after death did us part

Tagwidowed

Slowly Healing and Purging

S

It’s taken me a long time to be able to talk about the abuse my kids and I endured when my late husband was alive. Lots of therapy and soul searching have let me see him for what he was and allowed me to reclaim myself. There’s nothing like that feeling when we realize that we are more than capable to take care of things—whatever those things are. I have found so much strength that I didn’t...

International Widows’ Day

I

The UN has June 23 designated as International Widows’ Day. (You can click here to go to their website with more information and resources.) My first reaction when I heard that there was a day for widows was “meh.” But after reading the UN’s website, I realized that this day isn’t for widows like me. While I may often feel the stigma people still attach to widowhood...

Anniversaries After He’s Gone

A

Some widowed people commemorate their wedding anniversaries with fond remembrances or celebrations. Not me. Surprisingly, he didn’t want me to memorialize him at all—not on holidays, his birthday, his deathday, anything. “That just roots you in the past. Move on,” he said. I thank him for that one moment of clarity on his deathbed. Still, the societal norm of posting old...

Rebuilding… Just about Everything

R

I got to visit with on of my absolute best friends from college the other day. It was only for a couple of hours while she and her family drove through town on the way to visit family, but it was so good to see her. It’s been almost three years–long distances and busy lives do that. But our friendship was icy for many years. We talked for a long time about what most people...

The Sh*t I’ve Found 2: “Calling Cards”

T

The other day I was cleaning out a bookshelf and hauling all his books to sell at the second-hand book store in town. He didn’t read much, by the way. But along with selling some of his old vinyl records, I paid for dinner. 😀 Tucked back in the shelf, I found his little book of business cards. Cards from his co-workers, business associates, and some old ones that I know those people had...

My House Is Not a Shrine

M

One of my neighbors told me that her mother passed away over twenty years ago. My friend was in her early twenties at the time. Her dad never cleaned out her mother’s side of the closet. Over twenty years later, he was still living with his late wife’s clothes and belongings where she’d left them. My heart goes out to him. I know a woman in her late sixties who was widowed a few months ago. I...

A Widowed Mother’s Day

A

Before I was widowed, my late husband would help the kids make breakfast for me on Mother’s Dad. He would help them shop or clean or whatever. Recently, their grandparents asked them what they were going to do for me. Get me a card? Do something nice? Their grandfather said, “You should clean the kitchen.” When I got this report, I thought it was a little strange that they...

Grief, Peace, and Relief

G

Recently, I got to visit my oldest, dearest friend. We’ve been friends since elementary school. We’ve been through a lot together, but I never told her how difficult my husband had been to live with until our visit. It’s taken me three years to unpack things and feel able to talk about what I went through. Some people who knew him used to call him a hard ass or say he was demanding. His friends...

The Sh*t I’ve Found 1: Music

T

When we clean out closets and drawers and places, the things we find often spark memories. Not all these memories are good ones. For me, many of these are reminders that he wanted me to be someone I wasn’t. Cleaning out stuff is like upsetting the bottom of the lake and muddying the waters. That’s how it feels to me. I know that after I clean out the clutter, the water will clear. When I got my...

When to Break Promises

W

When we’re in the middle of grief, sometimes we make promises to ourselves or about ourselves that don’t serve us well later. For example, a few weeks after I returned to work, I had a conversation with a coworker friend. He and his wife were a couple who we had considered friends. I told him that I’d never date, that we’d always be a little family of three. At the time, I believed it. But as my...

after death did us part

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