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I apologise to anyone who has their own way to deal with this trauma. This is my way and it is not intended to be mandatory. You must attach what weight you think fit to suit your own needs.

In our lifetime we face many ups and downs and challenges. Somehow or another we manage to fend them off or meet them head to head and overcome them.

However, as one gets older, the challenges become or seem to become, less urgent and less important compared with the hustle of work.

Personally I worked at the same pace throughout my working life, dealing with people who didn't want to be where they were, until I retired in 2000. Thirty one years gone in the blink of an eye. I have never been on my own or been alone. There simply wasn't time, my wife and I did everything together.

Nothing, absolutely nothing could have prepared me for what was going to happen in my retirement

I never thought about it, just took it for granted that my dear wife and I would see out our days together. Then about three and a half years ago she started to go downhill and the short stays in hospital became more frequent and she got progressively worse. After endless medication and finally oxygen 24/7, she passed away and after being her carer for over three years, suddenly I was left with no one to care for and for the first time in my life---alone.

For the first few months I was numb, and if it had not been for family and very close friends, I probably would not be in the shape I am today

What we did in our lives like dancing and my golf depended on whether my wife was well enough for me to leave her, even for just a few hours. Family helped a lot but I wasn't their sole priority. Nobody, but nobody will ever know of the tears that were shed privately in this house.The trauma of losing my wife was huge.

Gradually as time has moved on, I began to pick up my life

I was able to play golf regularly, take up my dancing again and slowly get my life back together. However, the hurt of losing my wife has not, nor ever will go away, I am just getting better at coping with it.Thank goodness I have my little dog Sadie. She is great company and it helps to keep one busy. That is a great thing. There is only one drawback. When I have done all these things to occupy my day and evening, when I come home the house is empty and it is just me and the dog.

That is the one thing that I struggle with at the moment. I have made new friends particularly on Oapschat and they are a real lifeline in some dark times

I think you also have to ask yourself two questions. What would your loved one want you to do and what do you yourself want?? I know what my dear Ellie would want me to do and I am doing as best I can. There always will be triggers or certain days or dates that set off the memory banks that is inevitable.

My family tell me it is early days

Different people have different ways of dealing with such traumas, there is no set pattern. This is what works for me. Take up hobbies, sport, voluntary work, dancing, anything that gets you out to meet people.In time you will become more confident and life will give you purpose when you thought all was lost.

Who knows, that grim lonely figure may well emerge from the darkness into a new light

It entirely depends on you, you are the most important person now. I hope in some way what I have said helps, but you must do it your way.

Meet The Author...
Norman Turner
Who Am I?

I was born in August 1942. I have three sisters. My parents both died when I was in my early twenties. I started my career as a police cadet and became a police constable when I was 19 yrs old. After many jobs, I joined the Prison Service in 1969 and stayed 31 years. I was awarded the imperial service medal by HM the Queen for long and faithful service.I have four children from my first marriage and two step children from my second marriage to my dear Ellie. She passed away last February so now it is just me. I live near Littlehampton. My hobbies include golf, sea fishing and dancing(ballroom, line dancing and rock and roll). I also enjoy long walks with my little dog who is now my best friend and company.

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