Friday, January 15, 2010


Before widowhood, I really, truly thought I knew a lot. I supposed I knew how I should/would/could react in a variety of situations. How others should/could/would act. The 'right' the 'wrong' in a plethora of situations. What a variety of other people's actions meant regarding their thoughts or mental state.
I was wrong. So very wrong.
I remember so clearly having a conversation with Jeff about what we would do if the other were to die. I remember what both of us believed we would do. And now, unfortunately, I know what I would do.
I can tell you that I have been grieving. Pining. Aching. But it has not been how I ever imagined widowhood to be. And I cannot tell you how it has been for me, because ultimately it will be different, if slightly, for you.
One thing I have stumbled upon, is that most widows don't judge each other. We link arms and laugh with and at each other's strategies for survival post-spouse. I wish that I could always stay wrapped in that comfortable comraderie that other widows provide. But, alas, I cannot and I must often face the outside world. The world where I feel that others think they know how they would act wearing my, or your, shoes...and judge harshly.
I find that it makes it all so much harder and alienating. So, thank you, my widow-sisters and widower-brothers for understanding and not judging. Thank you for laughing with me and not at me. Thank you for not measuring my pain and deciding if my loss is any more or less worthy than your own. I love you. I couldn't have gotten this far without you.

Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't.
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 - 1962)


  1. Awesome Jackie. My Jimmy and I had talked about what it would be like too. It's turned out to be completely different than I had imagined - not in a worse or better way - just different. The biggest shock of all is that I completely expected that I would die too, but 19 months later, here I am. No one is more surprised about that than me. I wake up every morning amazed that I am still here without him and even more amazed that I drag myself out of our nest and fly out into the world. It is so much easier to be in the company of other widows/widowers. I wouldn't wish this on any one else ever, but it helps to know that there are others who know instantly when they learn you are a widow/widower too - they just know.

  2. Unfortunately, I know exactly what you mean. You expressed it perfectly!

  3. I thank you for this post, Jackie. It spoke to me tonight, and the fact that you quote Eleanor Roosevelt is the icing on the cake:) One of my favorite E.R. quotes is: "women are a lot like tea never know how strong they are until you put them in hot water>"