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

Friday, February 3, 2012

Waiting for the Pension Administration

After playing a dozen mindless games of solitaire I decided to blog my frustrations. It’s day four of a four day window I was given when I called the pension administration where my husband used to work. A window when I’m suppose to hear back from a case manager IF I am entitled to any spousal benefits. If I don’t get any benefits, they’ll send a letter within ten days. “IF?” If I'm not entitled to any spousal benefits? Where did that notion come from? It seemed to me the lady on the phone took great glee at saying the word 'if' rolling it over her tongue nice and slow and louder than the rest of the words in her sentence. Hearing that little word---if---was like getting sucker punched.

“I get it,” I thought. Some people take up hiking or biking for a hobby. This woman, for fun, likes torturing recently widowed women into worrying about whether or not their health insurance will get cut off or they aren’t named on the life insurance. And if Ms. Nasty Ass had her way, widows sure as hell aren’t going to get any portion of their husband’s pension. Out of luck! Sorry. Someone checked the wrong box.

Having dealt with a long and involved, life-and-death incident with an ambulance company where someone checked the wrong box, I'm on pins and needles now. The quality of the rest of my life hinges on the phone ringing in the next four hours. “Ring, damn it!" Why won’t the phone ring? I can’t go out to the mailbox. I can’t pick up poop in the dog pen. I can’t make any of the other necessary calls on my ‘widowhood list.’ All I can do is sit here nursing a case of the nerves while building up resentment towards a tiny word like ‘if’.

The irony in all this is my husband was in speech therapy for six years after his stroke and he never could get his aphasic brain to kick that word out of his head and down to his tongue. ©

Edit to Add: I can't believe it! 8:30 PM and the call finally came. I really didn't expect it anymore today, since it was so late after normal office hours. And I couldn't have been more pleased with my new case manager. She said she knew I'd be anxious and took a chance in calling so late because she didn't want me stressing all weekend. She's going to walk me through the whole process once I send in the death certificate. I absolutely feel like I've been on a roller coaster of emotion today but, thankfully, I didn't end up with vomit on my shoes. Thank you, Mrs. Case Manager!


  1. Oh dear. What a stressful day. I do hope things work out OK for you. You hardly need more anxiety to pep up your days.

  2. I added the 'edit' to my post after your comment. I finally did get the call---at 8:30 at night! I think everything is going to turn out okay. Won't know for sure for a couple of weeks, but things are looking up now that I have a caring case manager to walk me through it all.