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, June 30, 2012

Repetitive Patterns

The week went by quickly with nothing memorable happening unless you count the day a Spanx knock off body shaper camisole tried to squeeze the air out of my lungs and give me a heart attack. I vow I’ll never try one of those torture devices on again! As I was trying to get it off it got stuck in a roll under my armpits and that’s when I discovered the garment is ten times stronger than I am. I was in a dressing room in the kind of store that doesn’t have salesladies to call and there were no other customers in that area I could have enlisted to help---not that either one of those options wouldn’t have embarrassed the heck out of me, but I was getting desperate. I even considered getting the pair of scissors out of my purse and cutting my way to freedom but the idea of explaining to the cashier how the garment got cut to pieces kept me from doing it. Then I thought about pleading to the security personal monitoring the overhead camera to stop laughing at me long enough to send help. (They can deny those cameras exist all they want but I don’t believe it. Do you?) Trapped like that was the longest ten minutes of my life. Eventually I did free myself and I came away resigned to living the rest of my life without a body shaper to tame my marshmallow abs and with a new understanding of why animals chew off their own legs when they’re caught in a trap.

The senior citizen hall was offering classes on Zentangle this week. The brochure said: “Zentangle is a relaxing and fun way to make beautiful images using repetitive patterns with just a pen and paper.” Now that I’ve tried it I call it addictive doodling. I can’t stop tangling! They say it’s a cheap hobby but don't fall for that promise. Already I’ve ordered two books on the subject and have been to an art supply store to buy specialized ink pens. No one-size-fits-all pens for me. Zentangling has come in handy. though. At the monthly union meeting I attended yesterday they had speakers from our healthcare trust, our insurance carriers and Medicare and I tangled my way through an hour’s worth of their boring speeches.

A very thick letter came in the mail addressed to Don this week. It was from Social Security and on the envelope in big black letters it said, “If your name is not in the address box don’t open this letter. Return to sender.” The funeral director notified their office of Don's death as required by law, they already have a copy of his death certificate and S.S. hasn’t been depositing checks to his account since January. Why on earth is the government sending out letters to people they should know don’t reside any where on earth---and why this long after the event of Don’s passing away? But I follow the rules of life and sent the curious envelope back unopened even though I can’t quit thinking about what could possibly have been inside. I should have Zentangled the crap out of the back of the envelope first and given them something to think about back at the Social Security office. Who did that and what the heck is it?

The week was filled with other reminders that Don is getting purged from the world of the living. Getting a magazine subscription renewal notice in the mail, for example, had an emotional price tag attached. It was also time to re-order checks from the bank and it hit me I needed to have Don’s name removed from the address header. You can think your grieving period is over but things like these let you know that grief is not like a Spanx knock off that entraps you temporarily and then you never have to see the dang thing again. Grief is more like a tangle of lines weaving in and out of our routine forming a pattern that is as old as time itself. And would we want it any other way? We live. We love. We suffer loss then we find acceptance walking the same path that others have walked time and time again. There is comfort in the pattern, even in its unpredictability---and in the knowledge that we had a love worth grieving. Even when the sadness of grief sneaks up on us when we least expect it. ©


  1. Jean :

    you & Don both were so much blessed to be loved by each other so fiercely & unconditionally. I am still work in progress :)


  2. Oh, there were days when we wanted to kill each other....like all couples do from time to time. LOL