Over pastrami sandwiches, my new boyfriend said to me: “One of my ex-lovers is going to be at the conference I’m attending next week. We’ll be sharing a room and sleeping together.”
I blinked away tears. “I never wanted to know that.”
“Are you okay?” the man in the parking lot asked me. “What do you need?”
I was looking in frustration at my boyfriend, Greg, who had blocked me in with his car. Greg was yelling at me, just as he had during much of our 45-minute drive from San Francisco to the train station parking lot where I’d left my car. It was turning out to be one of the worst days of my life since I’d been widowed in 2013.
So, the part I don’t understand: Why does it take a celebrity to draw attention to this most basic of human conditions?
800,000 people are widowed each year in the United States. Still, we’re uncomfortable talking about death and the uncontrolled emotions that come with it. We don’t discuss the grieving process. When a Sheryl Sandberg or a Patton Oswalt describes what it really feels like to lose a spouse, it’s a revelation. Yet, we all know widowed people, and if they’re anything like me, they want to share, not feel like they have an embarrassing condition.
Loneliness was the hardest thing I faced when I lost my husband. The people who reached out to me when I was newly widowed probably saved my life.
I rushed into dating far too quickly after my husband George died. I waited 14 months before joining an online dating site, but it was still too soon, at least for me. I could have saved myself a lot of pain by waiting longer.
After my mother died, my father--who loved me with his heart, had to learn to love me with his head.
I think the holidays look terrible to us because they don't look how they're supposed to look. But we're the ones who get to decide what the holidays look like. Not the Hallmallmark Channel. Not Plenty of Fish . Not a viagra ad.
I gave myself the best gift I could this holiday season. I let go of the resentment I'd been carrying around since my husband died.
Since my husband George died in 2013, I get really depressed over the holidays.
With him gone and having little family myself, the season doesn’t look how I think it’s supposed to...But I’ve I realized, I’m the one who gets to decide how things are supposed to look. Not the Hallmark Channel.
It's easy to blurt out the wrong thing when trying to comfort a mourner. Whatever you do, avoid these awkward, even hurtful, phrases.
After my husband died, I thought I'd die of loneliness. It was so hard losing him to cancer, watching him disintegrate when there was nothing I could do about it...But even worse was being alone after he died.
We don't talk about loneliness like it's an illness. But it seems like one to me. A big umbrella of an illness
One night, I told my boyfriend,"You used to call me beautiful all the time..." The next night when he said he was too tired to come over I complained, "I really need to see you tonight, I'm lonely." And the worst cliche, when he joked we'd eaten too much at an all-inclusive resort, I bleated, "Do I look fat?"...Read on for how I tackle my neediness problem.