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“Option A Is Not Available”

May 25, 2017
Option B-Sheryl Sandberg

A few weeks after her husband died suddenly and unexpectedly in Mexico two years ago, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was confronted with an upcoming father-child event at her young son’s school. She discussed her options with a good friend. “We came up with a plan for someone to fill in for Dave. I cried to Phil, ‘But I want Dave.’ He put his arm around …

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Resolved: To Schedule Priorities

February 2, 2017
Scheduling priorities

A friend who traveled this road many years before I did said, “I am a better person because I lost my husband. I am kinder, nicer, sweeter. I have my priorities in order. I know what matters.” I had to agree. “Yes, you are. And so am I.” As she had, I re-ordered my priorities after Lev’s death. I asked myself the question: How do …

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Resolved: To Nurture Relationships

January 26, 2017
Ralph Storm on friendship

When the idea of a memoir on grief was an unformed idea, long before I began to blog, when bffs surprised me with a birthday party and I celebrated a reunion with friend-like-a-brother Ralph Storm, I reflected on the events and my reaction to them: If I have any wisdom from 73 years of living, five years a widow, it is this: NURTURE RELATIONSHIPS. NURTURE …

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Time Out for Sabbath

October 27, 2016
Sunday morning

I am tightly wound—more so than ever since I became a widow—and occasionally I feel as though my spring has sprung. My body is talking to me. I simply have to stop and shut down. Sunday morning was one of those days. After a restless night, I overslept. If I hurried, I could gulp down one cup of coffee before dressing and dashing off to …

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Do You Want to Reach 100?

October 13, 2016
Mamaw & Me at 65

“Don’t you want to live to 100?” younger travelers asked me on our recent trip to Japan. They seemed astonished that one might not want to live forever. I wasn’t sure how to answer their question. “If I am of reasonably good health—mentally and physically. If I don’t outlive my friends. If I don’t run out of money. If I don’t become a burden on …

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Want to Visit Japan?

September 27, 2016
Japan

Some Practical Advice On each trip as a solo traveler I learn more about myself—what I want and what I need. Japan presented special problems—most of which I had not anticipated, but it was immensely rewarding in spite of the challenges. Food Japan was hard—language, food, weather, jet lag, crowds. I wouldn’t dream of tackling it on my own, and in hindsight I might have …

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Those Sinkholes Called Holidays

July 3, 2016
fine artMurraryBeach St. storeBeach St. t-shirt shopBroad St. shopChildrenyouth violinist 1home shopMain St. with its cobblestone street & gas lightsLady LibertyLilly 1Lilly 2Main St. storeMitchellyouth violinist #2Nina McLemoreRalph Laurenthe ice cream shopWhite Elephant restaurantharbor--with the lights on masts of tall sailboats

More than six years later, I still panic at the thought of holidays as a widow…without Lev. Frankly, nothing can make me happy, because I want the holidays to be like they used to be–when he was alive. Joyce Carol Oates named them well–sinkholes–and the poet Elizabeth Alexander used the word in her memoir of grief as well. The word is apt. I’m going along, …

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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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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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13 Ways to Prepare for Widowhood

February 11, 2016
until death do us part

Absolutely no one (except possibly fortune hunters who marry older men for their money) wants to consider the prospect of widowhood. We are all in denial. It as if by refusing to acknowledge the possibility, we shake our fists in the face of the gods. But the facts are undeniable: The most recent American Community Survey, published in 2014, estimates that there are almost twenty-five …

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