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Grief returns



Its been just over two years since my husband passed away. I thought i was doing okay. I've been trying out dating websites, not that I would say I have a great deal of success, but at least I've been trying.

And then my housekeeper/assistant gave me notice.

What does that have to do with grief. She had been my companion, the person that has been there since he passed. And tomorrow is her last day.

It made me realize that though I felt alone losing my husband, now I know how alone I really will be.

When my husband and I first met, we spent almost a year or just over running into each other. Once we actually went on our first date, we went to dinner, we never left each other. After our date we returned to his place, and yes, I stayed the night. And basically I never left him. Or better put, we never left each other. Even though I had my own place, an apartment, I spent all my nonwoking hours at his place, with him. Even though it took us 7 years to marry, in those 7 years we rarely spent a night apart. We would get up, go to our own jobs, then return to each other. And after about a year of my keeping my own place, I gave it up and moved in with him.

When my husband passed, it took me a while to sleep through the night without him. A friend stayed the first few nights, then my sister came and spent about a week with me. Even after my sister left I had my housekeeper/assistant coming over 3 days a week. And a friend would come over for dinner once a week. When I felt I was readyish I attempted to find a date using online dating websites. I admit that has not gone well. And that's what has brought me to the return of my grief and pain.

With my housekeeper/assistant leaving I once again feel that loss of my husband. Its like losing someone you care about all over again, except this time its losing a friend, with an extra helping of still grieving for my husband. Its grief on top of grief. I guess I wish I had at least found someone to date, then I would know I'm not so alone. As it is right now I feel very, very much alone. Its a different type of grief, but I feel that grief nonetheless.

My housekeeper originally began as just a housekeeper before my husband passed. She would come in 3 days a week, help with cleaning, grocery shopping, helping with my husband, and other things. Once my husband passed, she was the person that was here, keeping tabs on me, making sure I was okay.

I know her leaving is for the best for her. But I will miss her. She's unhappy here for a large variety of reasons, none of which have to do with me. And I do wish her the best. I hope she is able to find the life she will be happy with. So staying here is not the best option for her, and for that I hope this move for her will do her well.

But for me, it leaves me feeling a bit like I'm being abandoned. And somehow that is bringing all my grief back. The grief of the loss of my husband, something I'm still working through, and now grieving the loss of my friend. I still have one friend that comes for dinner once a week, but that is little consolation. I'll still have those three days of the week where I'll no longer have anyone around. Nobody to talk to, nobody to do things with. Nobody there.



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Hello CatL,

I would say that just over two years is still pretty fresh regarding your grieving process. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved husband as well. 

And now your housekeeper is leaving. Of course you are grieving for that loss. That is only natural. Endings are hard - the loss of a person, a pet, a job ending, friends moving away... These are the things that get thrust in our faces and they leave us in a bit of a tail spin. We need to find ways to cope, otherwise we're going to head full on into depression. Is it possible to still have your housekeeper as a friend, once her duties at your home are finished? Do you have a way to go out and meet new people? They have meet up apps now. I find them interesting. Putting yourself out there is hard. But its necessary if you want to thrive, vs. survive. I would still allow yourself to grieve for your husband and its okay to grieve for your housekeeper leaving. Its change that is scary, I totally understand. 

I'm scared about things changing that haven't even happened yet - my daughter toying with the idea of moving across the country... lots of stuff. 

Sometimes our coping mechanisms get out of whack. What has always helped me is getting involved in something that gives me purpose. 

You can think about what you have to offer people in your life and I bet its a lot! People would be lucky to have you for a friend. Take care. Xo

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Actually her last day she asked me how she could repay me for all I had done for her. I told her, just be my friend. But its tough when that friend is 1,000 miles away - literally. I admit its left me thinking long and hard about what I want, and what I want to do. I don't have answers yet, but I'm doing my best to think, and at least consider options.

Its funny when you realize who you are and how you are. I'm an introvert, always have been. I prefer wall flower status to being the center of attention. And I can get tongue tied around people, I've even had panic attacks on rare occasions, usually in crowds. But attempting dating, I say attempting as I've rarely gotten past 2 meetings with someone, has given me some insight. One person asked why keep a house, why not sell it and just travel. My immediate reaction was NO! I realized I want a home, I prefer a house to an apartment. But I could do with less house, something smaller could be an option. I realize I like my privacy, my solitude, my garden, my quiet time. I consider that a good realization. Something I definitely want - a house of my own.

But I still want to meet people, and for me that will require a lot of changes. Most of my hobbies are solitary - gardening, websites, reading, writing, photography. I may not need a lot of people, but I know I do need some people in my life. Hopefully I can figure out a way to meet some people, and make friends.

Sad as it is to say, I'm not the best around people. That's a strange thing to say at my age.

But I will keep plugging along.

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