AceBasin

Making New Friendships

62 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, M88 said:

 

Wait for me!!!

 

Of course! :-)

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18 hours ago, Andy said:

All that changes with the passing of our partners.

Yes, it does redefine us, whether we want it to or not.  Society looks at us differently too.

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14 hours ago, Andy said:

You know, how interesting would it be if there was a train, that ran from the east coast to the west, a full on passenger train. It catered to those in the midst of grieving over the loss of a loved one. On that train, nothing but those left behind, a trip that would allow all of us to meet one another, tell our stories, face to face. Crying, holding each other up, breaking down again. All the while on this train, this "metaphor" for a journey. It'd be interesting to note the differences in our selves as we made our way from one coast to the other and back again. I'd love it. Of course, I may find myself being thrown off as we crossed some deep valley. I can be rather talkative when the mood strikes.

Comfort to you all,

Andy

Count me on board!

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Andy, I feel that all of us would get on that train trip. No hesitations!

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KayC and KMB, it'd be complete with an observation car, full dining accommodations and scenic stops along the way. The boarding station would be "Terminal of Grief", departure for the return would be in "Hope Central". Souvenirs would be friendships made. 

Hmm, now I just need a few million...oh, and a train. 

Love,

Andy

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Andy, We could start a donation fund and pray that the judicial system granted us clemency on the hijacking of a train. The trip IS for a good cause. Wonderful idea you have there.

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Married couple friends can still be very good. I just had the fourth married couple (some wives, some husbands) check in on me today and see if i needed or wanted anything.

It is an adjustment, and I may feel a little strange,  but good friends are  good friends, married or not.

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7 hours ago, KMB said:

Andy, We could start a donation fund and pray that the judicial system granted us clemency on the hijacking of a train. The trip IS for a good cause. Wonderful idea you have there.

Imagine the healing that would take place on this Grief Train. I go to a grief support group that lasts for an hour and a half and I always wish it would go longer.  It's just so good to be around others that are feeling the same things and can share their stories, fears, and successes in a safe place. A trip across the country with all of you is just what I need! 

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I just had a thought.  How about a slow boat to nowhere. This might just be doable. Maybe a boat in Gulf of Mexico , home ported in Galveston, easy access from either coast. Just thinking thats all.

Autocharge

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Maybe we could get a good deal on a summer camp in the Mountains in the fail.

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All this train talk has reminded me of a song. Tuesdays Gone by Lynyrd Skynyrd. You classic rock fans probably know it well. The first line is "Train roll on, on down the line.  Won't you please take me far, far away."  People thought it was written about a girlfriend but Tuesday actually represented life as it use to be being gone when the band was 'hitting it big'. However, Hank Williams Jr. recorded it years later right after his girlfriend died so the song had a whole different meaning in that version. I think I actually like his version better.  This can be on our Grief Train playlist!

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HHfaith, A playlist is a great idea. We'll have to invest in cases of Kleenex for this train trip, but it will be worth it to all be together as the Grief Family Tour.

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19 hours ago, AceBasin said:

Married couple friends can still be very good. I just had the fourth married couple (some wives, some husbands) check in on me today and see if i needed or wanted anything.

It is an adjustment, and I may feel a little strange,  but good friends are  good friends, married or not.

How very true, good friends are just that, good friends. The married part can make me feel a little awkward, it's so apparent the "before and after" dynamic of things now. 

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8 hours ago, HHFaith said:

All this train talk has reminded me of a song. Tuesdays Gone by Lynyrd Skynyrd. You classic rock fans probably know it well. The first line is "Train roll on, on down the line.  Won't you please take me far, far away."  People thought it was written about a girlfriend but Tuesday actually represented life as it use to be being gone when the band was 'hitting it big'. However, Hank Williams Jr. recorded it years later right after his girlfriend died so the song had a whole different meaning in that version. I think I actually like his version better.  This can be on our Grief Train playlist!

Great song! Very appropriate. That's one of the wonderful things about music, so much of its meaning or value is completely in the ear of the listener. Since the passing of my wife, songs will mean something different to me than before she passed. We bring so much of who we are to music, well, really, all of the arts. Even a beautiful landscape takes on different significance now. We have a new perspective, our appreciation has grown, we may see beauty where we didn't before, or we may see things as vain or superficial, things once revered. 

I have a playlist a mile deep. Loreena Mckinnits "Dantes Prayer" being close to the top. That and Annie Lennox's "Into the West" will reduce me to tears near instantly. 

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2 hours ago, Andy said:

Great song! Very appropriate. That's one of the wonderful things about music, so much of its meaning or value is completely in the ear of the listener. Since the passing of my wife, songs will mean something different to me than before she passed. We bring so much of who we are to music, well, really, all of the arts. Even a beautiful landscape takes on different significance now. We have a new perspective, our appreciation has grown, we may see beauty where we didn't before, or we may see things as vain or superficial, things once revered. 

I have a playlist a mile deep. Loreena Mckinnits "Dantes Prayer" being close to the top. That and Annie Lennox's "Into the West" will reduce me to tears near instantly. 

Your right andy, i feel the same, our loss has put things in a different perspective, to see beauty where we didnt see before is a clear message to keep us living on with a clear purpose, to live the life our loved ones would want for us, if only they were with us to appreciate it too.

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1 minute ago, Meesh said:

Your right andy, i feel the same, our loss has put things in a different perspective, to see beauty where we didnt see before is a clear message to keep us living on with a clear purpose, to live the life our loved ones would want for us, if only they were with us to appreciate it too.

Yes, exactly. Perhaps it's not taking for granted each sunrise, or maybe it's gathering inspiration from a newborn to remind us that while we grieve our loss, someone else celebrates a new life. Seeing value in material acquisitions just for the sake of having them has lost all its appeal.  Things I want are things that bring me joy, regardless of what others may think. And no, I'm not that odd chap down the street who collects old baby dolls and candy bar wrappers. 

I sometimes, well, a lot now, I suppose, wonder how I'll die. Not in a morbid gloomy way, but if I'll be alone, will it be quick or prolonged? Will I have time to say goodbye? To lift any assumed burdens of guilt or regret on those I may leave behind? We often think about planning for our funerals, taking care of arrangements so our loved ones don't have to, but I'm starting to think what's equally, if not more so, as important, is making sure your family, friends and all your loved ones know how you feel about them. Telling a child to not feel bad about arguing with me, telling a friend that I always appreciated his honesty, telling all that no one is to carry a burden of guilt, regret of words not spoken, feelings not shared. "All is forgiven, you all are loved, each one of you made my life better and richer for just being a part of it." I think I'll work on that. Way too much technology now to let that get away from me. 

Sorry, I don't know where all that came from. From art to absolution. 

Hugs,

Andy

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Andy i think its normal to think about our own mortality after what has happened to us, i lost my mum almost 3 yr ago now (i miss her every single day), and i question myself has to whether i helped her with the loss of my father, he died 10 yr before my mum and they had been together 50 yr, i dont think i did help her as i should have, i was grieving for my father and also wrapped up in my own family life i probably didnt give her the time i should have and now knowing how she must have felt i feel guilty about that, i hope she forgive me for it. Me and my sister did look after her to the end tho, im glad we did that, she got diagnosed of stomach cancer in earlh april and died july 6, we never left her side after diagnosis, we managed to look after her at her home where she died with me and my sister by her side, my sister is a hospice nurse and she knew how to look after her as needed, i am proud we did that for her. None of us know how we will go but its a nice thought having our loved ones with us till the end, take care andy .

9 hours ago, Andy said:

Yes, exactly. Perhaps it's not taking for granted each sunrise, or maybe it's gathering inspiration from a newborn to remind us that while we grieve our loss, someone else celebrates a new life. Seeing value in material acquisitions just for the sake of having them has lost all its appeal.  Things I want are things that bring me joy, regardless of what others may think. And no, I'm not that odd chap down the street who collects old baby dolls and candy bar wrappers. 

I sometimes, well, a lot now, I suppose, wonder how I'll die. Not in a morbid gloomy way, but if I'll be alone, will it be quick or prolonged? Will I have time to say goodbye? To lift any assumed burdens of guilt or regret on those I may leave behind? We often think about planning for our funerals, taking care of arrangements so our loved ones don't have to, but I'm starting to think what's equally, if not more so, as important, is making sure your family, friends and all your loved ones know how you feel about them. Telling a child to not feel bad about arguing with me, telling a friend that I always appreciated his honesty, telling all that no one is to carry a burden of guilt, regret of words not spoken, feelings not shared. "All is forgiven, you all are loved, each one of you made my life better and richer for just being a part of it." I think I'll work on that. Way too much technology now to let that get away from me. 

Sorry, I don't know where all that came from. From art to absolution. 

Hugs,

Andy

 

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Meesh, I think you've done a lovely job by tending to your mom, during a very, very difficult period of time. We can't be expected to know what we don't know. We all here often talk about how other people who have NOT dealt with the loss of a partner have no idea what it's like. On that fact alone, you are blameless and should harbor no guilt about how you may think you handled things when your mom lost her love. There isn't any way you could've known what your mom was feeling, and as we also know, it's a very personal journey anyway. Besides, you were grieving your father, something that you were coping with along with the task of caring for your own family. 

You and your sister gave your mom all of the love and comfort possible, and for that your mom was indeed blessed. Some would turn their back, others couldn't muster the strength, but you chose to see your dear mom to the "end". We should all be so blessed, what better way to go into that great beyond, than with those we call family? Friends? What a beautiful gift. 

Hugs,

Andy

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It never bothered me whether someone else was a married couple or single, a friend is a friend, regardless of marital status.  What I never could have foreseen was that all of my friends would ditch me when he died.  Fortunately, I've made new ones, but unfortunately, they've moved away now.  It takes time to forge new relationships but it's not something we can afford to quit at, we have to keep working at it, we all need a social network, and I'm not talking about Facebook. :)

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That is a good point to make, KayC. As social beings, we need actual face to face interactions. We need to share activities and events with others to have actual friendships. I know people who tell me they have *hundreds* of friends, but I discover they mean on social media. Technology has played a huge part in how people interact. It is has always been appalling to me to see families in public texting each other instead of talking. Actively seeking out new friendships requires effort and perseverance.

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4 hours ago, KMB said:

That is a good point to make, KayC. As social beings, we need actual face to face interactions. We need to share activities and events with others to have actual friendships. I know people who tell me they have *hundreds* of friends, but I discover they mean on social media. Technology has played a huge part in how people interact. It is has always been appalling to me to see families in public texting each other instead of talking. Actively seeking out new friendships requires effort and perseverance.

Facebook is social disconnect. It enables people to engage in an illusion born of a need for validation. "Like" my photo, "like" my brilliant quote (I plagiarized off someone else), I must be "good" I have 400 friends and 500 "followers". I admit, it's a world that I have intentionally let pass me by. My wife was ill equipped to deal with the "obsessive" nature of social networks, so we decided to let this go. I may be a bit harsh in my view of FB or twitter or Instagram or whatever network is "current", but I've seen an amazing regression of people to engage other, living, people. We have reduced complex emotions to an emoji, somehow a cartoon sad face conveys grief, sorrow, remorse mixed with self doubt and guilt? And when people DO talk face to face, they can't. We are losing our ability to communicate effectively and with honesty. 

I took the top off of one of my Jeeps today. I haven't taken it off in over a year, the weather is good, I figured it's time to try and enjoy it again. I loaded up my cameras, threw a few diet drinks in a cooler and headed out. First 45 minutes were okay, the last hour and a half, I progressively felt worse. I used to enjoy top off driving so much, but I apparently forgot that while it was very enjoyable, it was also shared with my best friend, my love, that being my wife of course. I was so distraught coming back to my home, I had it slap me in my face that I simply CAN'T enjoy things like I used to. I drove backroads among some rather nice scenery, small ponds, lakes, twisting tree covered roads, but it was like staring at a piece of brown cardboard. With no one to share my excitement with, to enjoy with another person the simple beauty of a landscape, it loses so much meaning. So long with my wife, I'd taken for granted how much of my joy came from being able to share life with someone who actually cared about my happiness. Which of course brings me to the topic of new friends and relationships. I've gone to several "events" locally, and what they illustrated was that I literally have no idea how to even initiate conversation beyond the sort of generic speak we engage in with strangers. My age is a barrier I think, I think people just assume I'm married, that's the bracket I'm in, and that changes the entire dynamic. KayC, you mentioned your former "friends" abandoning you, yes, me too. And like you, I take a long time to warm up to people, I'm guarded around people I don't know. I usually have to get a handle on someone's motivations and general character before I open up, and that can take quite awhile, considering how often people hide their true nature. I don't want to be a third wheel, I don't like being pitied or accommodated because I'm a widower, and I don't like imposing. I feel like I'm kind of relegated to the "useless" category, I should be married, most people my age are, I'm too old to start completely over again, it's just so difficult to figure out what I'm supposed to do. Or even how. Or why. 

KMB, this venting went on much longer than I intended, I'm sorry. Wow. Every weekend I feel like Bill Murray in Groundhogs Day, just the same meaningless days, over and over again, trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do so it'll have meaning. 

Hugs,

Andy

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Andy, I completely get your post. I feel so *alien* in this world now. Being without our spouses puts us into a category all our own. We don't *belong* with the couples and some of us are to old to start over. Where do we belong now? We were content with the world we created with our spouses. We are stuck in that time warp. We want everything to be what it was.

Maybe you and my husband would have bonded over vehicles. He had a passion for tiny sport cars. One day back in 2006, he came across an older Corvette. His eyes lit up and he was asking me if we could afford it. Next thing I know it's in our driveway. We had it out once with the top off. i so enjoyed watching the young man come out in him. He didn't get to enjoy the car much. His hip joints were shot and it was hard on him to get in and out of a low to the ground vehicle.My legs are too short to comfortably drive the car. So, it just sits in the garage covered up. He has a couple of MGB cars in the back shed. Those were going to be his renovation, retirement projects. It makes me feel even sadder knowing his future dreams can no longer be his.

You are right. Nothing about this life is enjoyable or has meaning when the one person we wanted to share it all with is no longer here.We lost so much along with them.

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Andy, it is very encouraging to hear that you are doing these activities.

Everything I have read says that the most comfort another widower of widow can receive from friends is from another widower or widow. At our age, we are members of a very exclusive club, perhaps in the 1% range. 

I saw a post from another member today that said it all. He was fixing his 90+ year old grandmother's computer. She had been a widow for over 30 years and he needed her password. It was "alone."

I did something today and did not shed a tear. I needed a haircut. Rather than going to a familiar place, I drove to a small town that is well known for its revitalization. There is a barber shop that seems little unchanged (other than modern techniques) for 100 years. I spent an hour there. Haircut, hot towels, hot shaving cream, and strait razors. With unlimited time, I finally found an activity that took my mind off of things. I may go back next Saturday. 

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3 hours ago, Andy said:

Facebook is social disconnect. It enables people to engage in an illusion born of a need for validation. "Like" my photo, "like" my brilliant quote (I plagiarized off someone else), I must be "good" I have 400 friends and 500 "followers". I admit, it's a world that I have intentionally let pass me by. My wife was ill equipped to deal with the "obsessive" nature of social networks, so we decided to let this go. I may be a bit harsh in my view of FB or twitter or Instagram or whatever network is "current", but I've seen an amazing regression of people to engage other, living, people. We have reduced complex emotions to an emoji, somehow a cartoon sad face conveys grief, sorrow, remorse mixed with self doubt and guilt? And when people DO talk face to face, they can't. We are losing our ability to communicate effectively and with honesty. 

I took the top off of one of my Jeeps today. I haven't taken it off in over a year, the weather is good, I figured it's time to try and enjoy it again. I loaded up my cameras, threw a few diet drinks in a cooler and headed out. First 45 minutes were okay, the last hour and a half, I progressively felt worse. I used to enjoy top off driving so much, but I apparently forgot that while it was very enjoyable, it was also shared with my best friend, my love, that being my wife of course. I was so distraught coming back to my home, I had it slap me in my face that I simply CAN'T enjoy things like I used to. I drove backroads among some rather nice scenery, small ponds, lakes, twisting tree covered roads, but it was like staring at a piece of brown cardboard. With no one to share my excitement with, to enjoy with another person the simple beauty of a landscape, it loses so much meaning. So long with my wife, I'd taken for granted how much of my joy came from being able to share life with someone who actually cared about my happiness. Which of course brings me to the topic of new friends and relationships. I've gone to several "events" locally, and what they illustrated was that I literally have no idea how to even initiate conversation beyond the sort of generic speak we engage in with strangers. My age is a barrier I think, I think people just assume I'm married, that's the bracket I'm in, and that changes the entire dynamic. KayC, you mentioned your former "friends" abandoning you, yes, me too. And like you, I take a long time to warm up to people, I'm guarded around people I don't know. I usually have to get a handle on someone's motivations and general character before I open up, and that can take quite awhile, considering how often people hide their true nature. I don't want to be a third wheel, I don't like being pitied or accommodated because I'm a widower, and I don't like imposing. I feel like I'm kind of relegated to the "useless" category, I should be married, most people my age are, I'm too old to start completely over again, it's just so difficult to figure out what I'm supposed to do. Or even how. Or why. 

KMB, this venting went on much longer than I intended, I'm sorry. Wow. Every weekend I feel like Bill Murray in Groundhogs Day, just the same meaningless days, over and over again, trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do so it'll have meaning. 

Hugs,

Andy

Andy, thank you for sharing your top-off Jeep ride today. I have a Jeep and love to ride with the top off too,  though it hasn't been warm enough here yet this year. I've  been working on trying to put a list together of things that would make me "happy" and taking the roof off is on my list.  But....how can those rides be happy without Pat?  I will try my best to start trying the things on my list   I know I won't be "happy" doing them but if I can enjoy them even the smallest fraction of how I used to enjoy them, well then I guess that's something.  I so want to feel happiness and joy again in the future but I can't imagine ever feeling that again. I have to have hope and faith that it will happen. It has to happen. Baby steps I guess. 

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HHfaith, I feel that just the attempt itself in doing what used to be normal and brought happiness is a step in the right direction. Maybe, eventually, all those *attempts*, baby steps , will become a habit again and we will find some degree of happiness. We have to strive to think and act positively and just maybe new doors will open on this rough, lonely path.. I've taken our 4 wheeler out a couple of times. I just imagine my husband with me and it helps. I do the same when I have to drive the pickup somewhere. I swear I've heard my husband telling me to watch my driving when I haven't been paying attention, just he he did when he was here.

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