Going forward in life in new role
Shirley-Joy Barrow — Arohanui. Shirley-Jo
“It is hard to turn the page when you know someone won’t be in the next chapter, but the story must go on.” — Thomas Wilder Here I go again, this time finding my way on my own. I am grateful to my angels who walk alongside me and encourage me to recreate myself in this new role of being a widow. They remind me that being alone does not mean being unhappy and that I can be happy without being lonely. They remind me that the world is full of interesting and enjoyable things to do. And they are right. As I move slowly from this grief-induced amnesia — this undefined time of stopping speaking mid-sentence because I can’t remember what I was talking about, and times or sitting staring into space wondering what to do next. I certainly need to keep my sense of humour because everything has fallen apart. So, I search for my strength and face fears I didn’t think existed. Some say widows or widowers are fascinating people who have a flavour of maturity, the spice of experience, the piquancy of novelty and a tang of practised coquetry. Now if you are like me and needed help with some of these words, coquetry means flirtatious manner, like teasing, toying, dalliance and romantic advances. Not something I’m into anytime soon. This reminds me that people who have lost a loved one do not need to curl up and hide. They have not contracted a disease of some sort that means they need to isolate. However, this is what losing your pal, your partner in life seems like, a sort of waiting in limbo to “join them”. This is where I started this column with a quote from Thomas Wilder, sent to me by one of the many people who have written or contacted me since Tony died. I found myself understanding the journey forward so much more clearly and knew that in time I will turn the page and begin the next chapter, because the story must go on.