People tend to judge. They say, “Well, she looks happy to me!” 

But is it a mask?

I’ve come to find out, that I cry less if I am engaged in a project or activity, because it diverts my thoughts of loss versus my needed focus at the present time. 

I want to be present for that retirement party I was invited to. If I’m not, will I not get invited to the next event? 

Everyone we knew, we saw on a regular basis. But let’s face it, every family has “those” members, who are invited over and over again and never attend. What is the threshold where they no longer get invited? 

Do they understand grief? And how it can quickly turn you into that person?

I don’t want to be that person. So I gladly attend. And down the road, I hope they always invite me. I don’t want to disappear from our friendships. But I’m a solo act in almost every occasion from now on. I have to learn and grow. I am becoming a new version of me, one that doesn’t include my other half. 

Who wants to be my other half? Not my son or daughter. They are in their own relationships. They will support me 100% but I don’t want them to think I’m part of a deal just because of my loss.

Community fairs that are happening, like the “Hamburg-Er” festival in Hamburg, PA that Steve and I had wanted to attend for years. My job at the time had prevented this, but now I’m home and available but I have no Steve with me. But I was thankful that our son and his wife were okay with me being the third wheel. 

But it’s not their responsibility to keep me entertained and see that I get out for activities. Please reserve that for when I’m 80 and then we’ll talk!

I enjoy going to everything I’m invited to but inevitably, there comes a moment when I realize it’s just me. Previously I would have looked for Steve to be there, to give him that look that would cue him to bail me out of a conversation, but I don’t have that safety net anymore. 

So now, I will do the “Irish goodbye,” where you slip out of a party unnoticed, no announcement, every time I can. Because I need this.

Right now… every thing is just a time. Sometimes I’m not even sure of what day of the week it is, or what time I’m waking up to. I feel like a hamster on a wheel… I walk the walk as the wheel spins. I feel I’m going through the physical motions but my mind is on autopilot, with blinders like on a horse… and I go on with daily life as I have to. I pray and count on Steve and God to guide me because I truly believe that when we are presented with choices, they are there to guide me and see me through.

So when I need to walk the walk, when I need to show up and be social, even when I wish I could skip it, I know Steve is still right there, walking with me.

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