Please accept my condolences on the loss of your loved one. Whether it was a recent loss or whether it’s been some time, it’s still nice to know that someone recognizes your experience.
It’s been over seven years now since my husband passed, and new widows and widowers invariably ask me if it ever gets easier. It’s a hard question to answer. Parents of infants ask the same question of parents of teenagers. The older parents shrug, and say, well, it changes. I’ll answer the same way. It changes. We are starting a new life on very shaky feet. We first have to learn the mechanics of living alone and of being more independent and competent in basic activities of daily living. We have to deal with personal relationships, both with friends and with family. Once we get our basic life structure sorted out, we have to figure out again, what we want to be when we grow up. What parts of our past do we love and want to continue, and what parts of our lives might we want to give up? What have we always wanted to try? During this exploration, we may experience anxiety, frustration, even failures. There is no one to hug us at the end of the day to reassure us. Somehow, we have to find healthy ways to manage those difficult times.
In this issue, we offer some ideas that have been helpful for other people who have walked this path before us. I hope that you’ll find inspiration in each story. We recognize that not all marriages were perfect, but still, they are a thread in the fabric of life. Jane Milardo discusses rebuilding after the end of such a marriage. Carol Scibelli adds a humorous take on romance, while I contribute ideas on how to dress for a first date. But if staying home is more to your liking, Patty Chaffee helps you organize your craft corner, where expressive arts help with dealing with emotions and where you can make wonderful, affordable gifts. Rosemary Collins offers information about how foods can boost memory. Our featured widower this month is the inspiring Patricia Grassi. And we look back at a widower of yester-year, Mark Twain.
I wish you a spring filled with longer days of sunshine and flowers that have survived a winter. I’ll close with a quote from Christopher Robbin to Winnie the Pooh:
Promise me you’ll always remember,
You’re braver than you believe, and
Stronger than you seem, and
Smarter than you think.
All the best,
Dr. Joanne Z. Moore,