widowed

reclaiming joy in lower case

June 21, 2018
large island t-shirt

In many ways, my memoir, Reclaiming Joy, is a love letter to Nantucket, for this is where I first experienced sustained joy after Lev’s death, which I described in last week’s blog. Though I know intellectually that I had many moments of joy even in the midst of the thick fog of grief, my memories of the pain and anxiety are much more vivid. Sheryl …

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Life’s a Beach … but What Kind of Beach?

May 10, 2018

This whole, long process of publication—from the time the Baylor University Press offered me a contract for RECLAIMING JOY almost a year ago—has been a nonstop education for me. Who would think it would take so long to birth a book? Delivery date is September 14, with a book launch at Baylor. That’s a very long pregnancy. Cover design did not take quite so long, …

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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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Where’s Home?

June 1, 2017
google earth

What sort of images does home conjure up for you? Is it where you currently live or where you grew up? How much is it based on length of time and how much on your memories and the people you shared your home with? Home usually seems to mean “where I grew up, where my roots are, where my family lives.” When adults say “I’m …

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Resolved: To Bury, Burn, Dig Out

January 5, 2017
Time to Bury

Wiser, more gifted writers than I have been busy making their New Year’s Resolutions, and I am learning from them. My original list of Resolutions, posted here last week, is inadequate. Maria Shriver, who continually delights and challenges me with her weekly Sunday Paper, has done it again. On New Year’s Day she wrote, “I’ve Been Thinking.” “Yesterday, I wrote down all of the things …

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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 …

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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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Taking Care of Me

October 13, 2015

During the years of Lev’s declining health, I simply could not deal with my own health. It was not just a lack of time. I had more doctors’ appointments on my calendar than I wanted to think about. I was worried and stressed about him. I coped best by simply denying that I needed to take care of myself. I knew then that my thinking …

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6 Good Reasons to Entertain at Home Alone

September 20, 2015

Women who find themselves suddenly single again—whether widowed or divorced–after years as half a couple are often at a loss on how to entertain. I threw my first big party—a properly decorous event—seven months after Lev died, and I have grown increasingly comfortable entertaining at home alone in the years since then. Here are six reasons to entertain: 1. Reciprocate People are incredibly kind to …

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Westward, Ho!

August 23, 2015

Three Coasts in 13 Days From Nantucket to Corpus Christi to Carmel in less than two weeks is a bit of a push, but how could I turn down the gracious invitation of dear friends with a house in Carmel? A married couple can give no better gift to widowed friends than to continue to include them. It doesn’t always happen. For some women, it …

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