sinkhole

Mothers and Daughters

August 4, 2016
Mirror, mirror on the wall

After my husband died, I worried about my future. I had been robbed of the most significant person in my life. And every holiday, every major life event where Lev was absent was a new robbery, new bereavement. The losses kept coming, and our family was not prepared. Nobody warned us that death was only the first loss. When I did not fall apart immediately …

Continue reading

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, …

Continue reading

Bumps in the Road

June 23, 2016
brick sidewalk

Here on Nantucket for the summer, my great fear when I’m alone on the streets after dark is not the perceived threat of someone lurking in a dark corner ready to assault me or snatch my purse. It’s the fear of stumbling on the old brick sidewalks and cobblestone streets. Ancient tree roots push up the bricks and make the sidewalks treacherous for those who …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

Grief: Step by Step, Day by Day

April 28, 2016

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 …

Continue reading

Solace or Sinkhole?

March 31, 2016
Nantucket 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. …

Continue reading

Happy Birthday to Me!

March 17, 2016

I have lived to see three-quarters of a century go by, for today is my 75th birthday. Unlike those special days I associate with Lev, this is not a sinkhole. Because my birthday falls during Texas Spring Break—with my children and their families on different school calendars, going in different directions—we don’t have a tradition of gathering every year. In many ways that is a …

Continue reading

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. …

Continue reading

Taking Care of Me

December 16, 2015
Christmas tea

Today, I will take very good care of myself. I have carefully planned my day. I have six years experience commemorating my wedding anniversary by myself. Anniversaries and birthdays, like holidays, are sinkholes for widows; so I am not leaving anything to chance. After an early morning routine doctor’s appointment (scheduled by the doctor’s office, not by me), I will take a bouquet of Christmas …

Continue reading

Extending and Accepting Hospitality

November 22, 2015
Philippians 2:29

Key 6: Welcome others; be hospitable. A native son was returning home to Philippi, and the Apostle Paul–writing from his prison cell in Rome–instructed this small, struggling group of Christians to welcome Epaphroditus with joy. From beginning to end, the Bible is full of injunctions to be welcoming and hospitable. I tend to think of hospitality as a gift, and certainly we all know some …

Continue reading