Thanks for loving me!

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“Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss, and ends with a teardrop.”~Anonymous
Thanksgiving heralds the holidays, and although the recently widowed may not feel like celebrating, isn’t it true that we were blessed to have been loved?

I hold it true, whate’er befall;

I feel it when I sorrow most;

‘Tis better to have loved and lost

Than never to have loved at all.

~Lord Alfred Tennyson

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Secrets & Surprises Unearthed By Death

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What surprises, if any, did you encounter after the death of your spouse?  An affair? Another family? Debt?  In her wonderful column in The New York Times,  Joyce Wadler wrote in a recent article “The Sex Toys in the Attic” about people of a certain age disposing of their sex paraphernalia or at least having a plan in place with a trusted confidante to ditch the evidence should you depart this earth unexpectedly. Everyone has secrets.  Some are silly; most are embarrassing.  And then there are the deadly ones.  As George Orwell wrote, “If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.”  I was married to an alcoholic, he had lots of secrets.  What long-held secrets did you discover, unearthed by death?  And how did it change you?

 

Does loving again dishonor the person who is no longer here?

For those of us who have found love again, we may also find that it’s difficult for friends and family to accept that we’re moving on.  Perhaps you’ve experienced  awkward moments when out with friends or at family functions?  Widow author Carole Brody Fleet’s article “Forget-Me-Never: The Reality Of Remarriage After Widowhood,” offers an insightful glimpse into love after widowhood.
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Year of Firsts, List of Lasts

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As you navigate the Year of Firsts, it’s impossible not to acknowledge the mounting List of Lasts.  The clasp breaks on my diamond swirl necklace, the last gift Robert gave me. Watching a movie set in San Francisco, I’m reminded of our last vacation.  Some days you see the world in a blur of Lasts.  The sense of finality is so strong in that first year as you navigate each day, the pages of the calendar heralding the holidays, his birthday, your anniversary. What are some of the ‘Lasts’ that linger for you?

 

Feeling naked? Leaving Your Wedding Band Behind

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Perhaps it’s platinum.  Maybe jewel-studded or perfectly plain. Whatever the ring’s design, it has become a symbol of your marriage and part of your identity.  Do you envision taking it off?  For those who have, what prompted you?  For me it was the first day of spring.  It had been over a year since my husband passed away.  Inspired by the season of rebirth and ready for my life to begin, again, I left my wedding ring in my jewelry box, where it’s been at home ever since.  It never felt awkward or wrong or rushed, just natural.  There’s no timeline to follow, each widow/er will come to their own decision at their own pace. How did you know when you were ready?

 

Dear Diary, Bridget Jones is a widow.

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Check stats for widows and widowers in films and books.  Have one glass of wine.  Do not text anyone after second glass of wine.

Widowhood has been used for storylines in film and literature.  What do you think of Hollywood’s portrayal of widows and widowers?  What movies and books (whether fiction or non-fiction) rang true for you?  See my list of books (‘Late’ Lit) and films on my Widow Info page and check out The New York Times Book review of “Mad About The Boy,” the third book in the adventures of Bridge Jones, now a widow.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/20/books/review/helen-fieldings-bridget-jones-mad-about-the-boy.html?_r=0