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, January 29, 2012

Widowhood: Day One

Widowhood: Day one after the funeral. I made some calls today to notify people about Don’s passing. One was to the medical supply company that rented us his oxygen machine and the backup oxygen tanks to use during power outages that never happened. Who wants to look at those big, ugly monsters sitting there no longer doing their job? Anyway, the woman on the phone says, “And when was your husband’s expiration date?”

Expiration date? I thought, We're not boxes of cereal with expiration dates stamped on our bottoms! If that were true we could have planned our lives better, darn it!

That thought got me to laughing and visualizing poor Don's bare butt with the expiration date tattooed on one cheek. No doubt Ms. Medical Supply Lady thought I was entirely too happy, given the nature of my call. I wasn't happy, of course, but I'd already used up my daily crying quota by noon and it was 2:00 in the afternoon.

How long do you suppose it will take her before it dawns on her that there’s a difference between saying, “When did your husband expire?” and “What was his expiration date?” Then again, maybe I’m the one with a warped sense of humor. Maybe she says that same thing day after day and I’m the only one who laughed and found it even funnier when she got annoyed at me for finding dark humor in trying to arrange for a pick up of medical equipment.


  1. Way across the world, here in Australia, I have been inspired for years by your Don and by yourself. He lives on in my memory, even though I never met him.

    We all make an impact on this world, and through your blog you have extended even further the scope of Don's influence.

    I've marked this new blog address, and I'm looking forward to finding out what life is like for you in the future.

  2. Thank you so much for the kind words. Blogging is so therapeutic to do and it's a real bonus when you find out what you write has touched someone you've never met.

  3. Jean, I am another Jean who just happened onto your blog and was immediately drawn in. Although I'm not a widow (I've been single since I divorced in my early 30s), the gallows humor in this post really resonated for me. I expect to come back and read more and perhaps get to know you a bit through your writing. Thanks for sharing your story. -Jean

  4. Jean, One thing that loss brings out in some of us is dark humor. I try to nurse that humor as a coping tool. Thanks for the comment! I've checked out your blog and added you to the list of blogs I follow. I look forward to reading your journey into retirement.

    the other Jean

  5. I got those big, noisy oxygen concentrators--the Bi-Pap and the nebulizer back to the medical supply company BEFORE the funeral.

  6. jan, 29th 2012 was the day my husband died. or expired.

    hugs, bee

    1. Wow, our husbands did die close to each other...just eight days apart. Welcome to the club few of us want to belong to.