Helen: My Role Model for Widowhood

May 26, 2016
Helen

I never guessed that Helen, my mother-in-law, would become my role model for widowhood. Lev’s dad was killed in a plane crash when Lev was only 13 and his mother 39. About 18 months later, Helen married Russell; and for more than 20 years, they enjoyed the good life together. Then, in her early 60s, she was widowed again. I recalled her announcement shortly after …

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Learning from Sheryl Sandberg

May 19, 2016
Sheryl Sandberg

Who would guess that I have anything in common with Sheryl Sandberg, the brilliant, young, Jewish COO of Facebook? or with the 94-year-old Alzheimer victim in the London suburbs? We are all widows, sharing the universal language and experience of grief. In her recent speech to the University of California–Berkeley graduating class, Sandberg—widowed one year 13 days previously—described being “swallowed in the deep fog of …

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Safe Solo Travel to London

May 12, 2016
Roosevelt & Churchill

Today, on my second day in London, I reread my 14 Tips for Safe Solo Travel, which I posted last September. I am surprised by how many items on the list I did instinctively as I prepared for this trip. Seven years later, solo travel comes naturally. Find a friend with similar interests and budget OR join a nonprofit organization with a strong travel program …

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Memoirs Help Normalize Grief

May 5, 2016
On My Own

Grief experts agree that widows get too much advice—too many people telling them how to grieve, how long to grieve, when to make decisions, when to move on. What works for one person may not work for another. There is no single right or wrong way to mourn the loss of a spouse. Nevertheless, most books on grief are how-to books written in second-person. Self-help …

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Grief: Step by Step, Day by Day

April 28, 2016
U.S. WWII Cemetery, Margraten,  the Netherlands, March 13, 2015

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 This was my first blog, one year ago. It laid the foundation for the story I share with other widows, their families and friends. One hundred fifty-three blogs later, with many …

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Friends: An Unexpected Loss

April 21, 2016
with friends in Nantucket

The Social Aspect of Grief Ours had been a social world of couples, and our friends and acquaintances called within a month or two after Lev’s death to invite me out to dinner. Sometimes, these turned out to be one-time obligatory gestures. Just as we had not thought to mix singles and couples in our social life, not all of our old friends continued to …

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Finances: A Widow’s Nightmare

April 14, 2016
desk

Seven years ago today—one week after Lev’s death, my first day alone in my empty house—I was walking across the library when I received an unexpected call from his financial advisors—three people sitting around a speaker phone in another city. I was given no forewarning, no opportunity to have my attorney on the line. The team leader informed me that the bank (this was one …

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I Pause to Remember With Thanksgiving…

April 7, 2016
Lev Herrington Prichard III

Lev Herrington Prichard III March 4, 1937—April 7, 2009 Lev Herrington Prichard III, 72, died at his home in Corpus Christi early Tuesday, April 7, 2009. The only son of Lev H. Prichard Jr. and Helen Pruitt Prichard Davis Matthews, he was born in Oklahoma City, OK, on March 4, 1937. The family moved to San Antonio in 1948, where he attended San Antonio Academy …

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Solace or Sinkhole?

March 31, 2016
church steeple

Part 2: The spiritual aspect of grief I was so smugly sure last week that I was prepared for Easter. I had taken precautions to avoid sinkholes, inviting family and friends to a big meal after church and spending the preceding days decorating my house and table, planning my menu and cooking. All of that was good; and in the end, the day was good. …

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Easter Hope: Celebrating Resurrection

March 24, 2016
Horseshoe Bay

Part 1: The Spiritual Aspect of Grief Lev was buried on Maundy Thursday, seven years ago. It seems like yesterday…and a lifetime ago. The approach of Easter is much more a reminder to me of his death/my loss than the calendar date, April 7. While I have written often about those sinkholes called holidays, Easter is not a sinkhole for me, for the resurrection story …

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