Tuesday, May 25, 2010


This is a topic I never wanted to know much about.

I did learn however, from my patients how to deal with the death of a spouse. Like so many other circumstances, some do it well, and others poorly. My mother has done it well, and although I know the loss of her husband still pains her, she has filled her life and persevered. I also know she told me never to be one. I have known young widows, struck in the height of their love, and women whose husbands had been lifelong lovers and partners.

My widowhood came too early.

Its ugliness intrudes into my conciousness without invitation. Last night it was a dream about my late husband. Your dreams find you and WHAM you are pulled back into the vortex.

I suppose my recent move was a stressor and this was a way to ermind me. I wish it didn't happen, but it did and has me on the brink of tears all morning. My life is full, more or less. Certainly no less than before, just no husband. I have a job, and it is fulfilling. I am dating, and that attention is nice. I just moved into a lovely new apartment, and that is a plus. The minus is the reminder that I remain alone.

When you become a widow, everyone is very kind. They know that pain that you feel and the empty spot in your heart and soul can never really be filled. It remains, much like a scar, a weakend part of you that never heals to look the same as the rest. It is there, a reminder of damage done, real life that found its way into your existence. People forgive you your crying spells, and allow you to excuse yourself to the ladies room to bite your lip, and muffle your sobs. They do things for you, for a time. After a while, it is time to pick up the pieces of your life and find a new path. As the master of my fate ( at least this is the illusion I hold) I can chart any course I please.

 What happens if you please to be back in time?

I think that is what pops up every now and again, the good feelings of being in love and married, and safe.
The world of widowhood is frought with ambiguity, change, and vulnerability. That is much harder to bear.

Until next time...........


  1. Being a widow was my most hated identity. When it happened to me I was 39 years old. (13 years ago) Granted, I was a very prepared widow in some ways, my husband had a terminal illness and I had been his caretaker for a very long time. I was well prepared for his death, or as well prepared as I could be. But I was not emotionally prepared for singledom.
    I cast off the aloneness by remarrying my oldest and dearest male friend (who proved to be neither)I was terrified of the idea of dating. ( My thoughts at the time were something like... "just shoot me!) I saught safety where I could find it.
    Afterall, I felt I had been through hell for years of caring for a dying/demented spouse... I deserve a little safety.
    Perhaps I wish I could have done it differently, wish I could have made more independent & creative choices. But, I did what I did. As we all know, life can't be lived in reverse.

    I'm a different person today. Less scared, more true. I have been down many roads in my life, I am a brave and daring soul...but I know I ran from widowhood as fast as my feet could carry me.

  2. It is something as women, we all think we will encounter, but not this soon. I always expected to be a very elderly woman losing a lifetime partner, with a good run to look back upon. When widowhood strikes too soon, it is like a curse, throwing you this way and that, disrupting your life and derailing your sense of safety. It is that sense of safety which eludes me now, even though it is not rational.