Saturday, January 14, 2012

New Territory

As all of you know, that have followed this blog, of my and Elbert's journey through Alzhiemers, that I have always been open and honest with you. I hope that some of what I have experienced has been helpful to you. Just jotting it down in black and white has helped me deal with all the trials and goodness knows you all have been so sweet, so caring.

So, I am going to talk about something that is definately 'New Territory' for me. Some of you have never considered this (and are not at that point in your life) and some of you may have thought about it, some may have already covered this new way of life for themselves. There is no road map to guide you.

I am talking about opening up yourself, your life to another person of the opposite sex. The years of caregiving are gone, the pain and suffering of losing someone you love so deeply is getting a tad easier (and I said, a tad).... and you start to think about being alone FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE! You miss the sound of a man's voice, a tender hug, a sweet kiss. You know you can never have those things again with your spouse, however, there comes a time when you begin to know that you are human, that you are lonely, that you need companionship.

I started having some wee thoughts creep in to this weary, vacant mind of mine. I know that 'I'll never marry again' and living with someone is not 'my thing' either. I didn't really like these thoughts but they came and went. And, then I got into this situation recently that I wanted to share with you.

A girlfriend of mine was concerned about a friend of hers who had lost his wife some months ago. He never talked about his pain, never dealt with his grief, but sat staring at the tv and he was very lonely. So, when she asked if I would be willing to go to lunch with him I said yes. I'd been in that same frame of mind, maybe I could help.

I met him in Nov. and by the middle of Dec. (when his wife had been gone about 6 months) I began picking up on subtle hints that he thought there was a future for us. Then he became less subtle!! I wasn't ready to have a romantic relationship and I sure didn't think he had moved past the 'denial' stage of his grieving. What to do...... it was a dilemma I was totally unfamiliar with and one I was so uncomfortable with. I knew that it was time for me to say goodbye to this gentleman. And, so I did.

It's difficult to know when the right time is (if ever) to move on with your life. Evidently the time is not right for me and it may never be. I was married to the best. And, I found it awfully hard not to compare!!
I would never advise anyone on what they should do with their life but I will say this. Be careful as you move past your deep grieving so that you may be fully in tune with what you need, what you want and what and who you are willing to let into your life. Go slow, be sure. It's difficult to be alone so I am not saying that you should never have companionship again. I know many 'second marriages' that have worked and turned out very happy. That course to take is for the individual to determine.

The nights are long, the way is rough and there is much soul searching that I have to do. However, there is a new day dawning and what it holds I know not but I vow that it will be exciting and it will be what I want, what I need and I will be okay. That's what Elbert would have wanted for me.


NewKidontheBlogg said...

Love how you can be so honest here, LaTane. You are so wise, LaTane, to back off. People like to be match makers, because they don't like to see us grieving. But they really don't know the dynamics.

When I was a widow I was younger(49 and 50)and dated two widowers. I was still in the grief stage, and should not have been dating for those 18 months after my late husband died. I then had both heart break and grief to deal with for the first gentleman and then finally smelled the coffee with the second gentleman. My counselor did ask me, "Why are you so quick to try to find another husband?" and he was right. I did not need to be the solution to someone else's grief when I wasn't whole myself.

After eight years I did remarry when I was 55. If the LORD takes my current AD husband before I pass away, I, like you, do not think I would remarry.

Susannah said...

Hello my dear Latane.... I just look up to you so much. You are just someone to admire and learn from. My Dad died when he was 41 years old and my Mom was 39. I really experienced the sadness and the heart ache with my Mother. I had only been married two weeks when this happened. I grew up so fast. I spent many moments with my Mom holding her and listening to her thoughts, her memories and her heart. I learned so much about true love. Since then...I have had death around me and experienced losses that really hurt me....but not since Mom have I truly felt such respect for a woman until you. Maybe your words just seem to hit home to me. You are a wonderful writer. No, I just think it is because you explain how you feel. You tell the truth about what you feel. I can feel your unforgettable and wonderful love for your husband, Elbert. I am so glad you stepped back and were able to take a look into the situation you just experienced. I'm sure you gave it all a lot of thought. Maybe someday you will want someone to be near and dear......But for now, You have decided not to. That is surely okay.

Thank you for keeping this blog open and for sharing, Latane.

God be with you.

Marie said...

Mom, this was an excellent post. I am so glad you decided to share this experience with your friends who are going through their own journeys. I know it will be of help to some of these friends one day, and may already be helpful to others. I think it was good for you to share it, and I'm proud of you for ending the time with the gentleman friend the way you did. The comments posted here are also wonderful!

Lizzie said...

What a truly inspiring post, very well written, and spoken from the heart. There are many others who are going through life after the death of a spouse, and they should also know they have every right to be happy and to live while they are living. I'm sure you inspired many people with your candid feelings about wanting companionship and knowing when it's the right time. God bless...Lizzie