friendship

Wanted: A Church to Call Home

October 26, 2017
Nantucket church steeple

The spiritual is one of the universal dimensions of grief, along with the physiological, psychological and social dimensions. What we believe—or don’t believe—affects how we grieve. I grew up seeing widows in the church, actively involved until very old age. I took for granted that the church would meet my spiritual and social needs when I was widowed; but as many other widows have found, …

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Williamsburg, Perfect for the Holidays

October 18, 2016
Duke of Gloucester Street

If you are looking for the perfect place to celebrate the Holidays, look no further than Colonial Williamsburg. It is the only place I can imagine spending Thanksgiving or Christmas alone; and I know several childless couples who, after searching the country for that perfect place, return to CW year after year. I made my almost-annual visit to Colonial Williamsburg earlier this month. Most of …

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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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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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Celebrating Lev’s Birthday

March 3, 2016
top of the mountain

I have made it over that mountain of immediate grief, loss and aloneness—past the minefields, through the sinkholes, around the boulders that made the climb so arduous. I have not emerged unscathed, inadvertently injuring myself and others along the way. Now the road is mostly wide and smooth in front of me, just an occasional rough spot, boring stretch or sinkhole to trip me up. …

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Amazing Peace

December 17, 2015
Corpus Christi bayfront

In this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters, Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air. The world is encouraged to come away from rancor, Come the way of friendship. … We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas, We beckon this good season to wait awhile with us. We, Baptist and …

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Two Very Different Dressings + Gravy

November 8, 2015

Yvonne’s Traditional Cornbread Dressing Yvonne York was my housekeeper for almost 15 years. We watched each other’s children grow up, marry and have babies. We buried our husbands. We shared the same heritage, she from Mobile and I from New Orleans–our Baptist faith, our politics and our cooking. And in the process, we formed a deep and abiding friendship that continues to this day. A …

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In Praise of Friendship

June 6, 2015
Henry Holcomb at the Delaware CanalClematis growing at general storeHistoric Riegelsville Inn

Since I lost Lev, I find that I value my friends more than ever; and those with whom I share a history have special value. Email–but Facebook even more–has created an easy way to keep up with old friends, where once our single communication might have been the annual Christmas card. Between the old Christmas lists, my email list and my Facebook friends, I don’t travel …

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