Eight Years Later

Some days are filled with excitement, wonder and others are filled with loneliness. I am sure these feelings are not exclusive to being a widow. We all have an array of emotions that are attached to different experiences in our life.

After my husband pasted away, it was the only time in my life that I lived alone. At first I received a lot of phone calls and was trying to get through the day. As the days turned into months, everyone went back to living their own lives and I had to learn to live a single lifestyle.

My saving grace were my two best friends, Alice and Alfie, my cats. Every morning Alfie woke me up at 6:00am to feed him and Alice. It has been 8 years since my husband past away and he is still waking me up every morning.

Through the years I have built a life for myself, working part-time and spending time with friends and family. Some days are exciting and others are difficult. During the difficult times, I always ask myself the question, “What are you learning today?”

Recently, I was going through a time when I lost my desire to engage in life, nothing seem to excite me. I just wanted to read a fiction book and lose myself in the characters. After sending a day just reading and binging on breadsticks, nuts and almond butter from the jar, it was time to reevaluated what was happening.

It was pretty clear I was feeling sorry for myself and in a rut. The big question, “Why.” During the past two months I was spending a lot of time with friends and family. My grandson graduated from College in May and my family spent a few days together, the beginning of June I went away with a group of friends and a few weeks later went to a wedding in Baltimore. I was constantly with either family or friends and then coming back to being alone was a hard transition. I was lucky to have my two companions, Alfie and Alice.

Thinking about my transition realized I was tired and missed the comradery of others. My challenge was to accept my life and focus on the positive aspects. It was up to me to turn my thinking around. Things I am grateful for:

• Alfie and Alice my loving companions.
• My caring and loving family and friends.
• The ability and desire to explore my feelings and take positive action steps.
• Assisting Non-Profits to spread their message by interviewing the key staff members on my Princeton TV show, “Skyrocket with Helen Burton.”
• Living life as a journey and always looking for opportunities.

Reminding myself how lucky I am to live such a fulfilling life has made a difference. What different steps do you take to adjust your thinking and put a smile on your face?

Please help build this community by sharing your experiences, asking questions and suggesting topics you would like to discuss. I am looking forward to hearing from you by leaving comments below or sending me an email at helen@helenburton.net.


9 thoughts on “Eight Years Later

  1. You are an amazing person because you are able to analyze your feelings and take action All chapters in our life hold difficulties and it is easy to be overwhelmed by your circumstances.
    i try to picture myself at other times in my life that I may think of nostalgically. If I “really” think about how I felt when my children were young, I can remember the anxieties and stress. If I think about running a business with my husband, I remember the overwhelming problems we went through. If I honestly think about family vacations, I can feel the difficulty of trying to make everyone happy.
    I think we have to (as you do) think of all the positive things we presently have in our lives and appreciate the here and now.


  2. Hi Helen,

    I agree that the way to be happy and satisfied is to appreciate all the good things you have going on in your life. Being positive and focusing on the positive is what works for me. It’s also important to take one day at a time. For me, having great friends is my good fortune. They help me to be strong and have a positive attitude.

    Your friend,


  3. Lynne Gaddis Martin commented on your link.

    Lynne Gaddis Martin

    August 9 at 6:07pm

    I obscess until I can’t take it anymore….then I move forward!


    Welcome to the human race. We all obsess until we have the courage to move forward. Miss you. Helen


  4. Thanks for sharing your journey! I guess I come back to gratitude and love (once I stop obsessing, haha). Those two things –gratitude and love–are probably the cure for just about anything : ). Except maybe the common cold.


  5. Grace Travinsky

    August 15 at 7:30am

    Thank you for sharing your story, Helen. I think most of us have suffered great losses in our lives whether love, death, or illnesses. Great question, Helen. No simple answers. Besides having a good cry, reaching out to my friends and families, working out physically, and hugging my loyal doggies, I find helping the less fortunate always re-center my focus to appreciate my own blessings, and somehow I do bounce back optimistically to lead a purposeful life.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s