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

Thursday, August 2, 2012

When Are You Getting Married Again, Widow Lady?

An old friend the other day asked me if I’m going to get married again. The question annoyed the heck out of me and it felt like an invasion of privacy especially since he asked it in front a third person I barely know. It took years to builds the kind of relationship Don and I had and I’m not interested in getting married again just to have another warm body in the house. But I tried not to let my annoyance show when I replied, “No.” Evidently that wasn’t a good enough answer because the next words out of his mouth were: “What’s the matter, once was enough?” I wasn’t sure how to take that second question and when I answered I felt like I was speaking the last lines in the movie, Secondhand Lions. I repeated my answer twice with an entirely different inflection the second time. In the movie the sheik’s great-grandson had asked, “These two men from your grandfather's stories, they really lived?” to which the adult Walter (played by John Lucas) answered, “They really lived.” Then a smile spread wide across on his face and he repeated, "Yeah, they really LIVED.”

“Once was enough,” is what I told my prying friend followed by, “Ya, once REALLY was enough.” I doubt my answer adequately expressed how I felt---Lucas got to rehearse his delivery and my smile was forced---but I couldn’t help thinking about it on the way home. Do people really think you can replace a 42 year long relationship so easily and be thinking about doing it when you’re only six months out from your spouse’s passing? Coming from an old friend the question hurt and it accented the fact that Don was the only person on the face of the earth who truly knew me---how I think, what my weaknesses and strengths are and how I hate being put on the spot in front of strangers.

Get married again? Not without a waterboarding, a case of amnesia or a proposal from Matthew McConaughey and Brad Pitt on the same day. Matthew or Brad? Yup, that choice might entice me to give up my plans for a new life filled with over-indulging in artsy-fartsy activities and Scottie Dogs Licorice, but no man in my age bracket could. If my friend picked up on my annoyance of his marriage questions, he probably would say I was being hyper-sensitive. Widows get accused of that all the time but, to me, asking a question like that was akin to asking an amputee if he’s going to get a new arm. I always think of good answers like that hours after it’s too late to deliver them. Now I’m prepared for the next getting-married-again question that comes my way. I will use a reply borrowed from another widow: “I don’t need to get married again; I got it right the first time.”

Having vented what I wanted to in the above paragraphs I realized this blog entry was too short. So I consulted my friend Google to find a quote to go with it. What I found along the way was directions for “how to marry a widow.” I kid you not. There really is a page at eHow with that title. Step one, it says: proceed with caution. You think? I find that amusing and wonder why that step doesn’t apply to all people getting married. Do people really throw caution to the winds when they get married the first time? No one could ever say that about Don and me. We dated forever first. Though I guess I understand the point of step one. It means proceed with caution because you’d be marrying the widow’s family as well as the widow…and let’s not forget that ghost hanging over her shoulder. ©

"Lost love is still love,” Eddie from the book The Five People You Meet in Heaven said. 
“It just takes a different form, that's all.
You can't hold their hand, you can't tousle their hair.
But when those senses weaken, another one comes to life.
Memory becomes your partner, you hold it, you dance with it.
 Life has to end, Eddie, Love doesn't."


  1. I think timing is everything, you are still mourning Don's death so why would you be looking for a new person in your life? I know some people do find another partner but it is their decision when the time is right.

    I have people asking me will I seek "some company" now Ray is in a nursing home. I gusess they are people who do not know me that well.


  2. I agree, Sue. I also think some people are so dependent on having another person in their lives that they can't imagine be alone. They forget that when someone has been a caregiver as long as you and I both have been that we become very strong. If a 'second chance' comes along, it will come along but I sure don't need to go out looking for one.