Thirty three weeks and four days - or almost 8 months - since l lost my darling John, and here l am in Lanzarote, where we spent some of our best holidays.
I am here on my own. I set out yesterday morning, not knowing whether l was being stupid or what, and in truth l still don’t know the answer to that. I find myself being so jealous when l see couples of a similar age to John and I walking along happily hand in hand, as we would have been doing. I also want to say to couples not holding hands ‘what are you doing?! Hold their hands, you don’t know when that is going to be taken away from you….’
I am keeping to places l know, l am staying in the same apartment complex that we always stayed in, and the staff are being very kind to me. It’s my birthday tomorrow, and l have a pile of cards here to open, but l just wanted to be away because there’s no John at home to fuss around me and spoil me.
I notice a lot of people ‘of a certain age’ here on their own. I probably didn’t look for them before, but they are here. Maybe single out of choice, or divorced, or bereaved like me - you can’t tell just by looking, can you?
Our family are proud of me for making this trip alone. They see it as another step forward, which l guess it is, however it doesn’t stop me missing him so much it hurts, and realising anew that l’m not going to be able to hold his hand ever again. It doesn’t stop me crying - l did that this morning - and it doesn’t fill the massive gap he left. But this is the hand l was dealt, and l will have to learn to live with it. One day at a time, eh?
Hello. Just wanted to say that I hope you find comfort in your time away and Happy Birthday for tomorrow x
Just want to say that is a really brave step you have taken. Well done. I’m 7 months on my own now but have an dog if nearly 18yrs old who i wouldn’t leave but even uf i hadn’t got him i don’t know if i would have the confidence to go alone. Take care abd have a good break. X
@YorkshireRose. I am very proud of you. It’s a very brave thing to do . My bet wishes for your birthday . I am glad the staff are supportive . I was there last November with my husband. One day the memories will not be so painful
I am too frightened to go abroad on my own although would like to get away from freezing cold weather that causes such physical pain. I know pain losing my husband will be there wherever I am cant escape that. Learnt that years ago when my father died.
So waz very i terested to learn someone did it. I expect however they are a lot younger than I am.
I used to go on my own abroad twenty years ago and scarey then. But I did it. But reality sets in knowing challenges I faced then without all my increased disabilities to cope with. I would need total escorted travel and sky high insurance cover even if I could get it. And super human confidence I dont have.
If only just could magic to be there without all it involves.
I used to feel out of it being alone that never changes. I remember times when I didn’t feel alone when met someone on holiday which is a gamble. But i did like part of being alone to do what you like. No compromising. Could drawer and paint to my heart’s content. Without that would have been tough for me. I am glad i did it when i had thd chance m.
However, this year I did go with my son and grandchildren to Butlins for a long weekend and went for a week in a bungalow at the Gower in Wales partly alone half the week and my son took me stayed both weekends the first with other grandchild. I found it scarey the first day alone but I did painting. The second day I braved the bus and walked on the beach and sat outside a pub talking to other people who were friendly. Another dag missed the bus but a kind lady on her own gave me a lift. So again walked further along the coast alone asked another lady for help to get the bus back who che her tel. I braved it inside a pub alone. My son helped me walk along a cliff path. So I can’t say I was all alone.
But for me it was huge.
I got very anxious before trying to book was very challenging. Packing as I hadnt been away for five years as my husband was ill. Driving was huge challenge even locally.
Good morning @Enorac - l understand exactly what you mean about the pain of losing your husband being there wherever you are. It’s there all the time, isn’t it? I’ve already had some tears this morning, feeling sorry for myself - and for my husband - because he isn’t here on my birthday. He’d have been singing ‘Happy Birthday’ quietly into my ear, wanting me to wake up so he could give me my card and presents. I miss him so much.
I am a bit younger than you - l am 63 today. I totally understand your reluctance to travel abroad now, given your health issues. However, l am very pleased you were able to have some time away in the UK this year. I don’t have bags of self-confidence - indeed, l stood in the airport early on Sunday morning, hugging my son and grandson, wondering whether to turn round and go home. But as my son said to me, it’s only a week, l can fly home early if l find l can’t do this solo travelling, and l don’t have to do it again if l don’t want to. I think it was a mixture of bravado and stupidity that made me book the trip, but the family have been very supportive, not one of them said ‘don’t do it’.
I think part of me was worried l would stick out like a sore thumb, being on my own - but l don’t. I am also finding l feel close to John here, l was talking to him in my head while l was out and about yesterday - l do that out loud at home - l hope he was listening.
Happy Birthday Brave Lady.
I hope you find some beautiful peaceful moments in your day, and I’m sure you will feel your husband with you.
I know it will not be an easy day . I hope the sun is shining on you and the warmth of it gives you some comfort.
Happy birthday fellow tyke ! I think you are a very brave lady because you are actually doing something rather than thinking about doing it. It’s a really big lesson for me to take note of as each year Jacky and I would spend four weeks over Xmas/New Year in The Canary Isles,our first one was Lanzarote but more recent Fuerteventura.
I can’t face the thought of being home for Xmas but feel terrified of doing all the things that you have done,booking the holiday,getting on the plane,arriving at the villa etc,etc, It’s just weird that at the moment that I am in turmoil about this issue I find your post.
I just hope that you get as much from your brave decision as possible,of course the tears and pain not having your husband with you will still be there but the thing is you are actually facing them,I find it inspiring.
Enjoy the rest of your stay as much as you can,well done.
Thank you @miker - what you’ve said there means an awful lot. I’m not going to lie, there were moments after l booked when l thought ‘what have l done?!’ but feeling a little bit proud of myself now. He’d be proud of me too. As you say, l’ve still got the tears and the pain, but it doesn’t matter where we are, we carry that with us, don’t we?
I’m not going to tell you to get something booked, you’ll know when you feel ready for that, and l might still come home and decide ‘nah, it’s not for me’ but l am having a go. I did toy with the idea of going away for Christmas but am spending it with the family.
@YorkshireRose Well done for facing your fears and doing things anyway! Having done a bit of travelling over the summer I can very much relate to all you describe, the doubts and uncertainty, feeling obvious, managing how to do it alone. But you’re there and you’re doing it, working it out as you go along. Whatever the experience you have every right to feel very proud of yourself and I’m sure it’s what your husband would want for you too. Hope you have a good day, Happy Birthday!
Aw … youre so brave ! Im going to tenerife next wednesday with my daughter and granddaughter. Not as brave as you to go by myself ! Its good that you have noticed a few people also by themselves … you might be able to have a chat with them at some point ? If your paths cròss ! Enjoy the sun xxx
I have just read your post and almost could have written it myself .
I lost my darling soul mate on Valentines 10 months ago today .
Im currently packing to go away to Lanzarote to meet my daughter .
Ive spent the day crying and feeling guilty a out going away.
I have been speaking to her all day crying uncontrollable in a few hours ive got to head to the airport a journey im dreading and im really not sure if i can through with it .
Once i get there im going to feel so low it feels like that i have opened every wound and it feels as raw today as it did 10 months ago today .
Ah @JohnP1961 - l understand where you are coming from. I spent the weeks between booking the trip and actually getting on the plane wondering whether l was doing the right thing, and even, as l said earlier, standing in the airport on Sunday thinking whether to just go home.
I am not going to pretend it’s been easy, there are tears, especially being on my own today on my birthday, but John and l loved it here in Lanzarote and l wanted to come back on my own to see whether l could do it, basically.
Be kind to yourself when you get here, if you need to cry, just do it. I was close to tears in a restaurant this evening that John really liked, thinking he would have enjoyed being there with me. And yes, it’s still very raw to me, l miss him so much every day, but he told me that l had to live, and that’s what l am trying to do. Sending you a massive hug
Enjoy Tenerife @Deb5 - it’s a big step, whether with family or on your own, so l hope you have a good time……’good’ is possibly not the right word, l hope you find some peace and restfulness, if that makes any sense at all xx
@YorkshireRose Well done and Happy Birthday! I have booked 2 solo holiday! The first one over New Year and the second one the middle on January but they are both organised trips! I also can’t decide if I’m brave or stupid! I suppose only time will tell. It’s good to know other people are also doing it and although you may have had a few blips which is only to be expected, it is also great that you have done it. Although I live in Lancashire now I am also a Yorkshire Lass. We are made of strong stuff! What ever we decided to do with our futures does not take away our past but as I say to my friends and family none of us have tomorrow guaranteed so live each day! Sending you a birthday hug! J x
Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement
Do you think ? I thought i might be ok with my daughter … i have been very emotional last week or so though ? Im looking forward to being with them but will miss my puppy but the breeder is having her so i know she be ok xxx
Thank you @Jax2 - yes, we are made of stern stuff in Yorkshire! I am told by my nearest and dearest that my strength in coping with this nightmare is astonishing….obviously they don’t see how hard l am paddling to keep on an even keel. The last 8 months have completely knocked the stuffing out of me, but l carry on getting up to face the day as my husband asked me to. And you’re right, who knows what’s round the corner, you have to keep going, one way or another xx
Hope you go @JohnP1961 … your daughter will be st the other end. I hope you make it ? Let us know xxx
@Deb5 - you will have your daughter with you, she will look after you. And the puppy gets a holiday too Seriously, just take it as it comes….l am going to spend tomorrow just looking at the sea. John was a fabulous amateur photographer so l will be imagining him sitting on the sea wall with his camera and a pint, waiting for the perfect shot xx