STAND AND STARE

“What is this world so full of care if we’ve no time to stand and stare”.

This old saying came to my mind while reading a post about being busy. I had problems going out into the countryside because my wife was a nature lover and an artist. But now I do go out and, maybe, stand at a gate and just look. Any thoughts I may have that could distress me I allow to drift across my mind and out. It’s not easy because thoughts can become so intrusive. I look and feel that she is looking with me. Her love and her love of nature is almost palpable as I stand and stare. We do need to slow down. Well, most of us. I found myself dashing around at first when there was so much to be done. But as things quietened down I began to feel lost, isolated in spite of friends and neighbours being so helpful. I think there was a post oh here about reflection. If we can stop and reflect on the good times rather than allow grief to overtake us, it does help. But it’s not easy, oh no! I do stand and have tears in my eyes often, but it’s kind of a more peaceful pain. The belief that my wife is now sitting somewhere with her paints and a canvas and in the countryside does lift me a little. So if we go out and are lucky enough to live in the countryside, (but towns have lovely parks too), then, just for a moment, stand and just look at nature and it’s beauty. Slow down. Take it easy. Bless you all for your comforting posts. Blessings, and hugs where appropriate!!!

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That is a lovely post Jonathan. I live in the countryside and I never take it for granted. I appreciate everything about it, even the cockerel crowing from over the back. (I draw the line though at the rat who appears to have taken up residence in our garden!) I walk the dogs daily and feel peace with the silence all around, only the sound of birds, the trees forming an arch creating a tunnel for us to walk through. It is so beautiful. The absence of racing traffic is a blessing. I imagine my husband watching us from above, as we walk, sometimes chatting to him. If anyone could see us they would probably think ‘There goes the crazy dog lady!’
I agree Jonathan, our lives are so busy we all need to slow down a pace and ‘stop and stare’. But it’s the busyness, the distraction which helps us along our daily grind of grief. I feared for a time that if I stopped I simply wouldn’t cope. I had to keep going, going, going, almost frantically. I had to occupy my mind otherwise I would crash. Some 2 years on, I look back and realise now that I was practically manic. I have slowed down and relish the quiet times, alone with my thoughts, whether just sitting or walking through that tunnel of trees and yes spying the tiniest bit of light at the end of that tunnel. Xx

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Dear Jonathan

You write in a way that conjures up a perfect picture - I can see the image you are painting with your words. I hope I will be there soon but I am still at the frantic stage - it is only six weeks tomorrow and I thought I was doing so well. But last night and today I just seem to have crashed. I think I have been kidding myself and today it has hit - he really isn’t there anymore -and the tears are just flowing. I can only get through the day if I make a list - a silly list detailing everything - no matter how minor.
It was father’s day yesterday and that was so hard for us - I thought we had done quite well until we got home and it was so quiet in the house. My daughter and I just sat and cried. At least I have her and my son and I know I am so fortunate that they are such good children. They loved their dad so much and I know they are hurting badly.
My husband was a talented musician and my son put a tribute on facebook of him playing the guitar - I know I should not have watched it - but I did and it bought back the days when we were young and life was fun. Mind you - life for us was always fun - of course we had our troubles but we weathered them together. I thank God for the 40 years we had and I realise I had that special thing that only some of us ever have.

Oh dear - I am going on today. I need to get back to that list and get busy. Mind you I have sat and admired the garden today and talked to the robin that sat looking at me.

I wish you a peaceful day and send hugs to all who need them.

Trisha xx

Oh my dear Trisha. How sad for you to feel so down. Gosh, do I know. I too am like a YO YO, up and down. Slow recovery is so often painful, very painful. My heart goes out to you and my prayers and Blessings. I often wonder how we do survive this ordeal, but we do. My wife passed last November and it’s still so difficult to come home to an empty house. I expect to hear the door open and hear her voice. I try to keep my mind occupied, and coming on this site has been so helpful and uplifting. How can I be so uplifted by so much pain? Courage!! there is so much courage on here. Even in the midst of the worse experience any of us can have, it still comes through strongly, as does the love and empathy. We are so lucky to have found this site. I came to it through a recommendation from someone who had been here. Now take care. Storms pass and the blue sky appears often when we least expect it.

Trisha, I’m not convinced days like this will ever stop. There is sudden realisation in so many areas that we have to endure. I can only speak from my own experience of course but, I tend to have those realisation moments most days in some shape or form. I think though many would tell me I am in denial because every single day I try to accept my husband has gone. Always, always I go back to thinking what I have said before, his physical presence, his body only is gone and yes, I miss that so very, very, much but yet, he’s not gone in any other form. He’s here. His spirit, his love. They never went anywhere. He’s in my heart and my mind all day long, every day. I realise often and, begrudgingly accept that his body has gone but never will I accept he’s gone in any other way. He hasn’t, really, he hasn’t. Kate told me once that her husband may have died but he will never be dead. I’m in total agreement with that statement. His body died. But all that he was, he still is. If your suitcase is packed full of nice things and the lock breaks and is beyond repair you dispose of the case but you don’t throw away the contents do you. You hang onto those. I don’t see a difference. Our body is just the carrier of all that we are. I can’t replace my husband as I can a suitcase, unfortunately, but, I can carry the contents within me and, everywhere I go he will be there too. I carry his spirit, his character, his morals, his standards and, most of all I carry his love. Consequently, I feel his presence constantly.

Trisha, I will never stop telling you that your husband is right there with you. We have to deal with the physical absence and it is horrendous but every other part of him is still around you and your children. Love doesn’t die.

Sending you a hug x

Beautifully said cw13. I love your posts, we think so alike. The suitcase reference is a good analogy. Perfect, thank you. xx

I have been lucky enough to read many of your posts too, Kate and, I get them. Every word. You have helped me so much. So, right back at you…thank you x

Wonderful thank you all so much, your messages are uplifting, even you Trisha, so early in your loss but coping so well.
I too became manic after Brian died. Up at the crack of dawn sorting things, selling, burning, donating, decorating the house etc etc I promised myself I will calm down but never been a person to sit on my bum. Always like to be busy, busy… This morning I did some Yoga and meditation, that was a good start, or so I thought. Then I noticed an area on the ceiling which looked ‘grubby’, so out came the paint and brushes from the shed and I put on the over large overalls of Brian’s and up the ladder I went. From there I moved into an area in the kitchen and did that, then cleaned shelves and sorted out pots and pans I no longer need. So much for my restful day. Typing this is now my relaxation for the day.
While sorting I found a cassette of Brian singing (Country and Western singer). Fortunately I can still play a cassette and put it on. What a mistake. Floods of tears again. Then one of him belting out a rock and roll number and I decided to dance around the house. I forgot I get breathless at the moment but managed for a while.
You are so right our loved ones are always with us. I have to remember that.
Thankyou Pat xxxxx

Jonathan, so beautiful, I am so pleased that you are managing to find such peace in the beauty of nature. I know you was having problems. We both loved the countryside and nature. I call it my therapy as nothing gives me more peace and hope than when I am standing looking at the beautiful surrounding about me. I too cry as I walk or just sit and look around me. But as you say it’s a more peaceful pain. Brian is with me. He asked me to take him out walking with me and that is what I most certainly do.
My Brian loved his art and photography along with music. I wonder if he has met up with your wife and they can share their love of these things and of course nature.
Love Pat xxx

This afternoon I have sat on the coastal path just staring out to sea. The views were breathtaking. The coastline around is very rugged. I was surrounded by an array of wild flowers. Not another soul in sight, just me and my dogs. The peace and tranquility felt so good. The wind blowing through my hair, complete freedom, I could have sat there forever. The exercise was great too. I looked a right wreck when I got back to the cottage, all windswept but it was so worth it. Xx

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Yes, Yes, Kate wonderful, what you was doing plus bonus of wild flowers, peace and tranquility is amazing isn’t it. My idea of heaven also. Never mind looking a wreck. I hope you haven’t got a fancy hairstyle though. Because doing what we both so enjoy is not ideal for looking neat and tidy. I certainly never do. Who cares.
Pat xxxx .

Sounds amazing, Kate. Go forth and be windswept. For as long as there are hairdressers, it really doesn’t matter :)) x

Totally agree Jonathan. I had same issue with music as we shared a real passion, many hours spent listening at home in car and live gigs. At first it was so painful to listen, I did ‘shut off’ but quickly realised I had to allow it to be part of my new life. But do you know, it’s meant my husband is even closer, bringing me comfort and tears, but now a safety valve type. We become very clever at suppressing our feelings, specially after a few months. But reconnecting with our old life, resisting the desire to keep memories at a distance, it’s truly what love is all about. It’s doesn’t die, it remains strong. I am the ultimate in being busy, always have been, planning and executing, but I’m learning to listen to my inner self, and yes, my husband, that I need to have quiet time, embrace it and all it brings emotional wise. There was a bit of a list of things I couldn’t do…slowly finding that I can and if I don’t, it doesn’t matter. What is important is I know I am moving forward. Our time on this earth is precious, we are acutely aware of our mortality, we do see things in a different way. So it’s important to reflect and acknowledge even the smallest of steps…and be proud of ourselves.

Thank you ladies, great comments, looks like we’re all in agreement. Having said that, I do find myself still trying to look nice for my darling man - sounds silly doesn’t it?

SanW, I can relate to your comments about music. When my husband first passed I found I couldn’t listen to music at all, not even the radio. Then I moved on to only wanting to listen to sad songs and cry my eyes out. But now I can listen to anything and even sing along. I guess this is progress. I still search for meaningful lyrics though but at least I can sing them rather than have them practically choke me. I like your post SanW, for it’s positivity. Thank you.

Goodnight ladies and Jonathan! And everyone else reading this xx

I meant to say that when we see the beauty of our earth, it’s then we realise that this life is worth living. I only wish my husband could be here to share it with me. Xx

What a smashing lot you are, so inspiring I love what you all write.
I must admit also to having a problem listening to music as my husband was a musician, but I suppose I’m lucky because I have him on CD singing so I can listen to his voice anytime I want. Yesterday I listened to him and yes I was in tears but did manage to dance to one of the numbers and today I’m going to try again. I will Imagine him in another room strumming away at his guitar as he did so often. One of the songs is ‘Help me make it through the night’ with the words “It’s so sad to be alone”. Really get’s to me. But neither of us are alone were still together.
Pat xxxx

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Thank you all. It is like a yo yo isn’t it ? - I am still struggling today - so many tears since Sunday and I think it is because the realisation that this is forever has finally hit me. I really thought I was doing so well - but these last couple of days has floored me- and I have been surprised by it. From reading these forums grief seems to carry on hitting us - sometimes when we least expect it. So I expect like everyone I will learn to weather it.

I am trying really hard to keep it together and remain positive so have gone back to my lists and tried to arrange to do things. Being on your own is definitely the worst - if I am talking to others I am OK . And the sound of laughter is still so important and to smile and laugh is vital to getting through this I know. CW - I want to believe you when you say his love is still here but I miss his physical presence so much - and whilst I talk to him - I have to provide the answers too.

Halfway through my list today - but adding to it as I go along. I am better out the house - so took myself off to buy new bedroom curtains… yes doing what I do best and that is spending money! I am going to hang them soon - will probably hate them when I get them up ! Another hasty decision.

I do find it so helpful to write on here - it is the next best thing to actually talking and you are all so nice and offer such solace and encouragement. I am so glad I found this forum.

Sending a hug just not seem adequate.

Trisha xx

Nature and garden is taking a back seat today - has been raining most of the day - and the south east has been forecast torrential rain and thunderstorms later. So something to look forward to !!.

Oh Pat - I have so many recordings of Gary - but I am definitely not able to watch them yet - I learnt that yesterday. Photos are enough to make me cry.

Our son bought us a ring doorbell for Christmas - so I have loads of recordings (they keep for ages) of Gary just putting the recycling out or cutting the hedge. But we have also saved a funny one - he knew I could watch him from my desk at work - so I have one of him locking up on his way out - pulling a silly face and waving me goodbye. So precious and so typical. I will no doubt watch it time and time again - but not yet!

xx

Yes, Trisha I have recordings of Brian on holidays and when out walking but I can’t watch them at the moment if ever. I have looked at photo’s and have them all around the house. It just hurts so blxxxy much. I played a video of some of his family that he did but he spoke on it although I couldn’t see him. It cracked me up.
I think I better start making a list of things I want to do because I don’t feel I’m getting anywhere at the moment. One step forward and a dozen back.

xxx

Hi Kate
I’m working my way down to St David’s over the next few weeks. I’m starting with time on the Llyn Peninsula, then some time in mid Wales and then down to St
David’s. I love that coastal area and will be visiting the places that have so many associations. I hope the wild flowers are as stunning as usual, and the sun blazes down like it did in Cornwall a few weeks ago.
Hope you are lifted by your break and invigorated.
Xx

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