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Dealing with Losses

Started by jdtm, March 16, 2016, 06:40:45 pm

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This year I will reach a significant birthday.  Yet, all I see ahead is "loss".  My parents are now gone (as well as many family members) and tonight I find out a close friend is dying from cancer.  My husband is doing well although he suffered from a major health issue late last year.  Every time I read the paper or talk to someone or even shop for groceries, it seems all I hear about is illness or sadness or death.  Honestly, life seems so overwhelming - isn't retirement supposed to be "the best time of one's life"?  Not really looking for advice - just venting ....  But at times, life seems so bleak and frankly, dark.  Sometimes, it is so hard to continue on ....


March 16, 2016, 07:09:18 pm #1 Last Edit: March 16, 2016, 07:19:10 pm by luise.volta
Hi, J., I just had one of those birthdays last week. I turned 89. It seems to me that we need to feel the feelings you describe, honestly. That's the only way through them and we have to be careful not to get stuck. I live on a large retirement campus in the woods: www.warmbeach.org . We have over 300 residents, most in independent living...but there are those in assisted care and nursing, as well. We average a death a week. When my husband and I moved here fifteen years ago we decided not to attend memorials because they are weekly. In those 15 years I have not only lost my husband but I have seen 800 friends and neighbors pass on. Care taking my husband for 10 years took a real toll on me and I have seen many 'healthy' spouses' here die before the loved ones they were taking care of. All of that can sound pretty heavy...and bring up 'what's the point', but I have evolved into seeing it as an adventure. We are a nonprofit, therefore there are no laws limiting volunteer work. I monitor our Maintenance Request Line 24/7. Some wait table in our three dining rooms, clerk in our little grocery store or thrift store or work on the grounds. Interesting programs abound for those highly social. And I have my WWU and MyFitnessPal online friends. My life continues to change as my abilities do. My experience is that I am close to the end but/and still having a good life...full of surprises and yes, fun. Hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


J, I live on the coast in an area with a wealth of salt marshes and I love to fish!!  A few years back my DH and I were fishing up a creek in one of his favorite spots in our small boat.  There is a bluff with houses on one side of the creek and a salt marsh as far as you can see on the other side of the creek.  The owner of one of the houses came out to the bluff and said to us "I spent a million dollars on this house and all I get for a view is your boat".  At the time we just shrugged and said "well you don't own the creek".  She resented us and we were not happy with her either but it did not make us go away (we were catching fish!  hehe).  Later I realized that what I should have felt for her was pity.  It is sad when you see someone who has everything.......beautiful house, lovely view, obvious health.....but still only notices the things that are wrong.  She has that view to herself almost all of the time but when we were obnoxious enough to deprive her of it for a few hours she managed to work herself into a stew about it and probably make herself miserable for the rest of the day.  We were gone in the early afternoon but I expect that she spent the wonderful sunset that evening complaining to her DH about the boat she had to look at that day.

Anyway my point is that you can change your outlook by where you look.  If you focus only on the things that are wrong it becomes very easy to forget about the things that are right.  I am so glad that your DH is doing well after the scare you got last year!  Maybe you should plan something fun while both of you are able.

Good luck!! 

PS....Luise, I personally hope you get many, many more birthdays!!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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