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

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Purging the Closet, Big Strong Me

Several people have told me that getting rid of clothing was the hardest thing they had to do after their spouse’s passing. One woman, a few years out from her husband’s death, still has his underwear in their dresser’s top drawer and a relative said he still can’t bear to give his wife’s wedding dress away and he’s far enough out to have started dating again. Big strong me---famous last words---I decided that I’d tackle this job first so I won’t become an old lady who ten years from now is still hoarding a closet full of her died husband’s logo t-shirts and a drawer full of his holey---not Holy---socks.

Seven trash bags full of clothing later, tears dried on my cheeks and with an achy jaw from clinching too hard, I emerged from the closet knowing that someone should start a damn closet purging service for recently widowed people. Some solemn faced soul who knows enough not to read the family laundry with comments like: I see your husband liked to go to car shows. That’s where I got in trouble---reliving every purchase like in Don’s case the American Pickers logo t-shirt he insisted he couldn’t live with out. Well, damn it! He got the shirt and then he didn’t have the courtesy of living long enough to wear it out. How fair is that? Had I known that would happen I would have stamped my foot in my best impression of Scarlet O’Hara in Gone with the Wind and pitched a royal fit until he backed down from wanting to buy something that is now so painful to donate to Goodwill.

The closet exploration is only about 80% completed. I didn’t make it to the summit, didn’t get to plant my very first widowhood flag. Nope, no gold star can be stamped on my membership card to the club. Will I finish that last 20%? Or years from now will I still have squirreled away in the closet a stash of jersey knit shirts advertising fun places to visit? “Oh, well,” as my friend Scarlet would say, "I'll think about it tomorrow, after all tomorrow is another day." ©


  1. You are a strong woman. My husband passed away on 12/29/11 and I cant stand the thought of getting rid of his things yet. I am a quilter so I think I am going to make myself a quilt from his clothes, and maybe one for our daughter. Maybe one day I will start a business doing that for widows. Congratulations on getting the 80% done.

  2. It is hard! But I'm the type that likes to tackle the hardest jobs first rather than living with the dread of it coming up. When you're ready, that will be the right timing for YOU.

    The quilt is a great idea. I had one made for my husband several years ago of all his favorite t-shirts he'd outgrown and couldn't part with. I even had it hung at the funeral. He used that quilt every day since getting it, even in the summer with air conditioning. I think having it helped me with letting go of other things.