It’s been two years since Clare passed away. Overall, I think I am doing okay. Not great ... but okay. I’ve made progress with most parts of my life as an AD widower ... but not with all parts. On 10/17, in Personal Blog #4, I wrote that “I expect some sadness will always remain within me, and I also expect some tears at times. But I will no longer experience life with gut-wrenching feelings of pain/guilt and lingering depression due to losing Clare to AD. No more. I am now finally moving on with the rest of my life.”
When I wrote those words 6 months ago, I genuinely believed that I was ready to fully move on with the rest of my life. But I was wrong. I wasn’t ready.
It’s not that my life hasn’t been better during these past 6 months. My life has been much better. But, despite the absence of lingering depression, I haven’t really moved on yet to add more happiness to my life. And that is probably because I am continuig to spend most of my time at home ... alone.
I’m out of the house almost every day for bowling leagues, to exercise, to do food shopping, and to occasionally eat out by myself or with friends. But the desire to leave my house to do things I used to enjoy doing with Clare ... such as going out to see a movie or traveling to explore new places ... seems to be gone.
I’m a homebody, much as I used to be with Clare. We enjoyed many nights just holding hands and snuggling at home while watching a TV show or movie. Staying home is my comfort zone. But staying home by myself can sometimes be very lonely. To remove some that loneliness, I’ll need to move out of my comfort zone.
I wanted to sample an online dating site earlier this year, but I cancelled my subscription within minutes because I felt so uncomfortable. It seemed so shallow to screen women solely by their looks. My best friend urged me to reconsider online dating, however, saying that I’d first have the opportunity for email exchanges and phone conversations before meeting in person with anyone I met online. Now that I know this, I think I will feel more comfortable about trying to meet a woman online.
I turned 71 a few months ago and can reasonably expect to live another 10 or 15 years ... maybe more. That’s a long time to feel lonely. Clare and I were incredibly lucky to have experienced a very rare relationship ... a deep, passionate love that lasted fifty years ... and Clare will always be with me in my heart. But Clare also wanted me to find “continued happiness” after she was gone.
I may not be lucky enough to meet a woman who can provide me with that continued happiness, but I want to try. However, even if I never meet another woman who can bring me more happiness and remove some loneliness, I now know that I will still be okay. But I’d like to see if I can be better than okay.
It’s time to move out of my comfort zone.