Eighteen years ago I unexpectedly became a widow.

Together for almost 50 years, hubby and I met at a church outing at an ice skating rink. He was 14-years-old, I was 15 … a cougar before my time. Until the day he died, he never forgot what I was wearing when we met (white turtle-necked cable-knit sweater, black slacks (so-called in those days), a fluorescent green ribbon tying up a floppy pony tail, along with matching laces securing pristine white ice skates). He said he had come on the outing to check me out for a friend, to give a thumbs up (or maybe down) for his buddy. And in all the years we were together he never stopped reminding me that from the minute he saw me he knew I was the girl he was going to marry.

Although a part of life … coping with any type of loss is never easy. Its pain can make us want to crawl into bed, assume the fetal position, and pull the covers over our heads.  It can make us feel like the world should stop everything and hurt right along with us. But unfortunately life goes on in spite of us.

Finding a path out of sorrow is different for everyone.  Other than exhausting myself with work to dull my senses, I don’t remember much about the events of that first year. The only thing that stands out is advice from a friend having had the same experience.

“It takes about three years to get your bearings again,” she said, and she was right. On the first morning of the fourth year I remember sitting straight up in bed and thinking, “It’s going to be okay, I’m going to be all right.”

Widowhood is definitely not a choice I would have made for the golden years of my life. But when life gives us lemons, it is suggested we make lemonade. Moving forward it is my plan to continue with much of the same – faith, family, friends, work, travel and pleasant memories of the past.  And …  if I am lucky … this is the path that will continue to sustain me.

Pat Sargent says:

Oh, Anne, what a beautiful story to share with your loved ones and friends. As we grow older, we do think of “what if” and it’s very terrifying. Your story is one that inspires us to make each day count, keep the love and caring intact on a daily basis, and to remember that nothing is forever. Thank you!


sylvia Stevenson says:

That was a wonderful story, thanks for sharing it so beautifully! As a widow I can also relate…thanks so much! Sylvia S


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