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  1. Leadfeather

    Healing does happen.

    Posted this on Facebook, thought I would put it here also in the off chance it might help someone. It has been 20 months since Christine’s death. I believe everyone can understand that finding her laying lifeless in the front yard was the worst moment in my life. I returned to work a week later. In those early months The waves of grief and apathy came heavy and fast. Often they would overwhelm me and I would have to retreat to the Author’s room at work to cry. I would sit on the couch and stare at a print of eleven birds on a wire that hung on the far wall. The birds were grouped, in my mind, into pairs. All except for one little bird, third from the right. He was alone. My eyes fixated on that bird while my mind grappled with the complex emotions of having become half of what I once was. I still miss Christine, and I always will. She helped form me into the man i am and i will always be grateful for her love. But I know she has finished this race and is now with Christ. I am still here. Wounds scar over. New relationships are made. Life continues, and a deeper appreciation for what is can be grown in the soil of loss. Today, wanting a few quiet minutes to reflect before continuing book layout I sat on the couch in the authors lounge and stared at the print of the birds. I realized that that single bird, third from the right, no longer feels alone. I know he has the capacity to rebuild his life and find happiness again. And for that healing I am grateful. Take the time today to appreciate all you have been given. Life is a gift even when we hurt.
  2. Leadfeather

    On line dating vents and laughs......

    The rest of the story. As I wrote above I have found someone who seems perfect for me. Before her I was dating (A). Go back some pages and you will see all of the turmoil she let into my life as I let my loneliness blind me to a number of red flags. Portside called it back then, it should not have been that hard to have a relationship. And it was not really a relationship. The one time I called it a relationship in a text she was upset and a freaked out. She was content with being friends with bennies. We dated for 5 months. During that time we were not exclusive despite my wishing we were. She eventually suggested that we be just friends. I reluctantly went back to online dating. Weeks past where I did not talk to her, she eventually recontacted me and began texting and calling whenever she felt lonely. She continued to also see other men. In my eyes it became only a friendship. She posted photos of herself with another man on dates on her FB page. Fast forward to this weekend when I posted an image of myself with my new girlfriend (such a strange thing to say at 49) after we had had “yes we are exclusive” discussion. Shortly after that I was out to breakfast with my mother and my phone blew up. (A) texted me a number of statements that I can not repeat verbatim as I have since deleted her messages, but the gist of it was that I had some gaul posting that image of me happy with a new lady without contacting her first and letting her know. That I was as bad as her ex husband and ex boyfriend, and that she never should have trusted me. That I made her cry. I explained that she and I were only friends by her request. I was going to explain that she was the one who chose for us to just be friends and I didn’t contact all of my other friends before posting this relationship on Facebook why should she expect different? Especially when we had not dated for several months and she was seeing other men. Who she had posted about on Facebook without contacting me. She succeeded in creating emotional chaos in my heart that morning and I realized I did not need to let her. So, I gave up on helping her heal Texted goodbye and blocked her on Facebook and on my phone. I wish I could help her find her own happiness but she seems stuck in a misery of her own creation. I do feel bad for cutting her off, but I do not see what else I could have done. I have since learned about the Poor Me syndrome. And looking back can see a lot of red flags I should have noticed before. Bullet dodge. Learn from my mistake. Do not commit to someone more than they are willing to commit to you.
  3. Leadfeather

    On line dating vents and laughs......

    And I found a woman worth investing my time in. I broke my rules for her. I agreed to continue to communicate without meeting her in person. She was on Match for all of 3 days, then got overwhelmed, but agreed to write to say in touch. We emailed for several weeks. About 40 long emails back and forth that shared a lot of our inner thoughts. Discussed religion, politics, family, future desires, and our pasts. That turned into a M&G that lasted 4 hours. Then 6 or 7 dates, I have lost track. It is still early in the relationship but we are both sure the other is the one. She met my mother yesterday. I am meeting her parents on Wednesday. In a few weeks I will be going to her daughters house and meeting a lot of her family and friends. We have agreed to be exclusive and not date anyone else. It has made wading through all of the disappointments of online dating worth it.
  4. Leadfeather

    Ashes, black powder, Mariana Trench

    This is the place to let go, be weird. I like the idea of leaving the ashes in the ocean especially if you will be near the water often. The whole of the ocean becomes a memorial to her. I am doing the same thing in Lake Michigan. My late wife loved the Lake and I already think of her when I see it so it just seems appropriate to rent a sail boat and release her ashes to the waters on a hot summer day with the sun bright and high in a cloudless blue sky.
  5. Leadfeather

    Rambling about missing her

    My good friend Lisa came over today and painted the kitchen for me as part of the prep for selling the house. I am grateful to her for doing it. But it is strange to not have a lime green kitchen anymore. It was a choice Christine made years ago that she always liked.It did not match the rest of the house but it was hers and it somehow fit. Last night I removed the paintings she had hung, and the dishes we bought together in Mexico that hung on the walls and saw the little pencil marks she put there before hammering in the nails. Removing all of these things is another step in turning this home of 18 years back into a house. In some strange way coming home today to a neutral color was another reminder that time keeps carrying me farther away from my marriage. I am single now, and the neutral beige kitchen is another reminder of that fact. It brings me back to this quote from CS Lewis. “It is hard to have patience with people who say, ‘There is no death’ or ‘Death doesn’t matter.’ There is death. And whatever is matters. And whatever happens has consequences, and it and they are irrevocable and irreversible. You might as well say that birth doesn’t matter. I look up at the night sky. Is anything more certain than that in all those vast times and spaces, if I were allowed to search them, I should nowhere find her face, her voice, her touch? She died. She is dead. Is the word so difficult to learn?" -C.S. Lewis Time for a run. Matthew
  6. Leadfeather

    A widower's doubt

    I am exploring the same thing. Here is what I have come to think, I have no idea if it is right but it works for me. Every love is unique because it is between two unique people. I have had one great love in my life so far. That love was between two unique individuals and because of that it was a unique love never to be duplicated. I am now looking to find a new love. It will be different from the first, not better or worse but different because the two people who grow this new love between them are different. I am a different person than who I was before my wife died. I have grown and changed in so many ways in the last 19 months. And whoever I end up in a relationship with will obviously not be my late wife, because she is no longer here. This it is difficult because not only do I miss her I also miss that unique relationship I had with her. It is something that will never return. I fully expect to build a new love with someone at some point in my future. I am looking forward to being close to someone again. But there is a little part of me that worries it will never be as good. And there is also a little part of me that I know will fell guilty if it is even better than my first love. In some ways that is my greater fear, because I think I now have the capacity to appreciate love more having lost it to death. And the thought of loving someone more deeply than I loved my late wife feels like a betrayal. I know it is not but knowing and feeling are not always related.
  7. Leadfeather

    Sexy Widowed Saturday Night!

    97f here, went for a 30 mile bike ride around noon. Then ate a burger and a beer. Then took an afternoon nap in the AC because riding in that heat is tiring.
  8. Leadfeather

    On line dating vents and laughs......

    Gotcha. I really only use online dating to get (for lack of a better word) leads. The majority of the women I have been contacting do not respond, of those that do, I will do a few email exchanges with them then ask if they want to meet in person for a drink or a coffee. I really have no interest in emailing or texting back and forth for weeks with someone I have never met. I am happy to do those thing with someone I have met and am dating but before I invest that time I want to meet them in person. At times the lack of responses, ghosting and misrepresentations can get discouraging. I try to keep in the forefront of my mind that when using OLD (its my new acronym for On Line Dating because it gets old really fast) I really only have to meet the right person for me once and all the other failures will be forgotten. The good news is I know it is possible to find the right person because I did it once before and had 25 wonderful years, actually 23 wonderful years there were a few that were only okay. OLD might not be where I find them but it is an arrow in the quiver. Which sounds slightly risqué now that I reread it.
  9. Leadfeather

    The second year seems harder.

    This perfectly sums up what I had been feeling.
  10. Leadfeather

    On line dating vents and laughs......

    I wouldn’t say I prefer them. I just see them a helpful tool to help me find a woman worth investing my time in.
  11. Leadfeather

    My Wedding Ring - Where Did It Go?

    I had my ring and Christine's ring merged together into a new ring that I wear on my right hand. I do not wear it all the time but it is very nice to have. Her wedding ring was one of her most prized possessions and I did not want her ring to spend the rest of my life in a box on my dresser.
  12. Leadfeather

    The second year seems harder.

    Thank you. Although I would not wish this on anyone, it helps to know others have gone through this and moved forward.
  13. It has been a year and 7 months since Christine died. The first year was about the survival of me and my sons. Then I was distracted by a short lived relationship. Now I am faced with the desolation of looking toward to a future that stretches out day after day year after year without her. Little things like going to the grocery store or shopping for a new ottoman are occasions to fight back tears as a painful lump forms in the back of my throat. I so want to share with her the excitement we would have together at moving to a new place but I can't because it is just me. Even while typing this I had to take a break and put myself back together not wanting to cry again at work. I know it does get better. I am just tired of waiting.
  14. Leadfeather

    Subtle Changes

    When I was married I played roleplaying games with a group of friends 2 or 3 times a month. It was our version of the guys poker night. Since my wife died all interest in playing those games has disappeared. I think it might be because my whole life has become focused on playing a new roll and I have no mental energy to be someone else.
  15. Leadfeather

    Rambling about missing her

    It has been a difficult few weeks. Some things are going well but I am still in a lot of emotional turmoil and a lot of on going changes. I struggled to write this one because it feels like I should not be complaining. I think my youngest is doing better. His medication seems to be helping. He likes his counseling sessions. My hope is he continues to do better when he is 500 miles away and in the middle of his next semester. My oldest is doing fine, but he confided in my youngest that he is apathetic about everything. I have asked him to go to counseling. But he refuses. I wish there was more I could do for him but there isn't. He is 23 and independent, he will have to make his own life choices. I am also going to counseling. My counselor has me reading "The Grief Recovery Handbook" and promises using this method will allow me to move forward in my life. So, I am giving it a try even if I am not sold on it yet. The woman I was dating for 5 months started texting me the a few weeks back, one comment was that "My absence from her life is palpable" I know if I spent time with her I would be happy while I was with her, but what she wants and what I want in the larger scheme of things is different. Sometimes though just the physical closeness of a woman would be nice. Last week she asked if she could call me. I said yes. When she did she was sobbing to the point it was hard to understand her. It was concerning and as I talked to her for about an hour I drove to her house to make sure she was no going to do anything stupid. I spent about an hour with her, I held her and we talked, then I headed home. It awakened a lot of emotions for her I was trying to pack away. I want her in my life, but she is not emotionally available. I have dated a few other women this month. It seems like there are three things that are needed. 1. I need to be attracted to them. 2. They need to be attracted to me. 3. They need to be ready to date, there is a lot of baggage from their divorces. So far I am getting a different 2 out of 3 each time. There was one I thought might work out. We went on several dates and she suggested another one. But then she ghosted and has not responded to my texts. I found an apartment I love. It is downtown. A corner apartment with floor to ceiling windows that span the entire length of two sides of the living room and kitchen. It is a bit more than I want to spend but I can afford it without to many qualms for a few years. I am excited to move and sad to leave behind all of the memories of the 20 years I spent in this house when I was happy with my family around me. A few days ago I packed away my late wife's grandmother's china. I am giving it back to her father for storage for one of the grandkids. It never was important to me, but it was to her. The act of packing it away just highlighted in my mind the fact that she is never coming back. I am looking toward a future of many years where I will never see her face, hear her voice, or feel her touch. That thought kicked my emotional ass hard these last few days. I told my boss I was working from home the last half of the week. At home I can cry and work at the same time. I am considering volunteering at a shelter for runaway teens. It is affiliated with my former church. I think it would be good for me to get out and do something for others. And I can maybe make some connections with the other adults who volunteer there. I need to get plugged into communities again. For the same reason I have decided to go back to church. I am going to try a new one that is downtown, it might take some time but I hope to once again get involved with a community and meet more people. The weekend is here and I am not looking forward to it.

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