph of us, my mind instantly goes back to when we were younger, not as we got old because that is when Peters health started to deteriorate. I see us as that young couple, so much in love that nothing would ever touch us, then bringing our children into the world and watching them grow into the wonderful men they are today, even when our grandchildren came along we were still young at heart, going abroad on our holidays, listening to our 60’s music, always being there side by side. I too did something similar to you, I scanned all our photos to the computer and put them all to music, the songs we loved, I have hundreds of them now on memory sticks that are in my memory box for our sons and grandchildren and even our great grandchildren when they come along to watch. I started off with me and Peter as babies with our parents, then toddlers etc. etc. photos of us together when we met and started courting, get engaged and then married, when our children came along and their different stages of growing up until they became parents themselves right up until the last photo of me and Peter before he died, so it is like the story of our lives together put to music. I have named it ‘The Start of a 50 years love story, 1964 to 2014.’ I made copies for them all and bought original certified newspapers of the day they were born and we were married so they can read what was happening in the world on their day of birth and the day we got married. I will give it to them on what would have been our Golden Wedding Anniversary at the end of this month. Perhaps there will come a time when we don’t cry for what we had and then lost, I thank God for giving us more than some people get in their lives as we had many happy years together and I know from this site that many people never get that and they lose their loved ones much too soon. I also thank God I am in good health and can get out and about. I don’t drive so rely on taxis or public transport but I know I can go out if I want to but it is not the same, I don’t feel any pleasure in anything anymore since Peter died. But I plod on as there is nothing else to do. Sending you my love Sheila xx

What a beautiful gift you will giving your family on what would be your golden wedding anniversary. It will bring back memories for them that they may have forgotten. I’m glad that your family are near. Mine all live some way away so I don’t see them very often.
I think we have have to feel very very lucky that out of all the people in the world we found those special ones to love and they loved us back for a lifetime…
June xx

Yes June, you are correct, not many people are lucky enough to meet their soulmate or if and when they do, have as many years as we had together so I am so grateful for the life we were given. I am grateful that our family live not too far away and I see them every couple of weeks and get a text or 'phone call every few days. I also child-mind our grandchildren during the school holidays and get to take them out for the day and treat them so I consider myself lucky. You take care. Sheila xxx