That is a question that I have come to despise. It has been one that has been tossed my way countless times during our miserable days while Jim and I battled his cancer. Now it gets flung at me as I begin the life of a widow. Everyone wants the answer to be “fine.” Well, it’s not fine. I’m sorry to disappoint those who inquire. Do they really want me to lie so that they feel better? I suspect that the majority wishes that I would tell the fib so that they can merrily go on with their lives and dismiss me without any guilt.
And some people wonder why I am not blogging so much. Well now, I’m not exactly a bundle of joy at the moment, and it is way too difficult to pretend. And, my biggest blogging fan is now dead. Gone forever.
So… How am I doing?
Sad. Abandoned. Lonely. Forsaken. Confused. Depressed. Overwhelmed. Frightened. Forgotten. Dismayed. Miserable. Grief-stricken.
I could go on with the description of my life right now, but that list is probably sufficient. Yeah, you probably didn’t want that much honesty because it’s making you squirm in your seat. One day, this may be your life too.
Yes, I have joined a grief support group. It is comprised of people who have lost loved ones, not just spouses. Some participants have been there for a year or longer. I found that fact a depressing one. The group meets every two weeks. I’ll give it a try for a while and see if it helps. At least it will provide me opportunities to have face-to-face conversations with people who aren’t grocery clerks.
I am staying busy. I have daily task lists to give myself structure and feelings of accomplishment. There are many household chores that got neglected during the past year and a half. There is a lot of outdated food to throw out. I don’t know when I will get the courage and energy to clean out the garage and the storage room. And then there are all of Jim’s personal effects. The magnitude of it all is immense. Sigh…
Thanks to the incompetency or laziness of the physician at the residential hospice facility, I still don’t have the death certificates. So I can not get on with completing the most important tasks associated with the estate, such as the monthly retirement check, financial accounts, and household utilities. I don’t look forward to taking care of all of those necessities. But at least it won’t be as bad as making all of the funeral arrangements by myself. Now that event has to rate as one of the most miserable in my life.
Are you still reading this? Are you wondering if I have anything good to say? If you haven’t closed this post out by now, then you will be rewarded for sticking with me.
I sold Jim’s car for a really good price through a local CarMax office. The whole process was as easy as can be, and I was grateful that the car title was set up so that I didn’t need a death certificate.
I’ve made reservations for six different photo tours this year. All of them are small groups. Three are in Tennessee and one in Georgia, so I can drive to those events. The other two are located in western Wyoming: landscape photography of the Tetons in the spring and wildlife photography in the Tetons/Yellowstone in the fall. Though my number one traveling companion is gone, I still intend to travel. But as a lone, senior female, I will have to be much more careful about it.
I also got a dog. Surprise! For the past several months, I had been looking at dogs that are made available for adoption through a local small breed rescue group. I didn’t tell Jim of my plans. But I knew that I would do better if I had a companion after Jim’s death. At a local meet-and-greet, I was introduced to one little pooch that seemed like she would be a good friend. Her rescue name was Angelina, but I decided that was too long. I shortened it to Angel. She is living up to her new name too.
Angel is a Chihuahua mix and estimated to be about 3 years old. She is 9 pounds of sweetness and very laid back in temperament. She is housebroken, crate trained, and leash trained. Good around all types of people and other dogs. She is well mannered and not yippy. Doesn’t even flinch when the doorbell rings. She has an endearing snaggletooth on one side of her mouth and beautiful coat markings. And best of all, she is a champion snuggler, content to sleep on my lap while I am reposed in my recliner. Angel doesn’t know basic commands, so we are going to obedience school, starting this week. She is smart as a whip and eager to please, so I am confident that she will do well.
I continue to be cheered by all of the correspondence from my blogging friends. If I haven’t responded to you, I’m sorry, but it may have gotten lost in the shuffle. Many of you tell me that you wished you lived closer. I wished you lived closer too! The hardest part of this journey is that it is so solitary, and my local support network is very limited. But here is the thing. I bet if you looked around in your community or your circle of acquaintances, you would find someone who is living in similar circumstances. I’m not the only one out there who could use a friend and helping hand. Please, reach out to someone who is hurting. Make a difference in someone’s life on a regular basis and demonstrate God’s grace. Make it your own, personal “Donna project.” Okay?