Florence Isaacs's Blog (45)

What To Do When Your Travel Companion Must Cancel a Trip

Q. I planned a vacation in Europe with a widow friend, who lives in another state. Five days before departure, she was hospitalized for a sudden, serious health problem and had to drop out. I was able to cancel everything but the nonrefundable air fare. The latter…

Added by Florence Isaacs on September 16, 2015 at 10:30am — No Comments

Comparing Widowhood and Divorce

Flickr Creative Commons | Nicholas Copernicus

Q. In the last year or so, a divorced acquaintance told me, "Divorce is just as devastating as the death of your husband." Another said, "Divorce is worse." The remarks came from out of the blue. I felt…


Added by Florence Isaacs on September 11, 2015 at 3:00pm — 1 Comment

Widows and Siblings

Wikimedia Commons | LJP assistant

Q. My sister and I have had a rocky relationship for much of our lives, yet we seem to be drawing closer now that my husband has died. Is this unusual?

According to family therapist Karen…


Added by Florence Isaacs on August 14, 2015 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Displaying Photographs of Your Late Husband

(Flickr Creative Commons | Reviving Memories)

Q. In my bedroom I display an 8x10 photo of my late husband at his best. Smaller photos that include him (shots of happy family events and our many trips) are scattered…


Added by Florence Isaacs on June 22, 2015 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

Burial Issues Confront Widows in New Relationships

Q. I am happily remarried after six years as a widow. My first husband is buried in a family plot I purchased when he died. My own plot is right next to his. The graves of my parents and other relatives are in the same cemetery. However, my second husband talks about me being buried with him in another state, close to his children.…


Added by Florence Isaacs on April 6, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments

Why More Widowers Date, Remarry Than Widows

Q. I lost my husband about a year ago, and still am not ready for dating. Yet widowers I know (or have heard about) seem to be interested in a new relationship almost right away. How come?

Both research and demographics confirm your observations. In a 1996 Annals of Clinical Psychiatry study of…


Added by Florence Isaacs on March 18, 2015 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

Facing Valentine's Day: 5 Tips for Widows

Q. I'm facing my first Valentine's Day since my husband died. We used to exchange fun gifts and go out to dinner to celebrate, and I dread spending it without him this year. How do others handle it?

Valentine's Day without your spouse can be hard, especially for the first time. It's one of those…


Added by Florence Isaacs on February 9, 2015 at 10:30am — No Comments

A Guide for Widows on Acknowledging Condolences

Q. My husband died a few months ago, and I've got a pile of sympathy cards and notes to respond to, not to mention messages posted on the funeral home website and elsewhere online. He knew a lot of people. Do I have to write to everyone, and how much time do I have to do it? I feel overwhelmed.

Responding to expressions of sympathy has always been a monumental task for widows. It's hard enough to put one foot in…


Added by Florence Isaacs on January 15, 2015 at 11:30am — No Comments

Give a Little, Get a Lot: What Volunteering Offers to Widows

Q. A friend of mine, a widow like myself, volunteers at a soup kitchen every year at holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m thinking of joining her, but I’ve never volunteered before. What do you think?

A Chinese proverb advises, “If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else.” I’ve found that to be true and I know many other widows who have added meaning to their lives through volunteer work at…


Added by Florence Isaacs on December 19, 2014 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments

Remembering When Your Husband Died

Flickr Creative Commons | Ares Nguyen

Q. Why don’t people remember the anniversary of my husband’s death? Even my husband’s sister and brother don’t seem to be aware of it or mark it in any way. It bothers me that he’s forgotten.…


Added by Florence Isaacs on November 19, 2014 at 2:30pm — No Comments

When Couples Who Are Friends Disappear After Your Husband Dies

Q: I find that my relationships with some couple friends have changed dramatically since I’ve been widowed. In some cases, I’ve been dropped entirely from their social calendar; in others the wife is available for lunch or dinner only during the week and only alone. Is there anything I can do about…


Added by Florence Isaacs on October 21, 2014 at 1:00pm — 2 Comments

Solo Vacations for Widows

Q. I’m in my 50s and thinking of taking a vacation by myself so I can meet some new people. But I’m also frightened. I’ve never traveled completely alone before, although my late husband and I saw much of the world together. Do you have any suggestions?

I think you’re brave. Many widows share your anxiety. Yet…


Added by Florence Isaacs on September 10, 2014 at 12:30pm — No Comments

How to Create a Widow's 'In Memoriam' for Her Late Husband

Q. I’d like to run an in memoriam for my late husband in the newspaper obituary section. Is there any time limit?  (My husband died four years ago.)  What should I say, and when is the best time to do it?

There’s no expiration date for loving and…


Added by Florence Isaacs on August 19, 2014 at 10:00am — No Comments

Should Out-of-Towners Attend Your Spouse's Funeral or Visit Later?

Q. My husband has been desperately ill for a long time, and I’ve been told it’s only a matter of weeks now. Close friends who live far away have asked whether I prefer they fly in for the funeral – or visit me afterward. They can’t do both,…


Added by Florence Isaacs on July 2, 2014 at 7:00am — No Comments

Learn to Ask for Help After Your Husband Dies

Q. How can I deal with all the details I must handle now that my husband is no longer here? He died three months ago, and I feel like I’m drowning. How do other women do it?

Having to do everything yourself, including the…


Added by Florence Isaacs on June 13, 2014 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Advice for Widows on Philanthropy

Q. I’m thinking of leaving some money in my will to the college I attended. When my husband was alive, we gave more to his alma mater than mine, and I want to make up for it. Should I let the school know about my plan?  Or is it enough to just mention the bequest in my will?…


Added by Florence Isaacs on May 5, 2014 at 1:30pm — No Comments

More Online Dating Tips for Widows, Part Two

Q. I’ve tried online dating on a variety of websites, but have never been interested in continuing to see someone after a first meeting for coffee or lunch. There hasn’t been any chemistry. Any advice? I had a very good marriage and my friends say my standards are too high. But I’m not willing to just “settle.”…


Added by Florence Isaacs on April 9, 2014 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

Ten Online Dating Tips for Widows, Part One

Q. I’m considering online dating for the first time since the death of my husband. I have no idea how or where to start. Can you give me some direction?

First, select a dating website that feels congenial. This isn’t as easy as it…


Added by Florence Isaacs on March 10, 2014 at 9:30am — No Comments

How to Help Another Widow

Q. My friend’s husband died several months ago, and she’s having a very hard time. She’s on the verge of becoming a recluse and won’t consider a bereavement group or counseling. How can I help her? I’m a widow myself, but I’ve tried everything I can think of.

Not everyone is open to joining a bereavement group…


Added by Florence Isaacs on January 23, 2014 at 1:00pm — No Comments

A Widow's Dilemma: Should I Ask About a Potential Partner's Health Status?

Q. My husband was very sick for years before he died. Although I loved him dearly, I’m now ready for a new relationship. But I’m not willing to be a nurse again. I recently met someone and want to know about the state of his health before I get too involved. I need your advice on…


Added by Florence Isaacs on January 6, 2014 at 1:00pm — 1 Comment

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