To live again

I’ve been a widow for almost three years and I have to say I’m not used to it yet. And I don’t think I ever will be used to it. I miss my husband of almost fifty years very much. And I don’t find a way to live a full life without him.

However, I have found a way to keep busy and useful. I’m a writer – a published author and poet – and those skills help me a lot. With that said, I’d like to share an essay I recently wrote and read at my writing class:

To Live Again

by Madeline Sharples

When my husband of over fifty years died, I had to give myself the opportunity to become completely new. I went through all our possessions in the house we lived in for forty-two years and divided them up into four categories: stuff to sell, stuff to give away, stuff to throw away, and the littlest pile of all – stuff to keep. Then I sold my house and found a new place to live. I didn’t buy anything new when I moved to the retirement community where I now live. I was able to furnish my new apartment with furniture I had lived with for many years.

However, the placement of those things in my new place made them look utterly new. They just seemed to fit in perfectly.

But, of course, there was something missing – my husband. I didn’t have him to talk to, to cook for and eat with, to travel with, and to just sit together and hug and hold hands. What kind of person could I become without him in my life anymore? Would I ever be able to meet anyone else I could love as well?

Well, the answer to that last question was a resounding NO!. Not one sole where I live can even come close. Not one person there will ever help me become someone new and whole again.

So instead, I chose a new writing life. I work on my writing daily – I write a poem and a journal entry every day, I’m writing the beginning of a sequel to my historical novel, and I put together a new poetry chapbook. I also help others where I live with their writing projects, and I volunteer to edit a couple of the writing projects going one here where I live. I also read daily and watch a movie almost every night after having dinner with some of the people who live here as well.

I have managed to put together a new life from the remnants of the old life I loved so much for so many years. I didn’t have to die to accomplish that, I just had to revisit the leftovers and integrate them into my daily life.


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