Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Still here...

Hello everyone!

It's been an embarrassingly long time since I wrote here, and I don't know where exactly the time has gone, but I thought I should update just so's you all know I'm still here.

Since February, I guess I have come a long way, though tonight I'm feeling as bad as ever. And that's what I wanted to write about - not just to have a winge (though maybe a little) but more to reassure anyone else reading here who is still feeling lost and lonely at times, as much as five years after the death of their beloved, that they are not the only ones.

The very fact that I am calling my late husband my beloved marks a big change in my feelings. For the first eighteen months or so after he died, I was angry with him most of the time; then, after that, it felt as if too much time had passed to be crying, even though I now forgave him for dying and was beginning to have a few happy memories of him.

It was after I moved house that the thaw in the Ice Widow began to take place. I realised, after I moved in (it hadn't occurred to me when I chose the house) that the Golfer would have loved this house. I'm in a seaside town, right on the seafront - sunsets over the sea, boats passing by constantly, holiday makers wandering past, licking ice creams - he would have absolutely adored it. In fact, if we had moved here together, I would never have got him to move on from here. I had been here a few weeks when it first occurred to me, and tears sprang to my eyes at the thought, as I stood at the window and so easily imagined him standing there beside me.


Since then, I have missed him more and more. Living in a holiday town emphasises my aloneness. Everywhere are happy families and those damned couples walking slowly along the prom, hand in hand. I take my little dog out for a walk, head held high, and by the time we get back home I'm slouching along, with my head down because I've run the gauntlet of normal people living the life I should be living. When I lived in the Highlands, out in the middle of nowhere, there was no-one to see me and no-one to look at. It was great! When I was in the house, or in my beloved garden, I felt normal. I rarely felt the pain of my situation. It wasn't until I came here and had it shoved in my face every day that I was able to begin to mourn for what I have lost.

So now, eight months after moving, I feel lonelier than ever. And yet, do you know, I think that's a good thing. The irritation of my situation is almost like an itch. It's as if there is a new me struggling to emerge, and the frustration of being nearly ready but not quite is driving me mad. I hate being in the house, it makes me feel like a sad old woman waiting to die. In the first year or two after his death, my home was a haven for me but that has changed and now it's almost unbearable. I think this is a sign that I am at last ready to be out in the big world again (about time!)

In the last month I have come to some surprising conclusions about my future, including the almost certain decision to move again, back to the batty, wonderful Highlands, which I miss so much. The most surprising decision, however, is that I have decided that I need to get a job or, more likely, start my own business. People have been telling me for years that I needed to get a little job to get me out of the house, and I've been ignoring them, determined to find my own way. Well, my path apparently lies that way after all. I won't say yet what my business is likely to be, in case I change my mind - suffice it to say that it involves books and a cash register!

I love my own company, and I love my freedom, so I am surprised and rather terrified at the prospect of being back in the 9 to 5, working beside other people and clogging up the roads at rush hour, but I have come to the conclusion that I cannot cling any longer to what is left of my old life - it is not enough; that I have to be brave enough to make a brand new life for myself. Boy, it's scary. And it still hurts that I've lost the life I wanted to be living. But I am also very excited at this new life - who knows where it might lead?