Find the Proof

I first saw her in 2006 after my husband died.

She was around 85 years old, grey hair.

Sitting on a rocking chair.

And she was alone.

She was sad.

And she was waiting to die.

I would go visit her at least 20 times a day.

She would look at me and tell me how sad she was.

She would cry every time I visited.

She was always wearing her night gown.

I wondered if she ever did anything else but sit there.

But she never did.

I have not visited the old woman on the rocking chair for over 4 years now.

I don’t even think about her.

She vanished when I started visiting my life.

You see the woman was a figment of my imagination.

She was the child of fear.

The mother of insanity.

The sister of grief.

When my husband died I grieved my future more than I grieved my present.

And the more I worried about the future the more I would visit the old lady.

The old lady was me many years from now, alone without any love or companionship in my life.

She was created by me.

So that I could believe my fears.

So I could find the proof that what I am afraid of, is real.

The mind looks for the proof and if it can’t find it, it creates it.

So the mind made it real.

I know that every single person on this earth time travels to the future to a future self that is their worst fear.

How do we stop the visits?

How do we end the insanity of grief?

How do we prevent retelling the fictional story to ourselves.

I started visiting the old woman less when I found the proof that a good happy life is possible for me.

The very first thing I did was…instead of look for the proof that I would be all alone I looked for proof that I wouldn’t be.

I searched for stories of hope.

People who had gone through so many losses and still found their way out of the loop of loss. Once I found the proof, my mind believed that it was possible.

I needed to believe that falling in love again would happen.

You see I was so head over heels in love with my husband.

Desperately in love.

And even though the cancer years were tough on our relationship he was my everything.

And the father of my kids.

In my mind nobody could ever be as important as him.

But in the years after his loss I learned that:

My first love made me grieve desperately while discovering what great pain is and that so many people are suffering in the world.

My second love and my husband on earth, helped me love myself.

So I could find the woman who could help the world heal.

And my third love…YOU! Helped me believe in my mission. And what I had to say was worth saying. I know you have people in your life who need to hear your words.

Go speak. Go write. Go paint. Go love. Go help. Go garden.

Go do what your heart tells you to do. @SecondFirsts (Click to Tweet!)

And the time travel will stop.

You see, I might be sitting on a rocking chair one day as a very very old woman.

But I would be staring at the millions of people I got to help along the way.

I would sit there admiring the sea of beating hearts.

This old woman would look youthful because her heart was so full and so alive.

I hope today you go and visit your future self and fill her or him with the truth.

No more fiction.

No more made up stories.

Just a future that serves not only you but the people in your life.

I look forward to your comments on the blog and tell me about your time travels.

And if you are ready to reenter life make sure you get the book.

With life,

Christina

Comments

  1. The old woman to me is part of the healing stage. I am where you were with her. I am 7 1/2 months in since my husband of 35 years died suddenly at 58 last fall. I am going through all of the life changing motions. I’m sure there will be someone out there somewhere to fill the lonely hours as they are plentiful. It feels like part of the process and when the time is right the emptiness will be replaced with love and peace. Today, I go out to buy your book, thank you for sharing!

  2. This message rings true and very close to my heart right now… I have just recently in the last week learnt to let the limitations of fear that I had placed on my life go because they were holding me back from actually living life… I love this message… thank you… you have pinpointed exactly how I have been thinking

  3. I love your messages. It has been two years yesterday for me. It is very lonely. I have one friend that helped the lonely sets but not in the right way. Still looking. Going on another date tonight. Maybe this one will be the right one? It is so scary to do this dating thing!!!!! I was married for 32 years. Thank you for your help in your words.

    • Sherri,
      I am late to this conversation but just the fact that I see someone else who was married for 32 years and is now back to looking for ways to make life happy and more loving again, well, its very encouraign and makes me feel less alone. I’ve always known there are other women like me out there, but as you know its not easy when we are all spread so far apart. I just lost my hubby in May of this year and it hasn’t even been a whole 6 months yet. I tend to be a very intense person and I have to fight to keep a lighter sense of humor and positive state of mind. Its so encouraging to know that I’m not the only woman who isn’t ready to sit back and just let life slide by. I know it won’t be easy and I may not find anything but friendship. That would be ok with me. I just don’t want to sit back and grieve for the rest of my life. I promised him long ago when the time came I would go on living….now I have to find a way to do that. Bless you. I hope you find the companionship you are looking for and great happiness. Thanks for setting and sharing a great example.

  4. thank you so much for this amazing message I have needed to hear it for a very long time and I will continue to reread it until I don’t need it anymoreand I will pass a sign many times overshould read pass this on many times oversorry I couldn’t correct the mistakes 8

  5. Beautifully written, I totally relate and have also met that lonely old lady.
    I’m spending my days alone; loving her, taking her around people that will love her for who she is, reading her God’s word so she knows that His love is unconditional and while the pain here can be unbearable, we only need to believe in His Son and we’ll spend eternity in paradise where their is no pain or sadness. Embrace this life, love others and be grateful! Thank you for sharing your experiences and feelings, it makes me realize I’m not alone in this grief. XO

  6. I have spent half my life living in fear. Ten years my husband battled liver disease and after 32 years of marriage I lost him November 16, 2013. He had just turned 59. I knew he was on hospice, I knew that without a transplant he would not survive. Even so, the day he passed made no sense to me.

    I sent him to the hospital, my daughter and family to follow. I thought they would be removing the fluid from his lungs…his doctor wouldn’t approve it and he had in the short ambulance ride became confused and could no longer make his own decisions. This a half hour after we sent him to the hospital.

    I received a call asking me if he wanted or I wanted him to be resuscitated should he code. A decision I never wanted to have to make. If they were not going to help him I did not want him to suffer, so I said no. I wasn’t ready to let go. We arrived at the hospital and my husband was so sedated he couldn’t open his eyes or communicate. Just hours before this he had spoken to me asking me to bring his glasses, now nothing.

    We were there a couple hours when my ears detected just a slight change in his breathing, less labored. I look at the nurse and said not long now, she shook her head yes. As he took his last breaths my daughter and I touched him, letting him know he was not alone, and told him how much he was loved. Then he was simply gone.

    Why am I writing this? Because I think you have to release before you can move on. As I finish this I am smiling, because for me this is the first step to regaining my life and starting to think of what I can do to Love everyone. I miss him, I love him, he is the father of my children. It’s painful yet at the same time I believe he is supporting me in this new venture. So like the song “Beauty From Pain” I can feel that my life is changing, and I will be ok. I don’t want to be the 85 year old lady alone, I want a life rich and fulfilling Thank you!

    • I got chills reading your post. My experience with his death was so similar to yours. I knew it was coming but when it did I never expected it. And yes beauty from the pain. You are exactly where you need to be.

  7. I see a future of health and happiness but I am stuck in my head. Stuck no caring, no motivation, no energy, and self loathing. Needed to hear/read this today. Days feeling sorry for myself has to end. Baby steps! Thanks for the story! I choose life today. Going to go help someone and fill my heart and hopefully fill theirs!
    Thank you again for sharing!

  8. Another great message, Christina! Reading this today reminded me of an article I read quite some time ago. Various women were being interviewed and all were asked what their greatest fear was. The majority of women were afraid of not having enough money as they aged. and feared that would be old, alone, and possibly be homeless. Yes, so much “time travel” we all have done. A wonderful and heartfelt reminder to focus on the opposite of what our fears are telling us.

    • Teresa I think men don’t time travel to an old self on a rocking chair. I think theirs is so different you are so right. Who knows maybe they see themselves with a 20 year old. LOL.
      Thank you for your kind words and for reading.

      • Yes, Christina, I too believe that a man’s ‘time traveling’ experience might look a little different than ours. Maybe we should take some tips from them and visualize ourselves with a 20 year old! It would sure change our perspective on things. 🙂

  9. I see myself as that old lady, visiting her at least 20 times a day as well. I didn’t lose a spouse, but I lost my best friend, my true soul mate, my beloved 53 year old sister just 3 months ago. We had lots and lots of future plans together her and I, traveling and just having loads of fun as we always did. I feel like when she died I did also. I have never known life without my gorgeous, vibrant, healthy, hysterically funny sister. She passed away of a cardiac arrest that took us all by surprise, especially her doctor. She had just had a great check-up. I know this was God’s will and her death was ordained but that doesn’t take away the pain. Thank you for your writings as they do give me hope, hope that I will have a future with some sort of joy and happiness. I can’t see it now but I have faith that I will have a fruitful and joyous days ahead.

    • Oh Linda I am so sorry about your sister. When you described her I felt her spirit come through. Yes you are so right, her death was ordained but it never makes the pain go away. Know that this journey is going to be tough for a while but things will get easier and she will be a part of your life in a different way. If she was here I think she would be nodding her head and saying that she will never leave you.

  10. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! I know that old lady all too well. My husband and best friend of 35 years also died last fall, Oct. 2013 at the age of 55. A very rare and aggressive form of cancer. He was never sick a day in his life until the slightest symptom of this nasty decease. I can relate in many ways except one. One week after losing him, my company of 34 years had made the announcement that they were closing their doors. Now I faced not only losing this wonderful individual who was every part of ME, but the only job and career and sense of security left in my life along with the family that we all had grown into over the years. I lost ME in so many ways that I wasn’t sure that I was even possible to be found again. I have recently decided, since I am so “over qualified” for all these jobs I apply for, that I needed to get back to school and take advantage of the NEW BEGINNINGS in my life. I am staying positive, counting my blessings and know that some day, like you, I will be able to help others. Your words inspire me and help me to know that I am not alone.
    Thank You for always encouraging me that there is life after loss.

  11. My loss is different. I chose to lose my husband for the sake of my life. He’s bipolar and has other medical issues which are under control. The bipolar is not. He’s a psychiatrist. I’m a therapist. I’ve been through therapy alone, with him, Al-anon, support groups, worked with all kinds of people with bipolar, I’ve lost friends family and most of all me. He’s been my partner since I was 19. My husband since 25. On June 3 I ended our marriage and our 4 children are now a children of divorce. If that’s not loss, I don’t know what is. It took me 8 years to do this. He’s been unfaithful to me our entire marriage-with men. It happens when he’s manic. He takes his meds, but the man I met 27 years ago is just a shadow. He lies. He steals from me to evoke pain. Not expensive items-for a year he had one of my journals. I cried every day because I couldn’t find it-i sometimes suffer short term memory loss from a car accident although it’s getting better daily. He had stopped showing he loved me. He had stopped caring about us. He didn’t want to get better. I couldn’t work. I had him and 4 kids. Luckily we were OK $$ due to a great disability policy. $$$ does not buy happiness. I missed him. But after so long you just have to move on. I prayed. I prayed so much. And then I found an old friend from jr high on Facebook. We just talked. He was just a friend. I still was in love with my husband and I wanted my family. We decided to meet for drinks to catch up. Seriously no thoughts. We got out of our cars and the electricity was actually visible. Yes I had a brief affair. I felt alive. It went on and off for 4 years. He divorced. I still didnt. My husband was still the same. Our marriage wwas just for show. I started researching. And I stayed divorce proceedings online no lawyers. Non contested in MI. He had to agree. There’s stuff he’s done that I can use as ugly as it is. In Oct I went to see Michael after 2 years. Few texts. But that was it. He was shocked to see me. Scared. Fear can look like snger. But I kissed him and we knew. We dated for about 2 months. The divorce was in the works. Then he vanished. I let it go. I an intuitive. I feel him. I know he can not be with me until I’m free. I’ve texted. Called. He doesn’t block me. Now I’m scared. Because I know it’s me that has to go to him. I could easily turn back to David. Give my kids back their family. But I also know that to do that would mean losing Audra. I found her. I forgot how bubbly and bouncy she is. I forgot how much she loves and lives to be a white light to others. I realize my family will always be here even if I don’t where Davids ring. I will always love him but I can’t lose me. And I did for over 20 years. I come from a family of addiction and I was doing the same. So yes, I did create my own loss and it tore me apart. I don’t know when I started grieving. It wasn’t 6/3. I’m missing Michael yet I’m not ready. I’ll know when. That’s my story. I know it’s not your usual, but this is my second first. Your messages give me hope. Xoxo

  12. Funny some days I’m feel like I am really making gains plugging in. Communication is an area that I am working on with everyone and special someone’s. I find it difficult when I keep trying to connect or listening for answers to my important questions. I was feeling very frustrated about it this morning and I saw the old lady. I commented to myself that I keep trying and trying and I’ll probably still end up old and all alone. Visual

  13. Today I did garden and paint and took my adult son out for lunch! 🙂 A widow now over six years after losing my husband to suicide. What a painful journey, however I am loving life more each day. Even at 63, I KNOW there will be another love in my life. I have thought many times I would be alone the rest of my life, BUT I will fight for the best of the rest of my life! I have about convinced myself to try online dating, but it is scary. I will feel the fear and do it anyway. I was approached by a widower from church, however he just wanted a secret physical relationship . No, I am a smarter woman than that. I will not be used! But the gift he gave me is telling me what a beautiful woman I am! Wow, who me? Now I am believing that and reinforcing that in my thoughts everyday. I will find my second first love! Thanks Christina for your book and caring for us all. It has helped me a lot. I keep rereading and doing the suggestions or it is easy to slip back into that waiting room.

  14. I cried big time when you talked about the old lady, I feel you are inside me telling my story as the old lady almost scares me, it tells me it will be a wasted life if I just sit in that chair waiting to die. My heart is still so crushed after 14 months, but I am learning to take control, my biggest thing yet is building a bed and breakfast in my beautiful back garden, surrounded by my husbands sculptures, this will keep my mind busy, I have also been getting into the garden. I pray the old lady doesn’t visit me so often any more, it scares me, I don’t mind the idea of growing old but I do like the idea of having someone to share the rocking chair with.

  15. Once swami Vivekananda (founder of Ramkrishna Mission India, USA & many more country in the world) asked his Guru Ramkrishna (religious teacher & saint born in Bengal, India) “what is Guru”? The saint replied “Guru means, the bridge connecting a disciple with the DIVINE. And Christina is just a powerful & strong bridge between the DIVINE & the MANKIND what I feel after going through your writings. My son Sumanto is reaching you from my email id. Today’s polluted environment needs more Christina in our society. Please keep it up, GOD IS WITH YOU !!

  16. Its been 2 years and two months since my husband lost his physical battle to cancer. I grieve everyday for him. Some days more than others. I can’t say my life is at a standstill. I have pursued the activities I couldn’t enjoy during the battle for his life. But my selfishness over missing him is hurting me all the time. I was saved a year ago thanks to Robbie. His battle brought me so much closer to God. As I read about the grey haired woman, I surely seen myself. I remember one month before he passed away, he told me to move on with my life. And I knew it was possible because his first wife died from cancer and he still loved enough to cherish me and my flaws. I just didn’t realize how hard it would be to love again. As of here and now, I vow to allow another healthy relationship to happen. I want someone to share my life with. I just have to be willing to accept that gift also. This story really did help me put things in perspective. And for that I am grateful for all u do. God bless you.

  17. Hi Christina, I’ve read your amazing book… Like 5 times! I lost my husband to stomach cancer 19 mos ago.. Our daughters were just 6 & 9 yo when he died.. He was in the ICU .. The girls were in his arms when he took his last breath…I’ve struggled to deal with both my grief & my daughters.. Today was Father’s Day … He loved adventure so the girls & I & our dog went for a 3 hour hike in the woods… We wrote little “happy Father’s Day” messages & tied them to helium balloons & “sent them to heaven” for him to read…he was an amazing husband , father & human being…we had dreams of sailing around the world together when we got older … Now those dreams our gone & I must try to create new ones.. It is hard, but thanks to your words of wisdom, I will be brave, courageous & strong.. I will not be the lonely sad old woman in a rocking chair but a vibrant courageous woman “who LIVED LIFE” .. To its fullest.. I will embrace every day as a gift & feel blessed that I get a second chance to live & love…
    With hope,
    Dinea

  18. Your words touch my heart so deep. Today is my 50th birthday…and all I am is that woman on the porch. I don’t want to be 87 and on the porch just yet…I want to be 50 and in the present. Thank you for sharing and lighting the way of hope. Love from my heart to yours…Rae

  19. I love your message in a bottle! Even though I haven’t lost anyone so close to me as you have I can still relate to a lot of your writing because I lost so much from childhood sexual abuse. I grieve for that child. I don’t want to be an old person sitting in a rocking chair waiting to die. I realize it takes as long as it takes to overcome but I am beginning to give to the world a sense of healing from where I am.
    Your words have been inspiring to me!

    • Hi lorry…I lot my son at 17 in a tragic accident witnessed by my 15 year old son..it happened on the 13 th June. I too am sitting on that chair. Sending you warm wishes and if it helps in any way…cristina.

  20. Wow, I promise not to comment on everything I read here… But, Oh my goodness, did THIS hit home!!! I have been BEING the old woman in the rocking chair…waiting to.. and I so desperately want to LIVE, but it has been so many years in this proverbial Hell, that I am petrified, I know it sounds foolish. I have lost skills, I feel, like my “guard”…for years, I was on guard, 24/7..365..but then, without me realizing it, my guard “wore out”.. (I guess, I’m not sure, anymore, even) But it’s as if my emotions are frozen in sadness and pain. And because of that, I have unconsciously, pushed people away..and shut down, MAKING the LONELY, woman in the rocking chair a Reality. Your writing is such a blessing, THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart!!!

  21. How does one FIND the proof, especially when one’s been trapped for so many decades that you question everything, and ESPECIALLY when crazy, spiritual/paranormal things start happening…. so you think you’re cracking up? That’s some SERIOUSLY hard proof to find! (that this craziness is real, and I’m not imagining things)

    (btw…. I can’t DO multiplication. your blog wants me to do multiplication, and my brain injury wiped that out! seeking a calculator in the house….)

  22. Many years ago I experienced a “vision” of myself. I was an old woman with somewhat wild hair wearing a long flowing skirt. I saw myself walking down Main St in my small hometown in California and as I walked past the people on the street I heard them comment, “She’s a very wise old woman.” I didn’t know what that meant at the time but I felt a certain amount of comfort from the experience. Last November my husband of 31 years died tragically by what could be called suicide by cop. Then this spring I lost my job and my home when the small resort I managed was sold, leaving me homeless and unemployed. At 60 years old I find myself in the process of rebuilding my life from the ground up. Surprisingly (to me at least) I am not afraid. Don’t get me wrong I am not superhuman. I do have bad days and have shed many, many tears over the last nine months but I’m not afraid of the future. I truly believe my experience and the way I get through it is all part of God’s greater plan for my life. Perhaps I really am that wise old woman I saw in my “vision”.

  23. To understand my beliefs, I have to explain I was a critical care and ER nurse for 25 years. I knew hell on earth was the ICU, and have sat with many families making the hardest decision of their existence. So I was making it very easy for my husband when I would tell him if you don’t pull the plug on me, I would find a way then come back and haunt him. He would laugh and say no honey, I will push your old bones in a wheelchair and change your diapers. But I really wanted my wishes respected. Well that 47 year old husband who was never sick a day, died suddenly of an acute coronary. There was nothing that could be done and I knew that. No hope, no miracles, and if they did revive the heart what about the brain. I had no choices to make just acceptance of my fate. Next decade would be raising our children 7,9,11,14. I would imagine myself alone, bitter, just plain to tired to do anything. I would say just get them off to college, then I would get to roll in that ball, and do nothing. I saw my self alone with no more purpose, slowly I made a few plans to move to the beach. It has been three years and we are on the right track. I plan on buying a kayak for the beach, be able to do the tree pose in yoga without falling over, maybe volunteer at a clinic to help others. At this time I realize I will look for companionship after my children have grown and leave for school. But I see a future that includes a smile and a laugh.

  24. Love reading the posts I havent lost someone in death just husband going for another woman but it helps me not feel alone that their is others out there Thankyou

  25. I am half way out of that chair on the porch. I have gotten to where I talk and do more things with my family and friends but at times I just don’t want to go or do anything. I do know that with the pain of my loss I don’t want to share my life with another man, I won’t let myself have to go thru this again…..I’m getting used to the idea of being single again but I still have a ways to go. Thank you for turning on the light outside so I could see more clearly!!! Hugs

  26. I had to laugh because I am actually in my nightgown at noon while I read this blog (like the old lady), BUT I have been working on my latest book all morning so perhaps the old lady is regaining her youth. Thanks for the blog. It put beautiful words to my journey.

  27. “When my husband died I grieved my future more than I grieved my present.”

    How profound is that line, and it is so true for me at 62 and 15 months out from the death of my husband. It’s exactly where I am, so afraid of where my future lies. I am putting myself out there though because if not, I will for sure be the lady in the rocking chair.
    Thanks for putting it into words for me!

  28. Thank you for the message. My problem is I am stuck in the past. My life ended when my husband died. I am just surviving & getting a long day to day. It is very hard to get moving or stay moving.

    • I feel the same way, maybe a little better,but we are both involved in Second Firsts. That shows me people like you and me really want to move on and be happy. I have the book and its wonderful. You will feel better and so will I.

      Keep going please!
      With love, jan

  29. I lost my husband 6 months ago, after a 3 week illness. I didn’t see the old lady waiting to die…I was a 50 yr old woman wanting to die. Now. I have contemplated ending my life so many times over the past 6 months. I just wanted to be with my husband…There was no point to life anymore…why wait 30 years to die, just get it over with. Then last month something changed. I read Second Firsts, and slowly, I began to realize that my old life is no more, but that a new life, equally rewarding, full of promise is out there. All I have to do is go get it. Thank you Christina 🙂

  30. I lost my husband unexpectedly just 5 months ago. I am still torn between grieving and trying to put all the pieces back into place. There are days when I just want to level the whole house and start over because its all so frustrating. Then there are days when i still fell like all I want is to hibernate in my hole and not see or speak to anyone. My 23 year old son still lives at home and works part time and my 20 year old daughter is at college and home frequently on weekends. They don’t let me get away with vegetating, which is good. I still have to set an example for them as well. They look to “Mom” to show them how to be strong. My husband traveled a lot with his job so the kids grew up always looking to me for answers. I keep wondering when I will be ready for anything different. At this point I still haven’t gotten all the financial and technical stuff out of the way. There are still things in his name, and may be fore a while yet. My mother-in-law tells me that’s ok. She’s such a rock to have lost her only son. His passing has made us even closer. If I had to look for a bright spot in all of this, that would be it. Hubby was the one who always saw the negatives and looked at the “Old man” in the rocking chair. I can’t seem to visit the future at all beyond a few months at a tie right now. If I do, I fali to see anything beyond me and my kiddos. I think I may be in denial. I don’t know. I just know the tears still come out of nowhere sometimes, and quite unexpectedly and I keep looking for those sliver linings among the clouds. I don’t know any other way to live. Your messages and reading the experineces of others help. Thanks for the encouragement.

  31. I lost my son 4 months ago in a tragic accident. He was 17..he was my best friend

    I left my husband 6 years ago and lost my home, my car..everything. It took a couple of years but I fought and Came back. I started my own business and was finally enjoying my life with my 3 boys…the thought of trying to get back on my feet after this just seems impossible.

  32. This is perfect fir me today. I wrote a few days on day one. My story a husband who passed and a son 8 weeks later. I have been living life but in a walking pattern but really beginning to doubt the purpose of my future. ….what really is there for a 60 year old. …grand children. Etc. But truthfully why?? Maybe i too have envision myself as the old lady in the future. . Hmmmm.

    • Hi Annie
      Have you ever heard John Denver’s “Annie’s Song”, I think I cam hear your husband singing it to you. I have an Idea of what you are going through, it is really tough One of the nurses where I live gave me what I thought was excellent advice, “don’t let anyone impose a time limit on your grieving, take whatever time you need”. I may not talk about it as much, I am still going through grieving for my wife Jean, I miss her. I do o a lot of journaling, dream journaling. I find, for me anyway, it to be very healing. You might ask for your husband to come to you in a dream, be ready to write down your experience right away, don’t wait until morning. You might find hints to the answers you seek in your dreams. Your husbands physical body is not around but I am sure that he is keeping you close and he knows what is going on in your life.
      Blessings Annie
      Wayne
      ps my story is just below yours

      • He never seems to come to me in dreams. Or my son. I do want that. ..sometimes i literally ache fir him …to tell me why my son is with him and not me. Weird Wayne i find the ones closest to me are the ones who are the least understanding. I’ve we always the strong ones, the leaders of the family. I still carry on much like i always did but I’m tired of being that person. I just reading in the book About friendships. I think it speaks to me.

        • Hi Annie
          Why do you think your son is with your husband? Maybe it was your sons time to cross over, your husband was there to help with the process and to meet him so to speak. Here is a question, where would you want your son to be?,if he could no longer be in his earth body? My belief, your son crossed over simply because it was his time to.He did not cross out of malice to you, nor was his crossing your fault. I believe it to be the cosmic timing of things. I would say journal your thoughts and concerns, no matter how small or big. then come back to them and speak to each as if you are a friend helping a friend through a rough period. In this way you may find answers? maybe? I heard an interesting thought On family. A family is not always determined by a bloodline. A family can be those who will listen to you, support you, respect and love you unconditionally.the same ones who will walk with you through the storm and dance with you in the rain. Have you ever thought of volunteering? there are many families of hospice clients who need a non-judgemental ear to listen to their story. The stages of grief can be tough, for myself, I’ve found in helping others, I have often helped myself
          Stay strong Annie, this “storm” will pass. I am always hear to walk with you and to listen.
          Blessings to you my friend.
          Wayne

  33. My wife Jean crossed over last December. Although difficult, It was a good thing that happened. She was in Hospice care, dealing with multiple system failures and PTSD from monstrous childhood abuse at the hands of her father. She was dealing with a tremendous amount of physical as well as mental emotional and spiritual pain. I had the privilege of walking with her through many a storm and was with her at the time of her crossing.
    A year plus later, the days are still difficult. I am living in an assisted living community for seniors. As I am dealing with the effects of progressive Multiple Sclerosis, I can’t say I would see myself as a lonely old man, but a warrior finding a way to get through each day. Jean visits me whenever I am asleep and always has words of encouragement and love for me. I have no symptoms of MS in my dreams, I an journaling my times spent with Jean Daily. I guess you could say my dreams and journaling bring a sense of normalcy to my life, as I am physically unable to get out and about for very long and the journaling makes me happy. I know there are those who say I am living in a dream world. I choose to see things from a Shamanistic view, our dreams are more real than when we are awake. For me, every waking moment is a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual challenge to get through the day. I have over 500 pages of my dreams journaled, I let any resident or staff member of Masonic Village have access to read about mt life and dreams.
    Best Wishes
    Wayne J Dolbow

  34. Everywhere I look, I see older single women (who may very well have a partner at home) looking sad and lonely and I just keep thinking “that will be me in 10-20 years” but I don’t want that to be me. I lost my husband and best friend of 20 years to suicide 18 months ago. For me, the difficulty is even imagining trusting someone, being open with someone again. I am still struggling with the mixed emotions that suicide brings but I do want to love and be loved again.
    Thank you for this post, it felt like I was the only one seeing old ladies!

  35. Christina, my husband of 41 years decided to leave this earth on April 3rd. I received your article as part of a 30-days of e-mails. The timing is uncanny. This last week I have told myself I want to be a survivor not a victim. I do not want him to dominate my thoughts in a negative way. I don’t mind being a senior citizen but I hope to be an active, vibrant one who loves and enjoys life. I am reading your book. It makes me feel good inside. Thank you!

  36. My soul mate of 25 years James passed away 5 months ago. I was just given the name of your book by a woman from a grief group on line that I am involved i . My husband was a severe diabetic and had been sick for a very long time. We have no children and were extremely close. Together almost all our free time and loving it. While I do believe that I will go on to have happiness in the future, I have a job I love, friends as well as a large family. I just do not believe that a person who is widowed needs to get remarried to have a happy future. I do not believe I will ever remarry and I am coming to even more believe that is oaky! I am glad for those that do and see nothing wrong with it but I do not believe in my heart that is something I desire. I will read your book and perhaps it will make me change my mind but I truly do not believe it will. But is also do not believe that happiness ,y future depends on that! Thanks for listening!

  37. Great stuff, Christina. I have your book but I’m puzzled by the above post.

    Are you saying we could all start a blog, then a website, and start to profit from other people’s grief – like you do? There are plenty of free widowed people’s support sites and forums. This to me seems very callous, despite what you say about empathising. Your method as I read it in the book is much the same as any bereavement counselling – and I have had it from Cruse and my local mental health team.

    H 🙂 x

  38. I am that little 85 year old lady in the flesh – I am not in a rocking chair but I am sat in God’s waiting room waiting to join my husband of 58 years who passed 2 years ago. Life no longer has any meaning for me, I am housebound but I am still independent as I do my own laundry and housework (even if it takes me twice as long) and I get my groceries delivered each week (via ordering on the internet). I have lots of pain both physically and mentally because I wish I had proof of an afterlife. I do not feel sorry for myself and the days go by slowly but I have the internet, I read, watch a little tv and have got addicted to the latest craze of colouring for relaxation (and it really does relax you). I look back and wonder where all the time has gone but thank God that I had a wonderful husband and a happy marriage. We lived for each other and I think that makes it harder. Hopefully we will find each other again.

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Christina Rasmussen

Welcome to the Message in a Bottle page, here you will find wisdom, truth and tools for you to start over. Make sure you sign up at the top to be sure to receive it in your inbox every Friday.