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

Purging the Closet Part Two

I’ve met some wonder people in the last few days at Widowed Village. It’s a support website for widows and widowers that rivals any of the stroke support sites I used to hang around in the early years after Don’s stroke. They have a busy chat room, a message board, blogs and they sponsor widow camps you can go to on both coasts. One is even being planned to Big Bear. And they have subgroups to join. I joined one for widows who’d been caregivers, another one for people born in the 1940s, and one for widowed in 2012. They have it all, especially in terms of friendly people willing to be a sounding board when you need it.

From reading there, I get the idea that purging the closet of Don’s clothing was quite an unusual accomplishment this close to his passing. That may be, but two things helped me in that endeavor. One: I have the quilt of his favorite old t-shirts that was made for him several years ago and I had the pleasure of seeing him cover up with it nearly every day since. If I didn’t have that quilt I don’t think the closet purging would have happened quite so soon. I’d take breaks from working in the closet, look at that quilt and say to the dog, “That’s Don. Not this other stuff.” Don helped pick out the logo shirts and patches in that quilt and I kidded him about wearing all of his favorite shirts all at one time. So let that be a lesson to anyone who's been putting off having a t-shirt quilt made. “Getter’ done!” to quote Larry the Cable Guy. You’ll never be sorry.

The second thing that helped me purge the closet is that I’m a coward. Yes, I am. I like getting the hardest thing done first so I don’t have to face the dread building up and up of doing something hard in the future. Why start at the bottom of a hill and push up when you can start at the top of the hill and push down? That’s my life philosophy. Or so I tell myself. But that’s just me and I know that we all have to follow the beat of our own heart and pick the time that feels right for each of us---be it in two days or two years. Grief cuts its own path across the field of life.©

Don's quilt (below) was made here.


  1. Wow. I can't think of a cooler momento! I've kept a red polartec vest of his that I wear occasionally (even 7 years and a couple boyfriends later).

  2. Thank you. I love that quilt for what it meant to my husband.

  3. I too cleaned out the closet quite early on because.....I too want to get the hardest thing done first!!! I did keep his sneakers by the front door for many months however--until one day my neighbor came in, looked down and said, "Are you expecting Fred to come get his shoes?" Then it just seemed silly of me to have them there, but....I still have them, 18 months later--in the closet. Hardly anything of his remains in this wee house, but those shoes. I just can't throw out those shoes. I wonder why.

  4. I still have a pair of my husband's cowboy boots. He loved those boots and they've been sitting by our front door since Don had his stroke 12 years before his stroke. I'll never throw them out. I might plant something in them someday if I decide to move them to the outside of the door, inside the house. I don't wonder why I keep them. I know...I like the memories they bring. He always wore them when we had some fun on the scheduled.

  5. Post note: I just this past month moved the cowboy boots to inside the closet. I'm thinking about planting something it them and moving them outside next summer but I'm not sure I'm ready for that yet. I know I don't want anyone else to ever wear them.

    I'm now at 21 months out from Don's passing.