It’s a bittersweet day at the Rhoads house. After 8 years of having Alma’s family closer than/better than neighbors, they move into town today. Of course we support their decision and wish the best for them. At the same time, I’ve been crying for days now. It’s like losing Alma all over again.
How do we deal with these times of bitter change that don’t feel sweet at all? I ask because boomers face more and more difficult changes as they age. Knowing we traverse an expected transition does little to ease the angst, however. Surely something moves the sweet into the bitter? I mean, I’d love a sweetbitter experience over a bittersweet any day of the week.
So what helps?
- Of course, counting blessings tops the list. I am grateful we enjoyed so much time with these precious ones. And hopefully out of sight doesn’t mean we’ll be out of their lives!
- Crying helps. Wait! What? Yes, it’s okay to grieve loss. I feel Alma very close these days.
- Self-indulgence is permitted. One day I have got to give up sugar again, but I still comfort myself with little treats.
- Find new interests. We’re working on that. Easier said than done, because while we are a pair, we are still two very different people. Writing helps me a lot.
- Figure out how to survive without help. Really? Alma did 90% of the upkeep, and we see no viable solution here.
So, three out of five isn’t bad, is it? The only problem is that we’ve been mired at this stage for months now. How long do these transitions last? Is there ever really a cure for a broken heart, broken dream, broken life? We wear smiles. We stay busy. I write a lot. But underneath the veneer little changes. The bitter still outweighs the sweet, and this day more than most.