For some time after my husband John died, I thought the ache in my heart would never go away - and how could I go on living?
But with time, friends and family, and my faith community (including wondercafe), I gradually started to feel like my old self again.
This last year has been one of renewal. A renewal if confidence, energy, enthusiasm, an adventurous spirit - culminating in my recent trip to Canada.
Why is there always a "but"?
The truth is at the moment I'm feeling a bit lost.
What I didn't expect - or even think about - was then when John died the love he evoked and we shared would still live on in me.
So what I was left with was a need to love - and nowhere to direct it.
At first I thought it would be enough to disperse it more widely - through friends, family, (particularly grandchildren), and stepped up church and community committments.
(A scatter-gun approach, firing off tiny pellets of love and compassion in many directions.)
It's had a limited success.
It seems I'm missing a central focus - a significant other - in my life.
But, in my heart of hearts, I know John was my soulmate and irreplaceable.
So folks, any suggestions out there to get me through this?
Have other older widows, widowers faced this and found a successful outcome?
Do I ultimately have to accept the fact that this is how my life will be from now on? That it's simply a part of the ageing process?