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Journals of grief and a new beginning


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Wow! As I sat down here to write this I realized how few of you know me anymore. There are so many of you here who are new to the ravages of grief. There are still some of you who were here when I first joined and many more who helped me along the way. I wish none of us ever had a need for a grieving forum. I hate the pain I see here and the pain that nearly destroyed me. None the less there is a need for this forum, a place where people can come here and know there are those who understand. We all owe Katie and Rick a debt of gratitude.

For those of you who don't know me I will just say that I came here nearly 4 years ago very broken. I pored out my heart to the people on this board and they "listened" and understood. Even when my anger and bitterness was so extreme that I know I should have driven people away they stood b y me and helped me through the roughest times. I will always be grateful. Because of that I can never leave here completely. I'm absent most of the time lately but I hope that in the near future I will again be here but this time to help others as I have been helped.

There are many of you who I would like to write to individually because you have gone so far to reach out to me but I just don't have the time right now. So much has happened so fast and I want to tell you all about it.

As many of you know up until last year when I became old enough to draw my Social Security I not only struggled emotionally but financially as well. Many weeks I worked 7 days and did 2 or 3 overnight shifts. Still I couldn't keep up. Things have been so much better this last year. I haven't had to work as much but I am very tired from all of the years of pushing myself. I am ready to slow down and enjoy some of the finer things of life. That is where I am now. I placed several applications at Senior Apartment complexes. There are many here in California and they are very nice even those funded by HUD. There is security and activities and companionship when you want it but privacy when you don't. Most told me I would be on the waiting list for a year.

I was caught off guard and very pleasantly surprised when the last place I applied called to say they have an apartment available. Not only will it be ready for me by the first of the month but it will enable me to retire. Next week will be my last week of work. I am so ready! I will miss the people I care for but there will be many opportunities to befriend and perhaps help others just because they are my neighbors and need help, not as a job.

I'll be living in Redding so not having to face the dark mountain road I'll be able to go to plays and concerts at night and in a few weeks the Rodeo. I should be settled in by then and able to go. I'll have more time for Misty too. As she gets older I feel guiltier each time I have to leave her for so long to work. She just looks so sad when I leave. I'm used to taking care of old ladies so now I have two to take care of myself and Misty who is about 14. I think that would make her nearing a hundred in human years.

When Johnny first died I did one thing that I am so glad that I did. Looking back I can see how much it helped me. I kept a daily journal. Nothing was too much or too personal for my journal, Many times it was in the form of a letter to Johnny. Needless to day it was very personal and very raw. I would advise anyone who is grieving to keep a journal. It is an outlet that you really need to c channel your emotions.

Today as I started cleaning a few things getting ready to pack I got sidetracked. I found my journals that I had printed out. I have many on floppies and I will deal with those later but today I started reading my journals. As I read I can see how far I have come. I still grieve and I'm sure I always will but I am also living again. In fact thanks to Johnny and the love he gave me in many ways I am really living my life for the first time in my life. I cry as I read those pages and remember those terrible dark days in detail, they still hurt but I cry too for another reason. I cry for the joy of having known and loved my Johnny. As I finish a section I take one last look at it and then put it through the shredder. The thoughts and feelings there are to share only with Johnny. It is time for me to take that new beginning that he helped me get and move forward with it. Later I will do the same with the floppies and also with the videos I made revisiting the places that Johnny and I had shared.

I will be back here soon. I hope I will always be welcome here and I hope that I can be of use to some of you. Until then I will leave you with a few of the words of my journal that I don't mind sharing. This is from a letter I wrote to Johnny during those first heart wrenching months. No other words could best explain where I am now.

"Now Honey as I close this letter to you there is one last thing I need to tell you. I may have been sent here for you (he always believed that) but you have to know that I was sent her so you could save my life. That is what you did Johnny. You saved my life. You saved me from always being there for everyone but me. You gave me back myself and you did it in a way to make me proud of who I am. That is such a special gift!

I don't know how much time I have here before I join you but I will do all that I can to make it worth while. I will never do anything to dishonor you and I will make sure that everyone I ever talk to knows what a gift you gave me and what a very special man you are. So Honey save my place at your side and someday I will be with you again. Maybe then we can share what we have been denied in life. Please look after me and guide me in the right direction and wait for me. I will be with you someday and then finally we really will have come full circle. I love you always and forever." Lily

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congrats on retirement first of all!!! For someone who has dedicated so much time ti helping others, it is good to herar that you can finally relax a little and destress, and enjoy life without so much worry and trouble. It is good to hear from you again, and glad that you are doing well. I look forward to many more posts around here from you whenever you feel the urge. Sending Prayers for a smooth transition and good health for all.

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Congrats on retirement Lily!

I totally understand what you are saying about going back to read your journals. It has been instrumental in dealing with my grief in losing my hubby over 7 years ago. It really lets you see how far you've come, what you learned, and it feels good at the time to let it out.

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I was here and do remember those very dark and bitter days you had, as we all did. It's amazing to see how far you have come since the first time we chatted. I'm so proud of you! I'm so happy that you are finally going to be able to enjoy life, once again. Please know, that I will always consider you a very dear friend!!!

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Well well, you finally got Lil time. I am thrilled for you. You have grown so much since Johnny's passing.

You know he is looking down on you and so releived that you are doing so good.

Good luck with your new beginning, and do come back a visit, if your not too busy going on outings. :D

I hope you meet a lot of new freinds.

Maryanne :wink:

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