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

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Something's Always Missing

Please tell me I’m not the only old lady who occasionally sees a nicely chiseled guy in the prime of his life and says to her self, “Wow, that guy is hot!” I don’t mean that in a cougar kind of stalking of male flesh way. I’m thinking more along the lines of admiring a marble statue of Michelangelo’s. Maybe it’s all those nude figure drawing classes I had back in college that has me looking when a guy is flexing his wares out in public or maybe I’m just enjoying the memories that go with seeing young people out having a carefree, good time. Whatever it is, I saw a “wow guy” today while walking the nature trail. He was standing next to his high tech bike drinking water and I thought, what’s not to like about a good looking guy with a hot body in spandex who has an onboard computer display in the handlebars of his bike? I’d lust after one of those high tech bikes but I don’t think they come with training wheels. I asked that exact question at the bike shop last summer and the salesman laughed. He thought I was joking. I wasn’t.

While driving home from the nature trail I heard George Strait on the radio singing, “There's a difference in living and living well. You can't have it all, all by yourself. Something's always missing ‘til you share it with someone else. There's a difference in living and living well.” Last summer those lyrics would have had me pulling off the road and crying my widowhood encrusted eyes out. Today, upon hearing that song, I found myself admiring how country western song writers can summarize so many common human thoughts into so few words. Like the guy in the song, I have my share of creature comforts and from the outside looking in my post-Don life might look full and even happy again. I’m sure that’s the way some family and friends view my transition since he died---especially the ones who think caregiving a disabled spouse is a hardship beyond their capability. But the freedom to come and go at will doesn’t make up for that “something’s always missing” feeling that walks hand-in-hand with widowhood.

I’ve taken up drinking in my old age. Not really but I do have my niece to thank for taking me to a micro brewery/restaurant that has over 100 different beers on their menu and five-six types of hard cider. They are generous with handing out samples and after trying the cider I ordered a glass. Then last night I shocked long time friends who in all our 45 years of going out to dinner together have rarely seen me order any kind alcohol. It felt perfectly natural to be sipping on my cider while they had their beer but, of course, they made a big to-do over the change. That made me feel slightly sad (and maybe a little annoyed) over how changes in my life are probably getting erroneously chalked up the “freedom” of widowhood. The real fact is Don’s death didn’t have a damn thing to do with my drink choice. I’ve never seen hard cider on a menu before this month and since I’ve always had a fascination with Colonial Times I was curious about the taste of hard cider. Oh, my God, it’s smooth! No wonder it was the favorite drink in the thirteen colonies.

The cider fiasco got me thinking. If I can get hypersensitive over a false perception of “cutting loose” is it any wonder that some widows experience guilty feelings when the fog of widowhood is lifting? People are judging us! We get patted on the head for drinking a fricking glass of cider, for crying out loud. Stick a toothpick in the widow and see if she’s done grieving yet. Sure, I’ve found the map to the healing path and I’m on it. But no matter what I might do or become in the future, no matter how many “wow guys” I might admire in passing the feeling that something’s always missing will stay with me forever. ©


  1. Yes, Jean, always something missing. A cup of hollow happiness.

  2. "A cup of hollow happiness"---I love that phrase. Hugs to you for sharing it.

  3. Just popped over from TGB to say hello!

  4. Of course something is and will be, always missing. So--what can you do about it? Nuttin' Honey. I have never drank alcohol in my entire life, but the other day I thought about buying a bottle of Peach Schnapps to go with my orange juice. I didn't, but I thought about it. I know, if my kids or friends ever saw me drinking, they would think the same thing "Widow is going nuts." Something is missing, but--we have so few years left--can we just try to live and enjoy them a bit? Coming up on 18 months and I have to be truthful--I wouldn't wish him back to have to again, go through what he did. To me--and this is just my opinion, worshiping at the shrine of widowhood is very selfish. As it says at the top of my blog, "You can either keep walking in misery or make the decision to begin taking steps out of it." Onward and Upward--ever forward!!!

  5. Welcome to my blog, Judy! I like your attitude. I'll check yours out later this weekend when I have more time. I agree with you about so much you've written here and on the my two blog entries. If I remember correctly what you wrote else where about the date your husband passed, we became widows within 17 days of each other.