Friday, June 12, 2015


My cousin is four days younger than me. She's been married--and widowed twice by cancer. The last time she came to visit me, we had a discussion about the differences between marriage and widowhood, especially later in life.

At sixty-five, I have never lived alone. I lived with my parents until I was eighteen, got married, and lived with my new husband. Forty seven years later, he's still around. While I believe I'm perfectly capable of managing on my own, taking care of the bits of life such as paying bills, managing a budget, getting the oil changed for the car, and yes, even doing minor repairs around the house, I know there are things a spouse or partner does to make life easier.

For instance, at our place, the hunk is the one who mops the floors, cleans the bathrooms, makes sure the toilet paper supply is up to snuff, and carries out the trash. He also does most of the grocery shopping, tops off the gas tank in the car, and keeps track of the bills and checking account. If necessary, I could manage all those chores, but my life would be significantly tougher.

I have several friends who are single by choice. They manage their lives, make choices, take care of themselves without any problem. I have a notion though that a woman who's always had someone else to share the load with, would have a major adjustment after she loses her spouse. Not because she's incapable, but simply because she's always had someone to bounce ideas from. Someone to share the decision making with. Heck...someone to fetch the roll of toilet paper when it runs out.

There are lots of shades to the companionship and relationship of a longterm marriage or partnership. Something to think about when a friend or acquaintance loses a spouse...


  1. Sharing, in all of the forms it can take, both good and bad, is what makes long term relationships.

  2. I agree - it would be difficult after a long marriage/relationship to find oneself alone. But I know women who do very well-- it's usually the woman, isn't it.