Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Secret Fear

I don't blog about really serious subjects too often but it isn't because I don't think of them.  Sometimes I think of serious things too much.

One of them is widowhood.

A work friend returns to work today, a week after entering the club of widowhood. She is (more or less) my age.  I can not even imagine how difficult today will be for her.

I know another person, about five years younger than me, who also entered that state in the recent past.  For this woman,she went to work and came home to find her husband unresponsive. (heart attack).  How ironic that only the day before the woman received recognition for teaching Mission Meltaway, a course that helps people lose weight and gain in good health habits.  Meanwhile, her husband was a long time smoker.

And (I guess ironically, given the events of the last couple of days concerning the death of Osama Bin Laden) there was our co-worker who lost his son on September 11, making his pregnant daughter in law a widow at the same time.

For the woman returning to work today, it was a very long process to get to widowhood, over 6 years, of one health crisis after another, with her husband finally ending up in a nursing home. But anyone in that situation knows that caretaking doesn't end at the nursing home.  Its nature only changes.

That's the scary part about aging.  We don't know what will happen.  Will we have our health until the end?  Or will we end up in a slow decline, due to ill health, accidents, or both?  I think of that a lot with my back problems.  Will I be able to care for my spouse should something happen to him?

And, if we are in loving marriages, which my workfriend was, we know that one day we may either be the caregiver, or the caretaker.  Or both.  And, that one day, chances are we will enter the club that no woman wants to be a member of.  And how we will cope.  And how we will recover, and move on.

It's not something we like to think about.  But today, I am.


  1. As I grow older, this is a topic I think about. I've only had one friend widowed, and she was just in her early 30s at the time. There is nothing you can really do to prepare you for this - economically and logistically you can, but no real preparation. I understand what you are saying.

    Found you through the Blogaton 2011.

  2. I recently had a talk with my grandmother about nursing homes. I think that she wants to go to one eventually so that she is not a burden on anyone. I don't look at it that way, I would take her into my house as a thank-you, and as a true sign of love. She worries, though, because she is alone. She lost her husband (my grandfather) in a car accident over 30 years ago-at which time she entered the 'club'. She has coped and moved on, but it's definitely not something that was easy for her to do. I can only imagine.


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