I have always been comfortable with being alone in myself. So on the one hand I miss my wife of 51 years terribly and on the other it does not bother me.
That could be because she noticeably had Alzheimer's and vascular dementia for the last three years of her life so that I was gradually adusting to her not being here in a very real sense.
But her being gone came home to me when I had taken the dog for one of her walks in the woods and was finally able to takes some pictures of an owl we had both seen before while walking the dog. As I came back into the house, I ran downstairs to download the pictures to my computer all the while yelling, "Mary, Mary come downstairs I have pictuers of the owl."
I related the story to my daughter and my reaction to it. My daughter look at me and said, "Dad, don't forget this is the first time in your whole life that you have actually been alone."
She was right.
Naturally I grew up with my parents and brother. When I went away to the seminary, I had the priests and all my fellow seminarians around me. Then I was back home until I went into the Army whereI had my fellow officers and men around me. Then, of course, I married and raised two children.
Suddenly, the prospect of being alone was not as easy for me as it had been all my life.
Of course, being here on CM, the question is - am I so "lonely" that I joined to find a wife to fill the hole?
I can honestly answer, that I am open to the idea but am not as a necessity to fill the hole my waife's passing left. If I were 20 years younger, I know I would follow a differnt course and enter a monastery.
I have absolutely no regret that I married and raised a family and would never have given up that for anything.
Nevertheless, there has always been a part of me that said that I had failed to follow the path I was created for.