Loss of Spouse No Reason to Stop Living Life
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Dear Christine,

I want to share my story with your readers in the hope it might make a difference to widows and widowers like me.

When my husband of 45 years died, I didnít think I could go on. I fell into a rut of feeling sorry for myself, dwelling on my loneliness, and moaning and complaining about my aches and pains. When I was finally thrown into a setting with some of my senior friends, I was shocked to see that I fit in perfectly with those whom Iíve always found insufferableópeople who focus only on negative things and never see the good in life.

ďMy arthritis this,Ē ďMy cataracts that,Ē and ďDid you hear who died last week?Ē

You can imagine how it troubled me to realize I had become one of those grumpy, depressing old people no one wants to be around.

My kids and grandkids used to visit me rarely, out of obligation. But since Iíve picked up and dusted off my attitude, they come over quite often because they say Iím fun to be around.

I donít know if I believe in life after death, but I do believe thereís life after a spouseís death. Itís simply up to us to embrace it. -- SWF (SENIOR WIDOWED FEFALE) Ė SIMCOE, ONTARIO

Dear SWF,

Thank you for sharing your story. I, too, hope it will inspire seniors to embrace their golden years.

Iíve been involved in a story much like yours: My mother lost her husband of 53 years (my father). She, too, has opted to live life to its fullest. Sheís reminded me that as much as sickness and death are a part of life, itís not healthy to put all oneís focus on the sadder side of life.

Dear Christine,

My boyfriend is the love of my life. Even though I know he loves me, I have a terrible habit of asking for reassurance. I am always asking if I look OK, if Iím thin enough, if our sex life is satisfying to him.

I want to be the type of woman heíll be proud to have on his arm, but I canít stop myself from fishing for reassurance. Please help. -- INSECURE Ė BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA

Dear Insecure,

You need to reassure yourself and stop expecting someone else to define who you are. Donít try to be the type of person you think heíll like; be the type of person you can be proud to be. Be yourself.

Look at your heroesóthe people whom you like and admireóand ask yourself if youíre similar to them. If you arenít, you need to work on your way of thinking and your behavior. If you are, you need to work on your self-esteem and give yourself credit for being a person who deserves to be liked and looked up to.

If, after some soul searching, you discover the real you isnít right for him, then he isnít right for you, either.

Have a question, a thought, or a story to share (anonymity guaranteed)? E-mail Christine at: single@keynotebooks.com

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