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…Continue
Added by Florence Isaacs on January 15, 2015 at 11:39am — No Comments
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…Continue
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. What are your thoughts?
My "take" is that this is a very private anniversary — and when others forget the date it does not mean they are forgetting your husband — or you. Sometimes people think mentioning the subject would…Continue
Added by Florence Isaacs on November 19, 2014 at 2:54pm — No Comments
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…Continue
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…Continue
Added by Florence Isaacs on September 10, 2014 at 12:30pm — No Comments
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?
Added by Florence Isaacs on August 19, 2014 at 10:00am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Florence Isaacs on July 2, 2014 at 7:00am — No Comments
Added by Florence Isaacs on June 13, 2014 at 2:00pm — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Florence Isaacs on May 5, 2014 at 1:55pm — No Comments
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.…Continue
First, select a dating…Continue
Added by Florence Isaacs on March 10, 2014 at 9:30am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Florence Isaacs on January 23, 2014 at 1:00pm — No Comments
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…Continue
Q. My husband suffered with on-and-off mental health problems in the two years before he died, and our life was very difficult. He refused to seek help despite my pleading, and he lost interest in everything except sex. During that period, I received a holiday greetings email from a former boss of mine, who was 20 years older than I. He had been a mentor, always very kind, and we began to exchange emails. Because he was someone I could trust, I wound…Continue
Added by Florence Isaacs on December 5, 2013 at 10:00am — No Comments
Q. My husband recently died after a long illness, and I’d like to join a bereavement group. I have a choice between a group that meets nearby, which is for people who have lost any family member — and a group that’s further away, but is solely for widows and widowers. Does it really matter if I opt for convenience?
Yes, it does. The “general” bereavement group is likely to include many people who have lost elderly parents, siblings or other…Continue
Added by Florence Isaacs on November 21, 2013 at 11:00am — No Comments
I haven’t found any statistics, except for some that go back to the 1950s…Continue
Added by Florence Isaacs on November 8, 2013 at 11:00am — No Comments
Q: I’ve heard that it’s important to make new friends after you’re widowed. Why is that so and what’s your advice on meeting new people?
A: Your friends are more important than ever after your husband dies, providing emotional and social support that helps you negotiate the grieving process and get back on your feet. They know who you are and who your mate was — no explanations necessary. They know your history and share memories that comfort and…Continue
Added by Florence Isaacs on September 19, 2013 at 12:46pm — No Comments
It’s only human to ask, “Am I doing the right thing?” However, frequency of cemetery…Continue
Added by Florence Isaacs on August 15, 2013 at 9:00am — No Comments
Q. My late husband and I used to invite friends over for dinner occasionally, but I haven’t “entertained” since he died. Part of me wants to try it, but the rest of me feels overwhelmed at the thought. Any suggestions?
First realize that it’s natural to feel daunted. You’re no longer part of a couple, and everything is different. Yet you’ve somehow handled many new situations since your husband’s death. Entertaining solo is just another step forward in…Continue
Added by Florence Isaacs on July 30, 2013 at 11:30am — No Comments
Q. I want to arrange for perpetual care for my late husband’s grave, but am not quite sure what’s involved, how to proceed, and how much it will cost. Also, what’s the difference between perpetual care and a permanent maintenance fund?
Most states require cemeteries regulated by the state to establish a permanent endowed fund for cemetery maintenance. The principal cannot be withdrawn from the fund; but the income derived pays for annual upkeep—services…Continue