Aging: Cooking for One

Our 61 wedding 
anniversary in November.

I have a picture of my family by my desk here in Arizona. I love it. My grandchildren were only beginning to be. It was our 50th wedding anniversary. My grandchildren still talk about that wonderful weekend. 

Time passes so quickly and our lives have changed as is only right.

We have gained so much during the last 11+ year. New spouses for our grown grandchildren, new grandchildren and now even great-grandchildren. College degrees have been earned. I am proud and gratitude doesn't even come close to explaining how fortunate we all are. 

Oh, we struggle to get it right...don't think everything is perfect. It isn't and yet, even on the worst of days, I felt grateful.

My husband passed away just before last Christmas. He had been ill a very short time so none of us had a change to brace ourselves for the shock. And yet, on that day we celebrated his life...yes, we were wounded...but still grateful. He was such a lovely man and we all loved him so much. As for me, my heart broke but strength came from all that is around me.

My daughter and my late husband 
last summer.




NOW I am cooking for one and cleaning up after only myself and well, learning how to be just "one". Before when I worried about that day of beginning to be "one", I thought I would never be up to the task. And then on the day it all began, a voice from somewhere told me that I could do it and what is the most amazing thing of all, I believed that voice. I knew not only I could do it, I had to. I had to for myself and for my amazing family. 

Grandchildren called and grieved with me, children that were heart broken were consoled and hugged. And each one of them were giving me what I needed because I did rely on them. Even friends wanted to talk with me and to take it all in. 

This is the thing that made it possible for me to begin again...I truly felt needed. The strength that I found came when those I loved and cared about turned to me. They didn't realize it but they were getting me through. They may never know at least not for a very long time.

Now the question I ask myself is "When will it hit me? Or will it ever?" I don't know. but for now I am still grateful for the gift of love and acceptance I am experiencing. I will just let the future take care of the rest.

b+



 

Comments

  1. Dear Barbara, thank you for sharing with us your bereavement after all those years of marriage. It's wonderful that your family and your memories are holding you close and helping you/encouraging you to move into a new season of your life. I'm wondering if what is happening is that you are beginning to know true contentment. That's happening for me and I feel so grateful because at the deep center of myself there is a peace that truly does surpass all understanding. And in that peace, I meet all those who shared their lives with me with loving concern and support. Peace.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I believe you are right...peace would describe how I feel entirely. Thank you.

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  2. Barb, your grasp of "Cooking for One" is written so eloquently .......... clear, concise, and so mentally healthy. IMO, you were raised to be a strong woman who trusts in the greater beauty of life, seeing the glass as half full, always. To me (a professional counselor who has spent years working with teens who are grieving), it is wonderful to see that you used the phrase "they were getting me THROUGH". I've always emphasized you cannot go AROUND grief, rather one must go THROUGH grief. Until one does this, it is almost impossible to heal and "move on" the best that one can. One other point, I loved is that you acknowledge the whole "when will it hit me" issue. I strongly disagree with those who say grief is a four step linear process. NO! Grief is like a wheel moving forward; a wheel that misses its step when least expected and slips backward temporarily. As one's lost loved would want, the challenge then becomes managing to again resume the full and happy "Cooking for One" life. Thank you for sharing your insightful perspective. In closing, I love you and I loved Earl; your loss is great; your fortitude amazing. Ro

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