Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I Freaking Hate ......


                                                     picture source


...... weekends.
Truly hate them.
With a passion.

Ironic, isn't it?
When Jim was alive I loved weekends.
I'm guessing most of us liked them a whole lot better than we do now.
I can't stand them and usually just want them to be over.
What a waste.

Weekends are no different than week days for me.  It's just 7 days that run right into the next 7 days.  No days of rest.  No days of recreation.  No days of hanging out with the person I love and just relaxing.
I miss weekends with Jim.
I miss week days with Jim.
I miss nights with Jim.
I.
Miss.
Everything.
With.
Jim.

I have one child left at home.
But he is a boy.
And a young man, at that.
A senior this year.
Who is involved with after school activities.
And he works.

Needless to say, he's not home much.
Which is as it should be.
But that was fine when I had Jim.
Now .... it sucks.
Because even though my nest is not literally "empty" .... it's still empty .... most of the time.
And I hate it.

It's not that I want my son to stay here an extra year.  No way.  No how.
It's time for him to move on.  Hell, he's had "senior-itus" since he was in 7th grade.
And I've had it for 2 years now.
It's almost time .... and that's a good thing.

But my nest will be emptier than it should be.
I should not be here alone.
That was not the plan.
It's not what most people experience.
But it's my life.
And that sucks.

I'm beginning to hate my house, my community, and the absence of my "before" friends.
I'm tired of being alone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week .... for the most part.

I am counting down the days until my son graduates and then I can sell my house and start somewhere else .... fresh.  Some place where I'll only be known as Janine, not Jim's wife.  Not Jim's widow.  Not "how terrible is it that Jim died and I'm going to keep my distance because you never know .... that may be contagious."
I.
Can.
Not.
Wait.
To get out of here.

And yet I realize, that no matter where I go .... Jim will not be there.
My weeks may still run into the weekends with no change ..... no marked difference to recognize a week day from a week end.
And yes, it may still suck.

But that is my life.
No matter how much I loathe that part of it right now.
No matter how much I dread the 6th and 7th days of the week.
No matter.

I also realize that this is just a "phase" I'm feeling at the moment.
And that not everything in my life is horrible.
I am genuinely happy most of the time.
This is just not one of those times.
But it will pass.
Maybe today, maybe next week.

Yet when it passes, one thing will most likely remain for a longer time.

I hate weekends.

40 comments:

  1. Janine, these are my sentinents exactly. When I was younger, I was fine being alone, enjoyed it and also when my husband was alive, enjoyed it when I had mornings until everyone awoke, Now like you I hate being single but not alone, having the burdens of my former life without the benefits! Thanks for talking about this feeling, because it has been 3 years for me and I have often thought am I holding onto my old life and that maybe their was something wrong with me for feeling this way.

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  2. Hey Janine,

    Weekends, weekdays, they all suck the same. If it was not for my 11 1/2 well really almost 12 year old daughter I would be lost. She still relys on me for a lot. And believe it or not for the most part she still loves hanging out together. But I know that will not last and as you say that is as it should be....she will get busy with friends and activities. I can only hope that by that time I have some kind of new routine established. This is not how it was suppossed to be.....

    Maureen

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  3. I am right there with you Janine. Living in an empty nest completely alone was not the plan at all. I can't seem to figure out what to do with myself, so days just run on into each other. Let me know when you figure out the solution!

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    Replies
    1. I hear you Nancy. Never able to have children, my husband and I did everything together. I enjoyed time alone when he was on business trips or on fishing outings with the guys. I remember those lonely days and nights after he died. Even though my teaching job kept me busy, the weekends and summers were often unbearable. I actually looked forward to going back to work in the fall. :( I never imagined I would be alone at fifty-three. For a while, I dabbled in dating, but stayed single for six years trying to figure out my life. In 2006, I decided to give match.com a try. Celebrating our 5th anniversary in September. I know it's not the answer for everyone, but it worked for me. You can read about my journey in my memoir, Twenty-Eight Snow Angels: A Widow's Story of Love, Loss and Renewal on Amazon. Widow's have found hope and comfort in my story.

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  4. Wow, Janine, so true- "even though my house is not "literally" empty, it's still empty". EXACTLY how I feel with adult children still in the house. Who knew I could be so profoundly lonely in a crowd?!?
    I, too, cannot wait to get out of the house I hate taking care of and the community I hate being a part of and the before friends who NEVER ask but think I'm "doing so well, considering". Their relentless cheerfulness gets on my nerves!
    I long for the day when I can be anonymous, just plain me with no labels, no expectations, no more looks of concern without the acknowledgement of the grief.
    What the hell, I think, may as well be lonely where i know no one and no one knows my history. I just think it would be easier.
    Thanks, Janine, for putting into words exactly how I feel and helping me to understand I am a "normal" widow!

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  5. I could "ditto" all the responses. A friend just departed after a few days visit, and that's all of her I could take. The cheerfulness (after a while it is too much), the comments on how well her adult children are doing (mine are struggling), the life is good attitude....I know she is trying to be a friend, but I don't want to hear it all, I just need to be right now, and let it all soak in. Am I being weird? What is normal? I thought it was whatever you are.

    Weekends? What are those? My days run on and on, just so similar that I lose track of the day (I'm semi retired). When others ask about weekends, as they are now about Labor Day weekend, I respond rather lamely. Everyone wants to come to the lake cottages to hang out and party, I want to go there to reflect and just be. This certainly is a different life than anticipated. I,too, miss those before friends, when none of this widowhood was a part of either of our vocabulary.

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    1. Cathy,
      I SO get that lake cottage thing.
      Everyone wants me to invite them to our lake house ..... but no one wants to invite me over to their house ..... even for dinner. Or out to dinner. But I'm expected to call and just invite myself over, which I've done .... but refuse to do any longer. It's not fair. Why should I HAVE to remind someone that I'd like to be with them, or do something with them? How selfish and self-absorbed can a "friend" be?
      When I go the lake (where I am at this moment) I feel so much less stress, and a bit less lonely, for some reason (it probably helps that my mom lives around the corner). But this has always been a place of peace and thinking for me. If my "friends" were showing me that they wanted to spend time with me, I'd love to have them up here.
      But when I don't get a text or a call, or even an email ..... I'm sure not asking them to come with me so that I can feel even more stress!

      Delete
    2. Your post, Janine, and the replies are so spot on. I spend so much time obsessing over whether to call and invite myself somewhere. I do remember some invitations to visit early on, (3+ years ago), but I wasn't ready. Those invites never came again. There was a large gathering of our biker crowd in South Carolina last weekend which I didn't attend. Seeing all the pictures posted on FB of all the happy couples sittin' on the porch and smiling, verified my reason for not going. They might as well have all had on t-shirts that screamed "Life is Good"...:-) The group stuff is harder for me than a small get-together of maybe 3 or 4 people. I almost want to put your post on my FB, but anything other than baby-animal pictures is too serious for my circle...sigh..

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  6. I have a good, but somewhat stressful, job and so I still enjoy the feeling of driving away from work at 4pm on Friday afternoon. Especially in the summer, and even more so when the sun is shining.

    Of course when I get home I'm entirely alone now except for my weimaraner (Dave's actually) who is a 90lb bundle of energy who sings and howls excitedly at me when I walk in the door. (I'm thankful to have him around as he forces me to walk 45+ minutes each and every day.)

    I'm 2 years into widowhood and things have improved. (For the first 6 months I used to drive home from work with tears streaming down my eyes.) I forced myself to get outside daily and go out with friends as often as I could. (Didn't enjoy it at all, but I did it. I think camping with friends but alone in my tent 2 months after Dave died was the worst. But I'm glad I did it.)

    We all have our downswings, and it sounds like that's where you're at right now Janine. Hugs to you...

    One thing I've finally clued in on is realizing when I'm feeling shitty & depressed, that I don't & won't always feel shitty & depressed. I know that I'll pull out of it and do what I can to not wallow in it for too long.

    For 2 weeks I have been entertaining family visiting from across the country. Some are staying with my parents but my niece and her 5 year old have been staying with me. When I come home from work there are usually 5 to 7 adults & children hanging around my place to enjoy the pool. They are all boarding a plane to head home as I type this.
    When I go home today, I will be alone for the first time in two weeks, so I'm actually looking forward to it. Lol!

    Moving is another story. I regularly waffle back and forth between a strong desire to move and an equally strong desire to stay. My friends and family think I'm crazy. I'll talk about moving, then I'll talk about things I want to do to my house, and they'll say, "I thought you wanted to move."
    Me - "Ya. That was last week though. Today I want to stay."

    Yep. It’s a rollercoaster this whole widow thing. And I was never a fan of rollercoasters.

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  7. Way to go Janine and the other responders! So true!! I work full-time and still dread the weekends. When my husband was alive I remember the Friday afternoon excitement of a busy weekend planned with him, work or fun, I couldn't wait. Now I have to listen to my co-workers talk of their plans with husbands and I want to curl up and just cry. They know my children are grown and out of the house, wait are they thinking!!!!!

    Additionally, I no longer get invitations like I used to. 2 1/2 years later and I am expected to be back to "normal" like the rest of you. What is that anyway?

    So, at least we are alone together! Thank you Janine!

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  8. oh my goodness...it is nice to know that I am not alone in all of this!! thank you all for sharing! I did leave my home and my community and my "before" friends and most days I am happy I did so...I still have those melancholy days when I think if I go back it will be like it was before...but I know it won't be, so I muddle thru those "poor me" moments!! Thanks for voicing my thoughts so well!

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  9. me too...feeling all that, but my kiddos are still with me. one just started hs and the other only 7...so the empty is still here even when my kids are.

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  10. I too hate the weekends, but the weekdays are bad too. I try to keep myself "busy". We were empty nesters before Danny died, so it was just him and I. The good life! Now life sucks! I now about the friends that said, hey "Im just a phone call away"! Yeah but I have to call. I did call one of the friends and she said Im so glad to hear from you. That was 8 mths after Danny died. Then she said " Ive been meaning to call but every time I thought about it, it was on a weekend!!! She said she knew I was busy with my kids. Really...Well I said back to her " what happened to Monday-Friday???". Well Im not calling or begging either.

    Jackie

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    Replies
    1. Jackie,
      I get that. I have a friend here who will NOT call me .... at all. But if I invite myself over she's more than willing to have me over. So I've done that .... time and time again. A person can only do that so many times before they (or at least me) feels humiliated to have to ask to come over, or ask to go out to dinner with her husband and her. I've even told her about my feelings on this ..... but it doesn't do any good. I haven't asked myself over in more than 2 months ..... and haven't heard anything from her.
      It's sad ..... and so hurtful.
      I really can't wait to get out of here.
      One more year ..... and counting.

      Delete
  11. Off topic, but Janine, where'd your blog go? I knew you were starting a private one, but I thought you were going to keep posting on the original one too?

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    Replies
    1. Anon,
      I took it down. Someone who's pretending to be my "friend" (they're using info I've only posted on FB) keeps making nasty, mean comments directed at me personally, rather than at my thoughts, politics or words. I've had enough so I took it down. I'm taking a break from that blog, but I don't know if I'll put it back up. I can't write freely there and I'm not a writer who likes to censor what I write, especially about grief. Blogger gives you 90 days before they permanently delete the blog, so I have some time to think about it.
      If I put it back I'll probably have to change it to no commenting allowed, which I don't want to do, but that may be better than not posting at all.
      Unfortunately, I've had a couple of truly hateful people in my life recently (one was one of my best friends for 17 years until a few months ago) and they're not the most mature people. I can't prove who it is, but I have a good idea and have done what I can to block them for all aspects of my life, even FB.
      Thanks for asking .... and checking in.
      I appreciate it.

      Delete
  12. I was going to ask that same question-where did your blog go??? Glad I have an answer. :)

    I agree, weekends were always the WORST- I used to go to a movie on Friday night ( usually alone, once I got used to that ) and Saturday night I'd eat dinner then watch John Edward's show-the medium, not the hounddog, lol-and be on the YWBB. My twins were off at college, but they came home in the summer, so that helped a bit-but the shunning by so-called friends hurt terribly. My late hubby's family has left me now as well-his friends are lovely, and we still email FB, but since they are in Australia, it's hard to make play dates :)
    Know that I get it, and others get it, too.
    I wish for you some measure of peace in your heart ASAP.
    Take care kiddo!
    Susan ( in OR but used to be in TX)


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    Replies
    1. Susan,
      Where in Oregon? I was born there!
      :)

      Delete
  13. For those of you who'd like to know this ..... yes, I have removed my personal, ;public blog .... and am not sure when, or if, I'll put it back. But I also have a private blog that's only for people who are grieving. If you'd like to be a part of that "community" (it's a safe place where readers can comment their true feelings without worrying that their friends or family will see their comments) then email me at janinee@sslof.org.
    I'll be happy to add you to the blog.
    :)

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  14. I am sorry to hear that you've taken your blog down.... I am not a widow but I still found your thoughts insightful and I will miss reading them... too bad one bad apple spoils it for everyone.... At least now I know why I keep getting a google error message when I click the link in "My Favourites." I thought maybe you'd been hacked!

    Denise in Saskatchewan, Canada

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  15. I was the first anon (sorry, was posting from my phone and it's funky and wouldn't let me do what I was trying to do, I don't normally do anon!). Thanks for the update, I had hoped it was a technical error and not something like this - I'm so sorry you've had to pull the blog down. I've enjoyed reading it for awhile - I'm not sure how I stumbled on your blog, but I am glad I did. I'm not a widow, so I wasn't following your private blog. I do hope you'll be able to reinstate the public blog in a way that is safe for you. How hurtful of those people - what is wrong with people?!? Ugh.

    Thank you for sharing it publicly, and I wish you all the best as you continue on your journey.

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  16. Janine, you hit it out of the ball park again. I hate the weekends. When I come home from the office on Friday nights, the silence is deafening. Many times I won't hear from anyone until Sunday night. After everyone has enjoyed the togetherness and family of the weekend they will "check" on me.
    I am soooo...alone. I think the marital status choices, should be changed from widow to Alone (not widowed)
    I'm not single, I'm alone. My children are grown and independent. I AM ALONE; so very very alone. Not lonely, alone...

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  17. I stumbled upon this blog and it really hits home. I used to not be able to wait for the weekends, now I hate them. I have been widowed 4 yrs. due to suicide. His family abandoned us and my family is deceased. So I am really lonely. My phone can go for days without ringing...
    It sucks!

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  18. my name is sandra my husband died almost 4months ago i dont know how to go on. i have two daughtets a fifteen year old and a six year old.

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    1. Hi Sandra,

      I am so, so sorry to hear about the loss of your husband, and your girls loss of their Daddy. My heart hurts for all of you as you make your way through the day to day changes, and also the particular challenge of the holiday season. What I want to tell you is that you don't have to know how to get through this pain, there is no right way. I wish I could share a shortcut of some kind, but the only way I know out of this pain is to go through it one day at a time.

      But, there is one thing that I know of that DOES help when you are adjusting to widowed life...other widowed people. They totally changed my life after the death of my husband. They understood how hard it was to make myself get out of bed. They understood that I was struggling to find a new reason to want to live. Other widowed people understood, and somehow that made me feel so much less alone. So, please come back here. We write every day, and I would encourage you to join our Widowed Village...there are almost 3,000 stranger/friends who are supporting,encouraging, and listening to each other each and every day. You will find the village at www.widowedvillage.org

      Above all Sandra, you are not walking this widowed road alone.

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    2. Sandra, I'll repeat it...you are not alone.
      We are out there, living it too. When you are ready (and the fact that you've found this blog tells me you probably are), it will help you tremendously to plug into the widowed community as much as possible.
      It saved me and continues to. There is nothing like the feeling of connecting with someone else on this very unique journey. I was just telling my widowed friend that it feels like I'm an alien on this planet, searching for others from my planet (planet widowed) and while I've sort of adjusted to this new planet (life as a widowed person)after 18 months living here, I'm still searching for others from the home planet and when I find them I immediately feel soothed, connected and supported.
      Please know that my thoughts are with you and that the pain won't always be as acute as it is now. You are stronger than you can even imagine is possible and the only way I can confidently make that claim is that I've experienced this too.
      We are here and you can do this.

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    3. Sandra - I'm so sorry for your loss and also want to reassure you that you are not alone. It's hard. This work is very hard, but you can do it. Please know that you can rely on the amazing online widowed community at www.widowedvillage.org - they saved me. The friendships I made there, the ability to be able to share my hurts and fears with others who got it has helped me immensely. I couldn't find a local support group, so my online friends were my lifeline. Now, at 2 years, I can say that I'm finding my way. We must grieve our loss - all of it - our loves, their presence, the changes it brings into our lives, the extra burdens we must carry, the aloneness. But when that tiny little ray of light first appears we need to grab hold of that, keep it shining, know that it is there even during the hard days and nights. And then find the strength to help that light to grow. For me, it was attending Camp Widows and volunteering in Widowed Village, more recently, also my involvement with Brave Girls Club and their camps. Whatever it is that will allow you to realize - and believe - that you are enough, just as you are, to shine, to live, to find your true purpose in this life so you can truly live a happy life. It's possible. And you have an army of women who will be happy to hold your hand as you find your way.

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    4. Sandra,
      I will also repeat it-you are NOT alone.
      The best advice I got four years ago when my husband died two days after Christmas was "fake it til you make it". Keep smiling, be there for your girls, help them get through the holidays-make sure to include some of your old traditions, and start some new ones. Do what you need to do to make yourself comfortable, call on a friend, have people over, or have quiet time to yourself. Have a place in the house where you can go for a time-out, sometimes it all gets overwhelming and you just need a few minutes to let your mind go blank. There will be lots of times when you will feel like you are just woodenly going through the motions, and you are, but eventually you will start to come out of that space and move back into what feels more like reality. Just hang in there and don't feel like you are the only one. I love Cassie's description of feeling like an alien looking for other aliens-it's so true! And if you can find some, you will feel instantly comforted. My non-widow friends don't understand that need sometimes at midnight just to talk to someone, but my widowed friends do, and are more than happy to pick up the phone and cry with me at one in the morning. Sometimes just logging on to Widowed Village to see who else is up helps and I can go back to bed. Know that we are here to support you, so you can be there for your daughters.

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    5. Sandra, my husband died just over a year ago (9/9). I can't give you anything these folks haven't already said or any quick answers that will eliminate the sadness that I know you must be feeling.

      What I can say is this:
      You are loved.
      You are prayed for.

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  19. Sandra,
    My husband passed on 2 years and 5 months ago. I also did not believe I could go on, I did not want to. I had to keep telling myself that I am alive and will move forward positively in his honor. I feel like it is out of respect for him(and me) that I make the most of the time I have left and that love we share shaped my life and made it beautiful so I need to honor that.
    This new chapter in your life is still a fresh wound sister. Nurture it. Let those feelings rise and acknowledge them because they are real. The struggle for us is that we don't sink in the grief. We can wallow in it but we have to find something to pull us out when we have lingered too long. I found a young widows support group and it really helped me. Try looking for one in your area.
    I won't tell you it gets easier. It gets different. And like the person before me posted, know that you are not on the widowed road alone.
    Let the love you shared pull you through. It's still there.

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  20. Sandra, I know how you are feeling. I just lost my husband 5 1/2 months ago. I feel like I am just running on auto pilot everyday & just going threw the motions.
    I have a 10 year old son with autism, who lives with me, & my stepdaughter is in college. Looking at my son everyday, he acts more & more like his father.
    I moved into a townhome with my single sister & her 2 kids, just so I would have some adult presence to talk to when I was feeling depressed & upset about my husband.
    I feel like I need that support right now.
    You may want to try Grief Support groups or widows groups because everyone there knows what your going threw.
    Christmas will be hard but you have to enjoy for your
    kids.
    There are many people you can chat with on this website if you need it.
    Stay strong, I know it's hard.

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  21. It is so, so hard. My husband died in July so I hit four months right around this time of year. It was a hazy foggy nightmare. I moved around like a robot and I, too, doubted I could go on. Please, please find some help-whatever works with your resources. Back me up, ladies and gents, but NO ONE can do this alone. Take whatever help friends and family offer. Most churches offer grief support around the holidays-just something for you to lean on esp w two kids. You can go on, but not by yourself. Check in to this website if nothing else. We have all been there and come out the other side. Please let us know how you are doing.

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  22. You are not alone. There are so many of us on this admittedly terrible road.

    But this is not the whole road. It is a bumpy, obstacle-laden part of the road. But keep moving. One step at a time. One thing at a time...not more than one thing at a time. You do not need to decide how--or who--you are going to be for a while.

    Show your children that it's ok to be sad, to be lost, to grieve. Teach them that you are all going to get through this together, and let them guide you as well as you guiding them.

    There is no right way to do this. But you will make it ok for all of you as long as you remember to take care of yourself, and ask for the help you need to do that.

    Sending you strength.

    Sima
    Widowed 6 years and still figuring it out

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  23. I was just talking to someone about this this morning. In the weeks after Michael died I was doing business trips from NYC to Philly. I was on the Acela full of business people going between NY and DC and Philly. Crowded trains every morning and night and I would sit there dressed in a business suit with a brief case and tears running down my face. I could not stop crying. I would walk down the street or into meetings and burst into tears. I thought, I can't go on like this. One day I got on the 6 am Acela and was taking the last train home at night (the midnight train or something). It took everything I had to not throw myself in front of that train. My kids are grown but I have two little grandsons and I am their only grandparent and we are very close. I thought, "They would hate me forever. They would never understand how after losing their grandfather, they lost me." It's been 3 years and my birthday and wedding anniversary are in the same week as Thanksgiving. Was cool when Michael was here but dreadful the first year h was been gone. Since then, I spend my birthday at the Bronx Zoo with the kids. Just 2 weeks ago we were at the zoo for my birthday and it was quiet and beautiful and the animals were out and I was content. Not joyous. But content. And this year my granddaughter who is 2, joined us, and if I had thrown myself in front of that train, I would have never met her and she is the most precious child.

    I know it's hard and I know the beginning months and years are so very hard. And I brought the kids home Thanksgiving night and the next day was my anniversary and I cried a lot. A lot. The pain was slicing through me. But then the next day I did something else and I was okay.

    I don't know how to explain it, but you do go on. Especially when kids are involved who will never understand if you don't. I know it's really really hard....go to therapy, find a grief group, and talk to others who have been there. You can do it.

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  24. let yourself simply feel: anger, rage, happiness, uncertainty, euphoria, love, sadness, optimism.... cry, scream, laugh, wonder, wish, remember, honor, and most of all simply BE present... at four moths i was still holding my breath, thinking if i held it long enough, i might simply disappear - along with the pain and emptiness.... if the pain is too great, dig deep and hold on for those two precious daughters... they are the silverlining... sending healing energies, much love, and holding you in the Light as you walk this journey... and as you know, you are not alone...

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  25. Is this still an active post? I feel like all these posts are me. I hate weekends, seeing "happy couples", etc. I am so miserable and it has been close to 2 years since hubby passed, still feeling displaced and angry, also lost my job, about to lose my home, etc. I have pretty much lost it all. Trying to give it all to God but it is hard. Would like to hear some current "2013" posts.

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  26. You sound like my twin! I too will have lost my husband 2 years ago, lost my job, and about to lose my home. I am so miserable. No one understands. I feel so alone and in a dark place. I still walk around in a fog. I love God also but sometimes I do not feel Him. I know we have to walk this terrible walk "alone". I hope you are doing better Anonymous on May 26th. It sure is a long and hard road.

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  27. I Googled widow empty nester and came upon this, and I'm so glad I did. I absolutely hate weekends and feel so alone. I have friends, but they and their partners are doing things, I have a 16 year old, and he's not interested in the same things anymore with me, which is expected. I'm introverted so it makes it really hard to get out there to meet someone. I hate social media because everyone seems to be doing something so I avoid it on the weekends. Thanks for sharing, at least I know now others feel the same way.

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  28. PLEASE NOTE: We've moved our blog platform to our parent organization's (Soaring Spirits) website. You will find all the writers you love, as well as an archive of over 2,300 posts written by our team of widowed men and women, here: http://www.soaringspirits.org/blog

    You also might want to check out our online community - Widowed Village - where you'll find others you can share your story with. http://widowedvillage.org/

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