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How do I prepare myself?

Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by Gerald Wilgus, Sep 23, 2021.

  1. Gerald Wilgus

    Gerald Wilgus Well-Known Member

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    While updating our wills I realize that I will likely survive my spouse. On my mother's side of the family nobody died earler than 99, and I am more like them than not.

    The consequences of that scares me, especially as I am dealing with cPTSD from isolation and loneliness earlier in life. My lack of social skills along with my previous experience predicts that I will be bereft of a companion and once again face loneliness. After all, at my age and beyond, men are invisible to women. My spouse says that there are women who seek out widowers, but I cannot see that as my network of friends and acquaintences is quite constrained.

    My fear is that I will descend into nihilism and bitterness especially if circumstances remind me of past traumatic isolation. That is no way to live, so, how do I prepare myself to avoid that, especially when lacking social skills?
     
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  2. watersprite

    watersprite inadvertent vagabond V.I.P Member

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    In my opinion, studying and practice of Buddhism is one of the ways to prepare.

    The book, No Mud No Lotus is great in this type of concern. It is by Thich Nhat Hanh.

    We have talked already about staying away from negative obsessions.
    Stoicism (see the link @tree provided)* is also wonderfully centering and empowering.
    *
    Link
     
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  3. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    You are not alone. I worry about this to. Caring too much for someone. If they jump ship before l do, l would be heartbroken. If l go first,then no biggie.

    Guess if you can focus on getting a pet. Animals are very loving. Perhaps get a pet now. Maybe foster some puppies and /or kittens. Not trying to make light of your feelings. You have come so far. Don't think you really want to go down the bitter path of dark feelings. Think you have moved on.
     
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  4. Magna

    Magna Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    While it may seem logical to assume you'll outlive your spouse, you may not even with your genetic history. My dad was certain that he would die before my mom. He's been a widow for over three years now. You think you'll outlive your wife; you may die before she does. Genetics certainly do drive longevity, but cancer can afflict a person.

    If it does end up happening as you think it will the #1 thing I would recommend that my dad refused to do but was strongly encouraged to do is join a group of people who have also lost a spouse. These groups can often be found associated with hospitals, counseling centers, etc. Or start your own via Meetup for your area.
     
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  5. Gerald Wilgus

    Gerald Wilgus Well-Known Member

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    I find that I am more aligned with folk Shinto and the kami that represent our natural world. I like the sense of connection and responsibility that the belief entails. Perhaps I need to look at stoicism, but somehow I associate it with the emotional numbness that came from being a Mr Brightside when at my most lonely.
     
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  6. Gerald Wilgus

    Gerald Wilgus Well-Known Member

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    You are right. Finding connection through caring for another living thing is certainly sure to change one's perspective. Right now I have two cats, six year old sisters. They are a source of amusement and comfort.
     
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  7. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    My aunt 85, widowed, stays busy with her church. My good friend Ginny, 92, is in a comunal care home (8 residents) and has friends amongst staff and residents alike.

    I think preplanning is great strategy. Ginny took out insurence for the day she could not care for herself. It might give you some piece of mind to do the same.

    Also consider expanding your friendships now. Be open with your friends about your concerns and needs. You are active so seek to stay that way. Take up new hobbies that you can continue as you age. My mom took up the Ukelele and plays with a group at local events. She also volunteered to count Pika in the back country. Doing both she has expanded her friendships (She even met a man 20 years her junior oh my!:))
     
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  8. Rasputin

    Rasputin ASD / Aspie V.I.P Member

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    Seek out people like yourself and show them compassion and friendship. Someone will reciprocate. And for God’s sake avoid younger women looking for a widower. You want a companion, not someone looking for a “sugar daddy”.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2021
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  9. Gerald Wilgus

    Gerald Wilgus Well-Known Member

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    Great ideas. Have been preparing for different eventualities. But getting involved helping out with studies is a great idea. i enjoy doing stream insect surveys and anything getting me out into nature, like counting cute Pika, is enjoyable and satisfying. I don't doubt that I will ever give that up.
     
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  10. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I lived in a small comunal care home for a while when I was alone and going through a bad
    liver cancer experience.
    It seemed quite homey and even though it was small, we all got along, enjoyed each other's company,
    played games, watched TV, took care of a large aquarium and helped with gardening outside when able.

    It had a den with a lot of books and it's own small tv for when you wanted a place to be to yourself.
    Plus there was always your room. It had four private rooms and two shared rooms.
    Price is better in this type setting also.
    If you are the home type, it doesn't feel boring. Always one on duty nurse for supervision or help.
    Not bad if your health should fail as you age.

    I have no family and current living arrangements are renting two rooms and bath with kitchen
    privileges in a large house owned by an elderly man who needs a little help and doesn't want to
    live alone. He has a bit of dementia with a bad temper, so it isn't the best for companionship.
    But it's good for now.
     
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  11. watersprite

    watersprite inadvertent vagabond V.I.P Member

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    @Gerald Wilgus
    In worrying about the future, we can entirely miss what is right in front of us. Are you relating with and being present with your wife? Practicing sincerely being her friend wirh compassion and humor is a great way forward.
     
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  12. Gerald Wilgus

    Gerald Wilgus Well-Known Member

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    Yes, we started out together having adventures, and that is still going strong. Even though we frequently are self involved, I make certain we have some together time, like snuggling while watching a movie. While her libido has declined and our bodies age I make certain that she knows that I desire her. I am devoted to her and that makes me happy (edit) because her acceptance of me gave me a hand up from that pit of loneliness that I was slowly, but surely, climbing out of.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2021
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  13. Martha Ferris

    Martha Ferris Seeking answers

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    I am by myself by choice and have been for the last five years. I have no friends and my family are involved with their own lives. There is no place for me in theirs.
    I have my animals but I have tried to ensure that I will out live them. It would be irresponsible in my opinion to have animals that would out live me. Older animlas being put into shelters to wait out their lives with little hope of adoption because I died. Nope unacceptable. I have considered what I will do when they are all gone but that will depend upon my circumstances when the time comes. I will have options.
    I have provided for my safety and security as much as I can. I have prepared for the future. I take care of myself so that I have quality of life rather than quantity. Our time is short so we need to make the best use of what we have left.
    I hope not to have to have family around me when I die. It is a private affair for me and having people around waiting for me to die would be intrusive.
    I am comfortable being by myelf. I would not change it. I can finally do what I want, when I want and how I want. I can go where I want. After decades of living with others now I don't have to discuss or negotiate with anyone. I am free.
    I have my interests and I know how to get the social interaction that I need (which is very little) without having to live with someone. The cons of living with someone far outweigh the pros. I have had to give up way too much by living with another person.
    Lastly I adhere to the ideal of only living in the moment for that is all we really have. The past is gone and the future may not come. I ask myself how I will make the best use of this moment I have before me?
    With everything in place the future will be what it will be. There is nothing more I can do. I will not waste any more time or energy worrying about it.
     
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  14. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I am not quite there yet, but am mentally and financially preparing for retirement. I have made designs of my next house,...off grid, net positive/zero energy home, wheelchair accessible, single story, no stairs, a big greenhouse attached to the side, etc. Basically, our last home,...and I don't have plans for a nursing home,...just set things up for a long run into the netherworld, what ever that means. I have a lot of special interests and hobbies, I need to be intellectually stimulated,...and I don't socialize,...so isolation doesn't bother me in the least. I sort of seek it out at this point. My wife has a strong history of severe migraines, a family history of dementia and cardiac issues. I tease her I will likely, at some point, not be recognized anymore as her husband,...but rather the "nice man". I will likely be the one with the arthritis and hobbling around, full of wit and stories, and will likely live until old enough to be 120 years old,...just to piss people off. I don't know how I am going to handle her death,...history has it that I will cry for my family's loss,...but not ever processing it myself in terms of personal loss and grief. Strange to think of these things. I think initially, things will be a bit confusing, a lot of anxiety about the future, but at some point, I will just adapt and overcome.
     
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  15. Gerald Wilgus

    Gerald Wilgus Well-Known Member

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    Good advice. My wife was insistent about some of that. Single floor living where the shower is even wheelchair accessible. Neither of us are bothered by isolation, so at a time when she was having a bad year webscrimped to purchase property where our house now stands. Insulated concrete forms for the exterier and passive solar.
     
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  16. Primrose

    Primrose Well-Known Member

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    If your spouse does pass before you I do think you would have a decent chance to meet someone. I know there are meet up groups in my area for widowed people. Maybe there would be something like that where you live. You have a good marriage now, which means you have some relationship skills. That is surely a positive.

    I don't know what your social skills are like irl but online you write many thoughtful and helpful responses. Possibly getting to know someone online first would be another option.
     
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  17. Gerald Wilgus

    Gerald Wilgus Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps. With my spouse we met when I called to see if she was interested in car pooling to a trip. We talked a dozen times before we met in person, and that set the stage. I communicate best when I have time to think.
     
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