There are many heartbreaks in our lives. There are many episodes that throw us into deep despair, wondering if we can/will survive. There are many situations that seem impossible to rectify, yet, somehow, the next day dawns with the same bright sun – unless, of course, you live in Ocean Beach and wake to another foggy day – and you put one foot in front of the other as you circulate throughout the day.
There are also some situations that you cannot see any way out of and still keep your sense of humor; your fortitude; your desire to plod on. Instead of being lifted from the doldrums, you are sucked deeper and deeper into the black hole beneath your feet.
There doesn’t seem to be any real reason that you are sinking, until you realize that your confidante, your lover, your best friend is gone. The things that you used to do as a “couple” (and even as a foursome) you cannot do any more. For one thing, you will never be a “couple” with anyone else as you were with your spouse. You find that those “couple’s” that you used to “hang” with are not even in the picture anymore. You struggle to analyze the reasons that you find yourself as a “single” without reaching definitive answers. Yes, you do go out to lunch, or for a walk, or to a movie with a part of the couple, but seldom as the “third wheel”. And that is ok. You don’t want to feel awkward – and you certainly don’t want the couple to feel anxious when one of you is missing.
After two plus years, people expect you to be “ok”; you have grieved, and now they say it is time to start a “new” life. Bring another person to the party. That would have been a hell of a lot easier 30 years ago when I was younger, prettier, weighed less, and had energy. Now, at 72 – soon to be 73 – I have none of the above attributes, yet I have all the same wants and needs I had then.
It’s hard to tell you that sometimes I just pain with the desire to have someone give me a hug. A real hug. Sometimes I feel like I must be repeating my adolescence because I want a partner so badly it hurts. Sometimes I wonder how I can be in such a crowded room and feel so lonely. And sometimes I wonder what’s next for me – and the widows that I have learned to love from my support groups. We all say the same thing – we don’t want another husband. (Training the one we had was hard enough.) I, personally, want a man that can take care of the plants; enjoy the food I cook; like going out to a play or dinner; and occasionally spend the night. It would be nice to have someone to “love me”; but admittedly, I do not think that I could ever love someone back as I loved my husband. It is the companionship that I long for. The discussions that I no longer have regarding so many things – the election, the Chargers, the weather, etc. that were so vital to my life as a wife. There is no one for me to look up to and admire and at the same time no one admires me. There is no one whom I can tell my inner-most secrets to and expect no judgment as to whether I am right or wrong.
I am not asking for pity; and I’m not asking for suggestions either. Perhaps I am just asking for understanding. I have heard the suggestions before – volunteer; join groups; go places; etc. On a rational level I can accept these suggestions; on a practical level it just won’t happen. I once said that I did not want to go out and buy a dog. If, by chance, a dog followed me home and wanted to stay with me, I’d keep him. And that is what happened with “LOBO” – a dog that “adopted us”. He was what we needed at that time. But one day my husband left to go on a 10 day long-range fishing trip and Lobo left too. (Only to return the day that my husband returned.) I need another “Lobo”; someone that comes to me to fill his need, as well as fulfilling my own.