2018 Valentine's Day

   When Carolyn had told me that she’d never been taken out for Valentine’s Day nor had even received roses or a card, I realized there was little I actually had to do for her to please her. That’s when I decided I’d try to give her a Valentine’s Day she’d never forget. There were roses and a card in the kitchen when she walked in for coffee that morning. There was a stretch limo on order to take us to and from the restaurant that evening. ("Madameoiselle, your chariot awaits," I had regally announced.)  And finally there was me, decked out in suit and tie, which I only wore if someone had died or was getting married. I don’t know what she’d actually thought of all this pomp and circumstance that first year; she never stopped giggling like a besmittened schoolgirl long enough to tell me.

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Widower Light

It occurs to me that as a sorrowing widower, I’m a lightweight. Readers who have commented on the blog talk of marriages that were twenty, thirty and forty years old before they ended in the death of the spouse. Carolyn and I were together for five years and married for less than four. Relative to time, where do I get off comparing my situation to any of theirs? Seriously, where do I get off?

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The Six Tides of Grief

VIEW: The Six Tides of Grief

I remember holding Carolyn’s hand as the nurse confirmed Carolyn had taken her last breath and she was now dead. In that single instant I believe I felt shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance all at once. It was a tsunami. Since that moment there’ve been one or two true tsunamis of grief, but most have been waves. But even the waves contain elements of all six of the so-called “stages” of grief. Eight months later, I still find myself shocked, in denial, angry, then I’m bargaining, depressed and finally accepting. All at once and in the space of time it takes to pour a cup of coffee. (And yes, one full of clouds, too.)

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