Life goes in -only differently

Eleven months since Penny died after 50 years together. Those of you who have followed my journey know that I try to be incorrigibly positive, not 100% successful, but its stood me in good stead. Ive never avoided facing the realities and tackling the emotions which come.
Many times we came to stay at a cottage on a remote farm on the border of Carmarthenshire and Pembroke. I am on a return visit on my own and my two dogs.
In truth, its different without her. Im staying in a little shepherds hut surrounded by trees, overlooking a green valley with very few signs of civilisation. Her picture in on the table. Im sitting on the decking with my first coffee of the day, listening to and watching the birds courting. A beautiful nuthatch is in the tree. One of the farm dogs just popped by and gave my face a good licking.
A few damp eyes, but lots of memories and smiles as I see places we walked around the farm.
Sorry if Im getting philosophical, but Im really happy I came. Life is still good, - only different!!
Now, sausages for breakfast and off to our favourite beach for more memories, more smiles, no doubt a damp eye or two, but certainly more joy as the dogs go berserk playing in the sand. If I sit here contemplating my navel (google it), it will be lunchtime and Ill find a nice pub for lunch.

Y

11 Likes

Hi Tykey
Its good to hear from you and to see that you are still doing your best to help yourself through the most difficult time of our lives. Your message is that there is still hope of obtaining a degree of satisfaction in our lives if we make an effort.
I don’t go on holidays any longer but I do live where there is beaches and lovely countryside surrounding me so I have everything that I want here. I walk in the area’s we went to and do remember those times. I also have two amazing companions in my dogs (mine also go beserk on a sandy beach).
I don’t wish for him to come back as I know that is unrealistic but I do remember the times we spent together and draw strength from doing this. I also enjoy listening to the bird songs. There is a certain joy to be found again if we really look and search for it. The picture on the table is lovely and I carry a photo of my husband wherever I go. It was his wish that I should take him on my walks and I do just that,
Enjoy your holiday
Pat
xx

3 Likes

Hi Pat, always good to hear from you, I always try to read your posts. Im still on the decking, but moved onto “furtling” on my guitar, just letting my fingers gently go where they may. The music just comes out gently. The birds have stopped to listen, maybe! But I can never play the same thing twice!! I always feel twice as calm afterwards. So get yourself a guitar, you dont need to learn how to play. I cant play anything. I just let it happen.

2 Likes

Oh dear Tykey. My husband was a musician and played and sang in a band and he had many musical instruments including guitars and I sold the lot. It was either that or let them fall to pieces in the loft. Now you have made me wish I had at least kept one of them. I do still have his keyboards but don’t play and wish I had let him teach me when I had the chance. I do love to dance though (trained as a dancer) and when I want to lose myself and not out walking or working on my allotments I turn to dancing and just move to the music, so a bit like your guitar playing. Keep it up. Whatever gives us some comfort.
Pat
xx

1 Like

Oh Pat! Ive now got an image in my mind of you whirling around the music centre clicking away on your castanets!!

1 Like

Keep that image Tykey, I like it…
Pat
xx

2 Likes

Started picking up one of my guitars and started playing again just letting my fingers take it where i go.next thing is get the keyboard out of the attic.can i suggest buying a cheap guitar and trying it out. It may give you a boost in ways that i can’t explain x

1 Like

I’m now back home, and realising that my holiday has been a great success in a way I never expected. We’ve all heard of people going into retreat to sort out their thoughts which are troubling them. This holiday turned out to be my retreat.
Like many of you, I had troubling regrets and questions about my 50 years with Penny, things like why did she do that, why didnt I do or say that, why didnt we resolve things, did she still love me?
I had learnt through my ptsd therapy that these things are often born of misunderstandings and muddled thoughts and memories.
This holiday gave my brain time and room to think through these issues, and within a couple of days of being home, I realised the truth of that. I realised I really was muddled in my thinking and I sorted out the truth.
These regrets and questions got their answers, and I’m happy.
It all sounds a bit arty farty, but just getting away from all the daily issues at home has given my tired brain space to sort these things out.
We had often spent holidays together on this farm, and I always left thinking its a magical place, and I felt recharged, strong enough to cope with going back to working with absolutely horrible people.
This time Ive come home recharged and much stronger to get on with the next chapter of my life.
I think the message is to give ourselves time, space and quiet. Its much more effective than rushing around trying to stop thinking.
Whilst not absolutely necessary, buying that guitar (or fetching one out of the attic) is a great help, as are two dogs lying at our feet.
Maybe I need to buy a saffron robe and become a monk, or maybe thats taking it too far

4 Likes

Thankyou Tykey, I am sure your post will prove helpful to many people. I haven’t been away as I just don’t want to although we travelled a lot over the years. However I do a lot of walking in the lovely countryside with my two best friends (my dogs) and also work on my allotments which is my ‘quiet space’ and I enjoy my peace and use this time to think things out. I decided early on in my loss that I didn’t want to be miserable for the rest of my life. I have always maintained that life is precious and we have to do the best we can with it no matter what is thrown at us.
I had all the same thoughts that you had (and still do at times). I also became a bit manic and was rushing through life trying to prove to myself that I could still do these things. Now I have learned to pace myself. I still cry but don’t fear it any longer. Its just part of the grieving process and can be a release. When I manage something that is out of my comfort zone then I give myself a pat on the back and you should do this also. Well done and thankyou for your post.
Pat
xx

2 Likes

Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the worst day of my life, when Penny died.
It only seems a few weeks ago.
Ive had difficulty deciding what to

IMG_20170619_133809_BURST001_COVER|375x500

If the weather is nice, it looks like I will pack a few sarnies (and a piece of carrot cake, blow the diet!), and find a nice spot in the country with our dogs, have a bit of a picnic and talk to her about our 50 years together. The dogs can entertain me playing together and chasing squirrels which they never catch.
Thankfully, in the afternoon I’m doing a ukulele gig, and a friend is taking me for dinner, both of which will be nice.

1 Like

You know Tykey, I do exactly the same as you do if I need to get away from it all. The dogs are more than therapeutic and I chat to Brian as we walk. I’ve been on this journey longer than you and found there are so many emotions to cope with and that terrible day when life changed for us seems like only yesterday, the memory never dims.
Pat
xx

1 Like

I lost my wife in January to CNS Lymphoma on her brain. We played as a musical duo for the past 12 years…I have played all my life…now I can’t pick up one of my many guitars and play something…if I hear a song we used to do…which are very many…it kills me…all too painful…I know she’d want me to carry on…
.but I just can’t at the minute…I hope it changes…:slightly_frowning_face:

2 Likes

Tomorrow is a bad day as well for me.its my gorgeous fantastic wife sue birthday .the first one where i wont be able to take sue out for a meal and spoil her rotten and go away for a night .to be honest I am dreading it .my steplad dave and my daughter aderlaide are taking me out for a meal but its not going to be the same

Back home after a very full day. It worked out well, an occasional sad thought, but lots of happy memories to smile at.
At the gig, our ukulele playing was the best weve ever done
The meal was poor, but the company was great!
Nothing to fear for next anniversary, wedding, on May 13th

1 Like

Hi, @UnityMan. Its very soon to be picking up the threads of your new life.
Give it a few more weeks, and you should feel much more like picking up a guitar. Good luck

2 Likes

Glad it went well

Why not see if you can get some keyboard lessons .i am going to get mine out of the attic in the next few weeks .not looking forward to tomorrow as its Sue’s birthday and the first one without my gorgeous fantastic wife .

1 Like

Hi UnityMan
How absolutely heartbreaking for you to have been a duo and I can well understand how difficult it is for you now. Just listening to my husbands singing on the CD’s cracks me up and I do try to sing along with him but I find it so hard. On the other hand it is wonderful to be able to hear his voice. If I hear any of the songs he sang it is even worse. As you say it is all too painful. Early days for you yet so perhaps in time.!!!
Pat
xx

1 Like

Hi Martyn
That first birthday was the worst for me. I arranged to meet a friend for a meal and doubted I would be able to go but I did manage it. I also took with me a framed photograph of my husband and put it on the table so that he was with us.
xx

1 Like

Thank you. Meal went well and I felt sue was there with us x