widowhood

How Much Is Safe to Spend?

October 20, 2016
Pray for the best

The question raised in the headline nags at me. Should you save enough to live to 100? The subhead promises that “here are ways to insulate yourself against outliving your money”—everyone’s fear—but the recommendations are almost opposite those I received from my husband’s professional advisors after I became a widow in 2009. Instead, the writer seems to say, “Oh, chances are you won’t live that …

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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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Autumn Anxiety Is Real

September 22, 2016

The Huffington Post headline proclaims, “Autumn Anxiety Is Real, And Treatable.” Huh? I never knew that the onset of shorter days could trigger a definable anxiety disorder. Until Lev died, I never paid much attention to the length of days, the hours of sunlight. Unlike most parts of the country, in South Texas fall holds the promise of a break in the heat, when we …

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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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How Do You Find Purpose in Life?

June 9, 2016
Girl Scout troop

When Lev died, I did not have a clue how to “do” widowhood. Books and advice from others were of little help. I looked at other widows in search of role models. Those who had built purposeful, fulfilling new lives encouraged me. If they could do it, so could I. Eventually, I found books that also inspired me—usually memoirs of grief, which told me that …

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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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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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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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Announcing a New Blog Schedule

February 7, 2016

After nine months of Sunday blogs about widowhood, I’m changing my blogging schedule to once weekly on Thursday,  to free up time to finish my book, RECLAIMING JOY: A PRIMER FOR WIDOWS. I blogged every day the first two months, then cut back to three days a week for the remainder of 2015. However, my Sunday blogs never had the readership that weekday blogs have. I started …

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Life Lesson #2: Get Dressed

January 27, 2016
Power perceived

Last month I wrote a blog titled “Life Lesson #1: Make Up Your Bed,” based on Adm. William H. McRaven’s speech, “Life Lessons from Navy SEAL Training.” I said that new widows are challenged just to get out of bed each morning, let alone make up the bed. This week I have realized that it applies to physical as well as psychological struggles. I cannot …

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