Author Topic: Radical changes - leaving everything behind  (Read 4520 times)

Milojka

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Radical changes - leaving everything behind
« on: May 15, 2016, 05:45:22 PM »
I am 1.5 years out. We were very close and connected, no children, worked together in our own small IT company just the 2 of us. We were still in love after 23 years and couldn't be without eachother for more than 2 hours. Then, suddenly and unexpectedly, he died. He was 47.

After 4 months it became clear to me that I wouldn't die too, though I still wanted to. I decided to go away. I made a list with things that might have a certain attraction to me - like island storm sky sheep sea wind wool. Then I googled. I packed my backpack and left to a remote and windy archepelago in the North.

I have been here for a year. I have no plans for going back. I feel the love of the good friends I made here. I do physical labour under an open sky on sheepfarms. Nature is wild and rough and beautiful where I am.

Leaving was the best decision I could make. At the time it felt like it was the only option I had - staying felt impossible.

I wonder about the radical changes other people have made. I have never heard about widowed people who leave everything behind for a journey to the unknown, but surely  there must be many. I would love to hear about/from them.


SoVerySad

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Re: Radical changes - leaving everything behind
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2016, 07:16:42 PM »
Good for you for doing what has helped you feel alive again. I'm sure it took a lot of courage. I have two children here to care for, so I'm tied to them for the immediate future. If I weren't, I have imagined going to their country of birth (we adopted them from Guatemala) to work with missionary groups there caring for orphaned children or with a medical mission friends operate there.
Without you, Baby, I'm not me.

Milojka

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Re: Radical changes - leaving everything behind
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2016, 12:24:49 AM »
Working with orphaned children in Guatemala would have been so much more noble and less selfish than what I did.

Yes it took courage but perhaps not more than it takes for all of us to simply go on from one day to the next, while realising what has happened.

It wasn't easier than staying, but I'd like to think that I learned more, and I came closer to myself, than when I would have stayed.

I still have very bad spells and what I currently struggle with are meaninglessness and loneliness. Emotional loneliness, not social loneliness as I do have caring friends, but yearning for the connection I had with my one special person.

Captains wife

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Re: Radical changes - leaving everything behind
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2016, 01:35:47 AM »
Wow- good for you. It's great to see those taking their lives in new unexpected directions. I have fantasies about picking up and moving/leaving as I sometimes wonder what the heck I'm doing here in this small town. But I am caring for a now 4 yr old so I am anchored for now - but I did take a few extended trips post widow, including to the UK and Malaysia.

SoVerySad

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Re: Radical changes - leaving everything behind
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2016, 01:57:29 AM »
Milojka, I don't think doing something that helps you to deal with things better is selfish. While my desire to work in Guatemala is genuine, I also have a counselor who is stressing to me the need to take care of myself and deal with my loss instead of always trying to take care of others. So, in that sense, she's right that I need to get myself better before I can do much of anything except just keep afloat.

I understand the emotional loneliness you describe all too well.
Without you, Baby, I'm not me.

Milojka

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Re: Radical changes - leaving everything behind
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2016, 05:19:52 AM »
SoVerySad, the emotional loneliness is sometimes killing me. I hate knowing that there is no solution for it. When you are socially lonely, at least you can try to make more friends by following a class or something like that. Solving emotional loneliness seems impossible unless you find new love - but I am certain that I can never be as connected to someone as I have been with him. This all scares me.

SoVerySad

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Re: Radical changes - leaving everything behind
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2016, 07:18:59 AM »
I understand the scariness as well. I, too, feel like I could never find that level of being connected with another person again. But then, we were together for 30 years starting dating when I was 16 years old. I'm too old now to ever have that time of years to build the connection we shared. In addition, I have some health issues that I'm pretty sure no one else would be interested in taking on even if I were to find someone who found me desirable.

I recently took my kids to the beach my husband and I went to for years, both before and after adopting our kids. I didn't realize before going that the trip would unleash so many feelings I had been just keeping in check about the intimacy we shared no longer being part of my life. I've pretty much just focused on my kids and health issues. Being at "our" beach brought back memories of walking hand in hand on the beach, taking the boom box down to the beach at night and dancing together on the sand, and having him sneak up behind me while I was taking in the beauty of the ocean view from the balcony and wrapping his arms around me and kissing my neck. The ache at not having those things again was piercing. I had to lock myself in the bathroom with the shower and fan running in hopes the kids wouldn't hear my sobbing. We were still able to have a good time and my kids are anxious to go back. Me, not too soon, although I still love that beach very much. 
Without you, Baby, I'm not me.

April

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Re: Radical changes - leaving everything behind
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2016, 08:02:52 AM »
How incredibly brave!!  I could never leave my protective little circle.. I feel way to bound to where I am.. I admire you.. I would love to live in a place where there is more earth and less concrete.  Congratulations on making such a bold and beautiful move!

Mizpah

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Re: Radical changes - leaving everything behind
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2016, 08:40:14 AM »

I wonder about the radical changes other people have made. I have never heard about widowed people who leave everything behind for a journey to the unknown, but surely  there must be many. I would love to hear about/from them.

Many here have probably heard this part of my story many times as I try to make sense of my new life.  It is *BY FAR* not as extreme or adventurous as yours, but....

I lived in NYC.  DH and I, like you two, were inseparable - the in love feeling never faded, we were obsessed with each other, we were the couple everyone envied.  I grieved really really hard.  At about two years out, I traveled to Israel where he was from as a kind of pilgrimage, and had a really emotional time - but not how I expected.  I came alive again, I was full of joy. 

At about the same time, I met a widower who lived in the area near where I grew up, but further out, way more rural.  I intended just to reach out to him to pay forward the support I got when I lost DH, but we ended up in a fling, then it all got really serious really fast, then I was pregnant and moved to the country to have his daughter and live a life with him.  I went from the Upper East Side of Manhattan doing in-the-newspapers, exciting, controversial legal work, to living around roosters and goats, with several huskies, and suddenly pregnant and then a mom with a man who does manual labor for work.  It has been extreme.  I joke that I went from Sex and the City to Little House on the Prairie (which I've actually never seen, so I don't know if it's accurate!  Also, it's not prairies, it's more like woods and river and mountains). 

I envy your bravery and solitude, though I understand what you say about loneliness and fear.  Wherever you are, it sounds so beautiful and amazing.  I've been fantasizing about Norway lately, and I picture that as where you are. 
widowed 2011 (DH 28)

Wheelerswife

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Re: Radical changes - leaving everything behind
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2016, 08:56:26 AM »
My first husband died from the expected complications of a lifelong, progressive, genetic disease.  Six months later, I met the man who would become my second husband.  He live about 1600 miles (2600 km) from me, in a place I had never been.  I resigned my job, put my house on the market and it even sold before I ever saw the place where I had decided to move to be with him.  What followed were truly incredible years.  I left my old profession, went back to school and traveled extensively with him.  Sadly, he died less than 4 years after we met.

It is now 2 years and 4 months since my second husband died.  I finished a second Bachelor's degree after he died and I'm one semester away from completing a Master's degree.  I'll more than likely move again and start fresh somewhere new.  I just wish I knew where that will be...but I have to assume the answers just aren't here yet.

Maureen
Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

Barry 11/29/55-9/22/09       John  1/16/57-1/11/14

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Mrskro

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Re: Radical changes - leaving everything behind
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2016, 10:58:44 AM »
Milojka

I have two teenagers with me now, the 2nd one starts high school this year.  I have a four year plan which involves selling everything and moving to a lake somewhere with a small cottage.  I don't have in in me to go quite as extreme, but my vision is small, remote, gardens, solar panels. 

Good for you for following your path!

donswife

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Re: Radical changes - leaving everything behind
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2016, 06:58:39 PM »
like you I lost my husband suddenly
we were together for 27 years and would've have stayed another 100 years
I dream of leaving everyday ...getting in my car and just going ..
I am glad to hear your story as it gives me hope that I might do this and have my own new story to tell
« Last Edit: May 16, 2016, 08:18:59 PM by donswife »
My everything

Milojka

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Re: Radical changes - leaving everything behind
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2016, 03:11:53 AM »
How amazing to read all these personal stories. Thank you very much for that. It is interesting to see that many people dream about big changes, and some of them have done it.

I am glad I found this place.

We lived an isolated life together. We didnt have many friends nor close family ties. No children. I only had him - my one favorite human being. He only had me. Until now I sometimes struggle with that feeling that I am completely alone on the world. No ties. I was cut loose from everything and drifting, floating around.

When I realised I was going to stay alive myself and that everything was completely changed forever, I knew I could choose different conditions and circomstances so I would at least like more of that part. I realized staying alive was going to be hard, sometimes impossible so why not make it as nice as possible. We lived in a very uninspiring place.

Mizpah - how did you guess Norway. You are very close as Shetland, where I am, belongs technicaly to Scotland but inhabitants feel more connected to Norway for geographical and historical reasons.

I am a knitter so that is one of the main reasons why I chose exactly this place (and its huge storms too!). I am working on a croft (sheep farm) but I am also busy learning machine knitting, spinning and weaving and I am accepted to Shetland textile college next year. I don't plan further ahead than his 2nd deadversary (I can't) but I probably will stay here. I have nothing to go back to.

What made all the difference is this small friendly rural island community. It feels like home. The most precious gift I got is that I seem to make friends easily - which I didn't know. Very loving and caring friends have helped me through the rough parts and they still do.

 Thanks for listening...
« Last Edit: May 17, 2016, 04:08:20 AM by Milojka »

Mizpah

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Re: Radical changes - leaving everything behind
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2016, 08:51:33 AM »


Mizpah - how did you guess Norway.

Wow!!!!  How I guessed: I'm reading a six-volume autobiographical piece by a Norwegian, Karl Ove Knausgaard, and have become obsessed with Norway because of it.  And now I'm dreaming of taking my daughter to come visit!  Ready for a visit?  Hahahaha

I think your decision and life are amazing.
widowed 2011 (DH 28)

Milojka

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Re: Radical changes - leaving everything behind
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2016, 09:42:37 PM »
Yes I am ready for a visit. You are welcome.
But know that you might never go away from here as it is beautiful and pure.

It won't be long before it never gets dark on a day, on this May day the sun gets up at 3.