Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Widowhood Train

If you’re reading this blog you’ve probably been in the circle of people who’ve been standing at the station waving ‘goodbye’ as I board the train to Crazyville. That’s the place where the insurance companies, Social Security, the pension administration, loan departments, and credit card people all conspire to send recently widowed women. “All aboard, ladies! Leave your marbles with the agent as you board the train and have a nice day!”

Today I got two letters in the mail from Social Security. One says, “We checked our records due to the death of your husband. We found that the benefit amount we are paying you now is the only one you can receive.” The benefit they named was the amount I’ve been getting right along since I retired. The other letter says, “You are entitled to monthly widow’s benefits beginning January 2012. This is in addition to the benefit you receive on your own earnings record.”

What the heck am I suppose to do with those conflicting bits of information? Pick the one I like and throw out the other? Pin them both to the wall, tie on a blindfold and throw a dart in their direction? "Yes, madame, the first letter you hit with the dart determines the quality of the rest of your life.”

Obviously, both letters can’t be correct so which one am I to believe? There’s no date in the headings of these letters and no time stamp on the envelopes. No clues except for the damn ticket to Crazyville that magically appeared on the table as I tried to figure out what to do next. If this happens to other widowed people no wonder the wait times on the phone to Social Security are so long. It’s a good thing I have the weekend to practice my sweet, little old lady routine before I call S.S. because women on the train to Crazyville can be, well, CRAZY! If I called now the person on the other end of the line would get an ear full of freshly gathered dog do-do. ©



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