Sentimental Journey — 2015 Version

Doing my yearly weekend in Madison WI–today tramped through the sales of Maxwell Street Days on State Street between the campus and the Capitol; made a stop at the State Historical library to do some research; walked the lake path to the place where I set up a little memorial to L three years ago–it is overgrown now and I was unable to get down to it so I found a perfect flat stone, wrote his name on it and tossed it into the lake. Next year I think I will bring some special stone or perhaps a shell from Florida and make this the new tradition. Stopped at the Union and got a scoop of chocolate peanut butter ice cream (made on campus and L’s favorite) and enjoyed it as I walked the path. Now I am back in my room–a room similar to those L and I shared all the years we came here–where I will rest up for tomorrow’s early morning visit to the incredible farmer’s market that runs the entire block around the capitol building.

Normally I would have lunch at the Memorial Union overlooking the lake (and I may do that tomorrow) and then head back to Milwaukee. But this year out of the blue an old friend from my college days who lives in California called to say she and her husband are in the area so I am going to stay over and meet them for dinner tomorrow evening in the small town of Spring Green (where Frank Lloyd Wright established his summer home and school for architects). It’s probably been at least 25 years since I saw this friend and we have stayed in touch only with the annual holiday letter to catch up. And yet she is one of those special friends I hope you are lucky enough to have where time and distance have no effect. I know when we see each other tomorrow it will be as if we are simply continuing a conversation.

The truth is that lately I have been struck by the fact that the loneliness of widowhood does not ease with time–in fact it seems to worsen. But then something like this comes along and I weather yet one more storm of loneliness and depression. I hope those of you who struggle with similar pain can find these momentary reprieve in your life as well. Take care! Anna


6 thoughts on “Sentimental Journey — 2015 Version

  1. Thanks for sharing. Your post brought back sweet memories of two trips my Don and I made to Madison. Bought times we met
    special cousins from Canada.

  2. Dear Anna,
    It has been a little over 3 years for me and I agree the truth is that lately I have been struck by the fact that the loneliness of widowhood does not ease with time–in fact it seems to worsen. I am grateful when something comes along and help weather yet another storm of loneliness and depression. Most times it can be a simple gesture from family or friends showing kindness. I have always been an emotional person, but now I find myself even more so. I like how you continue to do the things you did with your husband. I sometimes wonder if I should try to do different things or keep them the same.
    Hugs, Lois

    1. Lois, I am certainly no expert but I have found that a mix of tradition and adventure works best for me. I have made some huge changes in my life and all the while I have imagined L laughing at my audacity and approving my courage. And when I repeat things we did together I get this lovely warm feeling of gratitude that we were blessed enough to have such good times. I guess in many ways I see this mix as both honoring the past and pressing forward to a future that I must create on my own. All best to you, Anna

  3. This year my daughter and I made our third sentimental journey to an island called Bryher, in the Isles of Scilly, where we scattered my husband’s ashes two and a half years ago. He is on a cliff top, overlooking the Atlantic – a really wild place. We hold a little ceremony there at a place called (by us) Pa’s Rock, involving a libation, a poem, and some conversation with his spirit, which is powerfully present.
    I am writing this to reassure you that you are not alone – there are multitudes of men and women feeling such loss. Thank you for your posts. I am often struck by the similarities of feeling. Very best wishes! Ann (just moved to Stratford upon Avon).

    1. Ann, Thank you so much for sharing this. I must admit that writing this blog has probably brought me more comfort than I may have given. I am also struck by the shared feelings and experiences readers send in response. I have always believed that there is comfort in community and messages like yours are just one more proof of that. Take care.

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