Monday, July 24, 2017

Sadness


I'm sharing bits of the books I've read in the last while, little phrases that had me sitting back and taking stock, so to speak.

Take this: "How do you get old without letting sadness become everything."

Page 62. Lost and Found. By Brooke Davis.

I've wrestled with that, tried to block it, let it seep through me, let the tears flow freely, tried to stop the tears, talk to myself, overcome it, become overcome.

I feel guilty for living with so many dear ones dead. I constantly feel a part of me is missing without my dog by my side, in the car, on my bed, sitting on my feet when strangers came so she could keep a close eye on them, the breakfast routine, the morning and evening walks on the shore, talking to her, hiding from each other in an elaborate game of hide and seek - god, she was clever.

Yes, there's joy in playing with a friend's young grandchildren, having a laugh with Daughter, the whales, the whales. The flowers and herbs in my community garden, the way the water is right now, denim blue with underwear of white lace, the clarity of the houses and trees across the bay in this blinding afternoon rage of sunlight.

But this feeling of underlying sadness doesn't leave me for any great length of time.

I'm putting it out there to others, is this normal for old age?

I remember my dad telling me, he was then in his healthy early eighties, that with all his friends dead he knew loneliness in a brand new way (he was a long time widower). I remember suggesting to him he should make new friends. The ridiculousness of that remark appals me now. For the shared memories are what one misses.

It's difficult to keep one's head out of the past.

And I feel like such a bore.


43 comments:

  1. Although I cannot put words to it as well as you do, I feel the sadness. I often say that to Terry, "I feel so sad." He will say, "I'm sorry," but I know he can't be sorry for something he didn't do. I keep trying to see the future, but the past gets in the way and messes with the future. "What will it be like? How can I handle it?"

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    1. Your lovely post was put into spam, DKZ, the random bots thought you were bothering me, LOL.

      Exactly, I've learned from dear ones already past, and I think on who's left to hold my hand or hold my daughter's? Silly I know because I don't know.

      Let's call it "Free Floating Sadness" shall we?

      XO
      WWW

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    2. Well, I'm glad I'm not going crazy. Sometimes, though, I post a reply, and it disappears.

      Delete
    3. Those random bots know not what offence and hurt they cause!

      XO
      WWW

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  2. I understand, so much I do not share about past years.
    It seems at the present time I am not sad as I have so much to be thankful for. What I experience with balance issue and
    not the best mobility is nothing compared to cancer, lung problems and so much more. So I just try to be thankful where I am and do not do too good a lot of the time.
    Such an active mind that before getting up in the morning
    think of all the things I am going to do, then feet on the floor and difficulty without cane - I may be crazy.
    But I am happy....

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    1. So glad you're happy Ernestine. Me too much of the time but the sadness seeps in. The sense of loss fresh again though I do remember the happy, joyful times with the departed. So very many. I try remain in the present, easier said than done.
      And I'm good with ticking off accomplishments which I learned at the workshop. The manageable ones.

      Onward!

      XO
      WWW

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  3. Sometimes I'm sad; other times I'm OK. Time by myself and a schedule that I can control are more intense needs now that I'm past 70. If I can work at my own pace, I'm usually not unhappy. But if my days are controlled by demands from others or if I don't have enough to do, I'm often sad. I don't think I've lost as many close friends as you have, so that sadness is not overwhelming yet. There is a sense of loss of health and vitality, and I have many more thoughts about death and dying as I get older.

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    1. I feel so morbid compared, say, to even 20 years ago. Death and sickness and leaving. I imagine it must be better if one can believe in an afterlife or a sky goddess beaming kindly down.

      That's not to say I'm unhappy. There is a huge distinction between depression and sadness. I'm happy quite a lot in my wee doings and just being.

      XO
      WWW

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  4. Saudade: (Portuguese) a deep emotional feeling a longing for a loved one gone or absent a sadness for something unknown. Have felt this way my whole life found this word/description at the age of 10. It has always been a feeling like a hum or vibration a background feeling ALWAYS THERE...just figure that's part of my basic nature and realize it is integral in my feeling compassion for people, animals and just life in general. Wanting to help others as my central reason for being. Not sure I would be happy without it as a core part of me. Sunny happy people are wonderful but at times I find them a bit shallow as they don't seem to have the depth this bit of sadness gives...perhaps if you understand that it gives you a depth and vision into life that others might not yet have you can learn to shift perspective and understand you would not be fully who you are or have become without that sadness and grow more comfortable with it as you age. Shifts in perpectives can be very helpful I find. Namaste WWW :)

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    1. What a wonderful word. I take it in. You describe what I fell exactly. Death is an odd thing out here in that people appear to take it quite lightly. So I don't share openly about this. I find it easier to cover over my sadness about so many with my dog-grief, which is understood completely as I live alone.
      Namaste!

      XO
      WWW

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  5. I guess we each feel whatever we feel -- "normal" can have some broad meanings. So sorry if you've recently lost your dog -- a really difficult adjustment. One loss, as with your dog -- with which I can truly empathize -- opens the door to memories of other losses, I think -- more impacting, especially when we're older and live alone. Avoiding activities that reinforce melancholy can sometimes be helpful for me -- such as certain mood-creating types of reading material, select music types -- but maybe making a brief environmental change to encounter people can benefit.

    Expect absence of your four-legged companion will long be felt. Loved ones and friends would likely want you to relish the fact you're survived just as you probably would want them to feel if they out-lived you. Loneliness has not been an issue for me as I learned to appreciate being alone and how to compensate when I was young.

    I certainly agree with your father that missing others since I've become older has been one of the most difficult aspects of aging. The last person who had known me all my life died a year ago. We used to marvel at the longevity of our friendship though we hadn't seen each other in over fifty years -- enjoyed sharing our memories. Another older friend who died years ago once wrote me, "There are no friends like old friends" which is so true. There is no acquiring new "old friends" which has been the biggest disappointment to me about being my age since my sixties have passed. I made genuine efforts to do so, but in the compressed time of old age this has not occurred. Now, doing so no longer matters to me and I've become content.

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    1. I still have an uncle who is well into his nineties who would encompass knowing me from birth. Last person left.

      I find the more I create the better I feel. Whether writing. Photography or knitting. I do have feelings of joy, contemplating the magnificence around me. Also I love my own company and am never bored.

      All to the good. I'm not a snotbag of misery by any means. Just this thin miasma of sadness which seems to float near and far. Like a kite. Beauty hurts my heart sometimes. Knowing who would enjoy it but no more.

      XO
      WWW

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    2. I appreciate what you say. I do still have a 93 year old cousin who has known me all my life and our shared family which I don't discount, but the peer friendship was based on different connections.

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  6. I believe it is normal for grieving, whether one is "old" or not. I do and feel the same thing now, it is a reaction to profound loss. xo

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    1. And I have a thought it was borne in silence before. I remember aunts of mine being stiff and uncommunicative and shut down. Stoicism. I'm not stoic

      XO
      WWW

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  7. Some times I am truly content but some days I have to struggle to "count my blessings" There are times that I want to be one of those people who are physically fit and active with scads of family and friends around them, I know that doesn't mean they have no troubles, I just wish to have that sometimes. Some days I am tired of saying to myself "so many others have it so much worse" "I am so lucky that I can, I have, etc. ........" Those days I feel so tired of being thankful that things are not worse than they are and would like a day when I felt great.
    Grief and the feeling of loss seems to sneak up on me. I think I am over it, at least the worst of it and up it crops, sometimes with no discernible trigger. I have a daughter who for the last 9 years has been lost to our family through mental illness and that alone takes up a huge space of sadness as I see no resolution and the amount of time I can "wait" is getting shorter. My real friends died too young and making new friends, not acquaintances, has not been successful. My dog is 13 and I am afraid for when he is gone.

    I believe it changes when one really realizes that time is running out and is on the downward slope now....many, many things will continue to change and not in a way we wish, that our options and energy are limited and will continue to decrease.
    The struggle to age gracefully is definitely work. It is work to be in the here and now and not think back with longing and tender memories of earlier times.
    Well, I have gone on haven't I? Obviously struck a cord with me.
    Do hope you see we are all similar and the struggle is real, I think most don't wish to acknowledge how hard it can be but perhaps that is because my honest friends are gone and acquaintances don't tell.

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    1. How beautifully said Candace. I have a missing daughter who has mental issues and is a constant underlying ache that only others in the same boat can grasp. I hear you.

      Add to that other severe losses of close friends and baffling family estrangements and the cold wind blows through the soul.
      I know those mantras are not helpful and many live on the surface of life and don't seem to feel depth so I'm careful whom I share with.

      XO
      WWW

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  8. Why anyone would want to forget the past beats me. Nostalgia is very much part of aging and I revel in it and write blogs under Memory Triggers. I have now been a widower for eight years and though I have handled it well, I still miss my late wife and despite having many friends and relatives in regular touch with me, I find solitude increasingly attractive over company. My crossword puzzles, reading, blogging and visiting other bloggers, the occasional telephone call and whatsapp messages, keep me amused and I have no regrets and more importantly am not sad.

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    1. I have very few regrets Ramana, thank heavens, I recognise I did my best with what I had and experienced as did my parents and my former partners. And my friends, the dear ones, the kindred spirits that I miss so deeply.

      I take my joy where I find it. Like you. But sometimes the cold wind rattles through.

      XO
      WWW

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  9. I know I typed a reply to your post and commented on the sadness I have felt, but it is not here. Sigh.

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    1. See first comment DKZ, the bots kicked it to the curb, LOL.

      XO
      WWW

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  10. I feel after loved ones die..... that I'm a survivor and that I have a life and that others care about me. Yes, I miss them but I have the hope through my faith that I'll meet them again.
    Life seems beautiful and I try to enjoy every day and make a difference in some one's life. I haven't always felt like this.... but especially since I had a brush with death.
    Maggie x

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    1. Thanks Maggie. Sometimes I wish I believed in an afterlife where reunification would happen and we'd all frolic around the golden mansions under a benign goddess and be like before. Ah well.

      I try and make a difference when the opportunity presents.

      XO
      WWW

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  11. Dear WWW! You're grieving the loss of Ansa still - and will always do so. It was so cruel for that loss to happen just as you yourself were entering these latter, sadness-tinged, worry-haunted years - a transition we all must make, eventually.

    I've always been an easy weeper, now in these late years an even easier one. I share your feelings of being somewhat "left behind", as I hear or read of the departure those who've shared my years on planet Earth - even those I've never known in real life, but known about, or enjoyed their work - they've shared my journey too: radio, TV, film "stars", a favourite astrologer, a radio DJ; as well as all my closest dear relatives and a most beloved significant other - long gone, but never, ever forgotten. I think of them all every day - even though I'm very lucky in having found a dear one to share what's left of my life. The words of a George Michael song, "Jesus to a Child" (and now even George has gone too) often come to mind as I think of my own lost ones, wish they could share some things I enjoy, or chat about things I wonder about -

    So the words you could not say
    I'll sing them for you
    And the love we would have made
    I'll make it for two
    For every single memory
    Has become a part of me....


    ((((((WWW)))))

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    1. Thank you so much T, that was profound and validating. My friend who lost her daughter totally gets my Ansa loss as Ansa would be out road training with me near her small farm. It allows her to talk of the beloved cats she has lost.
      Yes, it is every day, from one to the other, but not obsessively, I just give them time for a minute or two and thank them for the love they gave so freely and joyfully and look at small meaningful mementoes like a piece of needlework or a bookmark.

      I do miss the chats also, but this blog makes up for so much. My virtual kindred spirits.

      I love the song.

      XO
      WWW

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  12. Growing old sucks. Let no-one tell you different. The mind stops looking forward. There's so little to see there. Instead, it harks back, stretching into the distant, long-gone, times when folk we knew were still a reality, not just a tear-tinged memory. I am so fortunate to have found love late in life, but even that is touched with the sadness that one day in that oh, not-very-distant future, one will no longer be around for the other. Yet each day can still be a joy, and for that we are grateful (though I'm not sure to whom!). Keep blogging, and know you have many friends.

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    1. Thank you RJA.I'm so glad I'm not alone in this. Yes, you are blessed with late live but that, as you say,has its own baggage looking ahead.

      I'm glad I've written about this!

      XO
      WWW

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  13. I haven't lost many loved ones; only my grandparents, an uncle, a great-aunt and great-uncle who were large parts of my extended family's life, and my mother, about whose death I still feel after 12 years "It was preposterous," as Vanessa Bell wrote or said about her brother's sudden, early passing.

    But I believe I'm acquainted with the sadness you're describing, and think mine is grief about loss of people and dreams, and certain disappointments (in my own life).

    I've really enjoyed your readers' comments about this, too. Like them, I try to focus on the present and all that is wonderful about right now, and to be grateful for my blessed life so far and the many dear friends and decent, kind family that have always helped fill my world.

    It's not always possible to remain positive, especially when people older than me (I'm 58) are saying that things are only going to get worse, not better. I can only hope that my experience won't be exactly the same as theirs, and that if it is, I'll still manage to find the sweetness in daily life, as you and your other readers do.

    Being afraid I won't is a kind of anxiety; at least that's how I'm identifying it right now.

    " the way the water is right now, denim blue with underwear of white lace"

    Oh my goodness, the writer in you!

    -Kate

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    1. At 58 I'd lost a few, including my mother, but there was comfort in those remaining. And a solid foundation, so to speak, of shared memories.

      There are few now to whom I can say "remember.......?". My throat catches when I see a picture of my BFF's granddaughter who looks like her.

      When I'm engaged with life intensely I can push the sadness back and no one knows.

      Maybe as we age we feel life and its fleeting rush more intensely? So incredibly sweet and sour and 10,000 sensations in between.

      XO
      WWW

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    2. Yes - I find old age is BitterSweet - is it because we have time to feel everything now ?

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  14. Only speaking for myself and not having read the other comments Wise - I think you are mourning for your dog. My Josie hasn't been here [boohoo] for almost 2 years. just in the last few months has the searing general unidentified loneliness about EVERYTHING left me. Unconscious mourning? I now think so. Awful.
    Suddenly it is over! I am now able to say "goodnight sweet girl" to the wee dog who is no longer at the foot of the bed or talk to the quiet toy dog who looks so like her. It now gives me more pleasure rather than pain. I wish the same for you - hang in there. It will get better. We had these treasures for so long - only fair that they should demand a couple of years for all they gave us. love, Betty

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  15. Yes BB loss of my furry girl is huge and it opens up the other losses. We hear each other as dog worshippers. It's not quite a year yet (September 9th) and the rawness of the loss comes and goes. I'm glad to hear it gets a little easier. I've felt ready for the peculiar white jacket a few times, condemning myself for not getting over an animal for godsakes.

    Thanks, my friend.

    XO
    WWW

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  16. I often feel sad but not so much because of the loss of friends or relatives, as I've had very few to begin with. I feel sad because of the state of the world and all the people out there who're suffering and struggling in some way. And the sadness increases as I age because I know the people who should be helping them probably won't bother.

    And it's very sad that you still miss Ansa so much.

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    1. Thank you for those kind thoughts Nick. There seems to be sadness all around us these days. I find, for myself, that I don't receive enough reassurance. I'm older, no partner, and at times I just need the old squwzze on the shoulder or "a good job" kind of thing.

      Maybe I should have taken up on some of those proposals, lol. On second thoughts - no. 😁

      XO
      WWW

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    2. My guess is you are seemingly too strong and seemingly too capable to receive much reassurance from other humans. They may not realize you need it or want it. Be glad you don't appear needy if you can. It wouldn't suit you!
      For godsakes Wise - our dogs aren't mere animals - I believe their understanding and intuition is on a much higher level than humans - we couldn't fool them! mine have been more human than humans and they were with us for so long - its hard not to have a being who understands and doesn't hesitate to give our face a quick "its ok mom" lick! Silly? yes, I know.

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    3. Yes BB I give off an independent air and for the most part I mean it; it's just in times of crisis or unusual need I find it difficult and challenging to forge on alone with no sidekick. Like today. But more on that later.

      Yes our wee furry girlies are so instinctive. I remember testing Ansa in the car by throwing a quick glance her way and she always, always beat me to that special eye connection. I'd laugh so hard and I believe she did too. She'd sense I was going to look at her.

      Never silly. Thanks for understanding.

      XO
      WWW

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  17. Just checking in; hope you are feeling better!

    When you move, will you be able to have a new pet? Someone to share the (new) good times, just like Ansa did in your old place...

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    1. Unfortunately Elle, no pets allowed in my new residence. I wish :(

      XO
      WWW

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  18. I lean toward anxiety rather than depression. But one of the things that worries me most os the idea of losing the ones I love. It's happened a few times, and it lets me know I probably won't do well with it.

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    1. Speeding up of the heartbeat, powerlessness, grief, I know, it's such a cornucopia of feelings. I'm helping someone else right now who has difficulty labelling, like I had years ago. Walking her through her day was what was so helpful to me.

      XO
      WWW

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  19. I don't think the sadness is normal. I've been through a lot but don't feel underlying sadness. When I did feel sad in the way you describe was when I was younger and being slighted and passed over a lot. This suggests to me that other people are causing you to feel this way, not just the fact of being old.

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    1. I should add that it was the way people trampled all over my feelings that made me feel sad. No one does that to me any more.

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