An old friend from long ago asked me today if I was alone in the world now?
I think the answer depends on how you look at it. It’s true, my family consists of 2 folks well (well) into their 80’s. One is my mother and she has dementia. I also have a 1/2 cousin I consider more of a friend (a very good friend) than a cousin, and another cousin I don’t know well. All of them, other than my mother, live several states away.
It’s true that some very long friendships didn’t survive the strain of my loss. Those friends are a few years older and hadn’t experienced profound loss yet themselves. Pat’s death made them mortal. They preferred to go back to sticking their heads in the sand and pretending that it won’t happen to them. I scare them, as a reminder that it could.
There’s an expression in grief circles “Grief will get you a new address book.” That has certainly been true in my case.
It’s true that very few of the new neighbors we thought were budding friendships (many also older and without profound loss yet) rallied, and certainly don’t “get it”. Six years out and I’ve found I’m happier avoiding these folks and staying out of the neighborhood gatherings. They aren’t my “peeps” and likely would not have been if Pat was still living.
It’s also very true…..that when those folks walked out, some fantastic people walked in. That includes some friends with whom I’ve reconnected after decades before Facebook. A few more precious friends who never left my virtual side remain. They know that, while I climb new mountains every day, I’m still a little fragile. They recognize that half the household labor force is missing.
I’ve also met some spectacular people through my grief work. My friends are scattered all over the country, yet I get to talk and work with them every day. I have a handful of local friends that are just the best! I met most of those while volunteering at our local hospital. All big and warm-hearted people that are a true blessing.
The friends that I claim now, are among the most compassionate, caring, loving crowd I could hope to have. I feel kind of like the kid who’s told she was the “lucky one”. Mom & Dad CHOSE you….you’re adopted! Definitely quality over quantity these days.
I AM the lucky one! I am not alone in the world. The glass is 1/2 full. We just have to adjust our view. Isn’t that the key to a good life, always? Smiles.
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