Try not to one-up each other in grief.

Most important thing to remember for everyone concerned: During the week or so around the death, every raw emotion is splayed out on the surface ready for everyone else to violate. Traps are freshly baited and waiting at every turn. It doesn't take much to turn a thoughtless comment into an inferno. It's what makes this so hard for all of us. So let's all take a breath and try to be kinder to one another, shall we? My Death Is Better Than Your Death is not a game any of us need to play.

How young is a young widow?

I was 45 when John died. I didn’t think I belonged in the elderly category of widows, those over 75 say, who have lost their spouses. On the other hand, I wasn’t young anymore either. I feel pretty well seasoned, especially now. So in looking for support after John died, I had a little trouble figuring out where to go, what category I fit into. Also, we didn’t have children, which made things different. Most of the younger widows had children to raise, a whole kettle of fish I couldn’t even begin to understand. Now I’m in specialized sub-category: >Widowed

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One more thing…

How else do I know what hurts and what helps? Because not only were they done to me… I learned through this process that I am certain to have done the very same "Don't" things to others at some point along the way. If you're one of them, I am genuinely sorry. I'm trying to learn.