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

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Dog's Grief and Me

It’s nearly noon and I’m still sitting in my bathrobe. The dog is playing with his newly decapitated duck because I’ve been too busy counting the squares in the kitchen flooring to pay any attention. The duck surely must be in agony with his white stuffing hanging from the smiling schnauzer’s mouth. "Too bad," I tell Mr. Bad Luck Duck. "I've got my own problems to worry about."

People keep asking me how Levi is handling Don’s death. Considering the fact that he’s now rolling on his back and rubbing himself down with duck guts I’d say he’s doing better than he should be just nineteen days after his singing partner died. God, the house is quiet! How could Levi not miss the howling contests they had each morning after Don transferred into his wheelchair---or me yelling at the two of them to knock it off? How could he not miss sitting at Don’s feet during breakfast, at the ready to round up stray Cheerios that might roll down his way? How could he not miss giving Don doggie kisses each night? Or the fact that every time we’d get ready to go some where Don would campaign to let the dog ride along?

Damn dog is entirely too happy today. If I had the power to make him sit in the corner until some genuine tears rolled down his bearded face, I would. The only changes I see in Levi’s behavior since Don’s passing is he started sleeping on the foot of Don’s side of the bed---something he never did before. At first he’d stay just until I turned the light off. Then it went to a couple of hours before he’d move some time during the night. Last night was the first night Levi spent the whole night, and not just at the foot end of the bed. It brought a smile to my face, waking up with the dog stretched out like he owns the place. Seeing that side of the bed empty was such a jarring and sad way to start the day.

Pets have their own way of comforting their humans and Levi has decided where he is needed most. Nighttime bed duty for one thing, but right now it appears he thinks I need to move away from the computer and rescue the duck. Mr. Bad Luck Duck has been separated from his squeaker and with it, Levi is squeaking out the message: “Hey, human, life goes on! Come play with me.” ©


  1. I've been wondering how Levi was, but didn't like to ask.

    Dogs express grief in different ways from how we do, I suppose.

    I remember when my brother (I live with him) had a terrible car accident and was in rehab for what seemed like ages, Penny got into the paper box and spread mess over the entire room, something she had not done previously.

  2. We had a dog once who quit eating when my mother was in the hospital. Dogs do grief, that's for sure.

    Levi hasn't done anything naughty. But when I leave the house without him you can tell he's more anxious about being left behind. Maybe it's because Don isn't here to say, "Dog?" meaning can Levi ride along. Levi has always been more my dog than Don's in terms of dependance because I'm the one who feeds and walks him and I trained him. Don was his fun time buddy.