Me – interested in knowing?

I am a Canadian. Emigrated from the United States in 2007. How I came to be here is a long, long story, but the short version is I met a man on the Internet – a lot of things happened – and now we are married.

I am a former English teacher (20 years) who can write, but can’t spell, pursued a writing career that was mostly confined to the Internet, taught a bit of yoga here and there and now I dabble in politics.

I wrote for a site called 50 Something Moms for a while and later wrote about education, politics and current events for

I am always writing a novel.

Some very interesting people – who actually write and are published in some pretty amazing places – tell me I have the right stuff. But getting published hasn’t happened  and isn’t as important to me as it once was.

But I am mainly a creative non-fiction writer. I’ve taught the odd workshop on blogging, and havea first draft of a memoir completed though I am reluctant to finish it and more so as time passes.

Everyone writes a book in the aftermath of tragedy and death (or blogs about it) but most have nothing new to add to the conversation. I am likely no exception, and I have come to think that tragedy doesn’t make you insightful, but writing about it can make you “dramatic”, which isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Which reminds me, if you are here because you are looking for help in the aftermath of young widowhood – I can recommend a forum called Widda, a younger widowed community where all manner of widows share and support each other. Or just type a search on Facebook. Lots of communities there now. Much more help to be found online than when I was widowed over a decade ago.

I really like to read comments. I do try to reply when time permits. I screen comments, however, and don’t post anonymous ones. I won’t necessarily delete nasty comments, but I reserve the write to reply and not give you the last word.

I don’t take criticism any better than anyone else, but I do accept that sometimes I deserve it.

Flaming of me, or other commenters, because you are having “issues” is not allowed because I lived enough of that crap in my days on the message boards of yore, and on Twitter right now, and I will remove anything offensive, decline to post it or if I am particularly annoyed – I’ll blog about it and quote you.

If you’ve read this, please leave a comment. I love to hear from people who stop by even if they don’t plan to come back.  Just leave a note here.

Otherwise, thanks for stopping by.

134 thoughts on “Me – interested in knowing?

  1. I just wish to say that I’m glad I stumbled across you on Twitter. I think you are bright and I think your opinions (and occasional rage) perfectly justified. Best wishes. Stay safe.

  2. Dear Annie,

    I might have a slightly different view reading your blog. My mother passed away suddenly from cancer about three months ago an my father just started dating again. It feels way too soon to me and my sister, but they met in an organic way and my sister already isn’t talking to him because of it. I’m trying to take a more objective view and gather data before I form an opinion. Until then I have been forced into the peace maker role between my father and my sister. Any pointers you might have would be very helpful. I love may dad, but this is a difficult situation.

    1. Jordynn, I am sorry for your loss and that on top of this you find yourself in a situation where you are having to referee between your Dad and sister.

      It sounds like your Dad met someone and formed a connection that probably wasn’t something he expected but felt was genuine and important enough to pursue. Difficult for you and your sister – and this is going to be hard for you both to hear – but really not your place to judge.

      Your dad’s relationship with your mother and his grief over her death is not going to be the same as yours or your sister. How could it be? And just like the two of you expect him to respect your decisions and right to live life as you see fit, you need to allow him the same freedom.

      That’s not to say that this isn’t painful and you might not be ready to open yourselves to someone new as he has. But, if he isn’t asking you to do more than be polite, he isn’t doing anything wrong in terms of grief because there really aren’t any rules.

      Lots of people start dating again in the first year of widowhood. Many within months. It’s okay for him to date. It doesn’t mean he isn’t grieving. It’s not a reflection on his love for your mom or their relationship.

      And it’s okay for your sister to be upset and need space but, in my opinion, she shouldn’t be expecting you to run interference for her. You have your own feelings to process and perhaps you should think about setting some boundaries. Those things you feel comfortable doing and those things your sister really should be doing herself.

      If you haven’t yet, have a talk with your dad. Explain how you are feeling. Ask him what he needs from you and tell him what you need from him. Talking/sharing is really the only way through grief. Being angry and shutting people out makes it more painful and ups the risk of damaging relationships.

      And you might want to think about seeking out a counselor or grief group. Just for you. Find someone you can talk to. It really does help.

      Good luck. And be gentle with yourself.

  3. Dear Annie,
    Where do I start? I live in a small town everyone knows everyone.
    I was married for 32 years . My wife taught for 34 years at the same school .
    She was killed in a car accident 4 months ago. It has devastated this town .. I loved my wife and I miss her . I have excepted the fact that she’s not coming back . I wish I could have my old life back, but anybody knows that’s not going to happen. My wife and I had a conversation years ago if something should happen to one or the other . I can’t be alone and she knew that and said you will need to find someone as for her she was fine to go it alone .. She had a strong personality extrovert and that’s what attracted me to her. In her words she was one and done ! She was crazy funny … That’s I’ll I think about was the fun and hilarious times we had.
    So here’s where I’m at . I don’t want to be alone I will never get the fun life that I had .. Also I have 2 adult children a daughter that is married 2 years now 29
    And a son 25 not married living out of town .
    So this brings me to a high school girl that has been a friend to all my nieghborhood friends and I didn’t know her as well but she had been to some reunion high school dinner parties we had so she had met my wife twice . She had been married for 25 years divorced and he got cancer soon after and passed away 9 years ago .has 2 adult kids that have families .
    She was at the funeral . She would check on me after the funeral text just to see how I was .
    Last month I went with her and her friend to eat and we had a great time . We went a few weeks later . We went to see a band both girls and I . We have been texting and talking on the phone .. We both like each other nothing physical yet mainly because of me , not that I don’t want to but the close people around me that were my wife’s friends and mine are not happy with it . My neighborhood friends are good with it but 3 really close friends that live in my town think not enough time has passed … I hate being alone I wanted to be married ever sense I was a kid … I have never been the type that has been happy all by my self … It’s just me that’s the way I have been my whole life .. I live being with others .. This girl .. I say girl were both the same age 57 … Makes me happy and I make her happy … I don’t want to disappoint any one but I’m the only one alone here and she makes me happy. I feel I’m ready to move on am I crazy to think that ? Yes it’s only been 4 months but she’s not coming back and I want to live my life and be happy. I will never forget her or stop talking about the funny times we had and the great memories … But I can’t see sitting around and waiting for someone to tell me it’s ok now … Unless I’m supposed to learn from this nightmare that I was delt !
    I can tell you can give a straight up answer from what your experience has been
    So let me have it … Just wanna know if I’m crazy out of my mind or just someone who is taking the memories and looking to find happiness and make some new ones

    1. You will never make everyone happy. There will always be people who believe their are set in stone rules for widowed people and that waiting to date is necessary for “reasons”.

      You know who you are, what you need and what you want to do. And you don’t need anyone’s permission.

      It’s not strange at all for widowed to find relationships early on. I was about six months out when I started online dating. My husband was only four months out when he met me and we began what would become a serious relationship and lead to our marriage just six months later.

      He was upfront with his daugthers (in their early 20’s then) and with extended family and friends about his desire to date and remarry again. If you haven’t made your feelings known widely (and especially to your kids), you should. My husband also took the opportunity to remind people that he was a grown man who made his own decisions and didn’t run his life by committee. He did this about 2 months after his wife died. Not expecting or actively trying to meet anyone. No one expected him to either.

      When he met me, this were a bit unsettled for daughters and family but he stood firm and they dealt with their feelings without being disruptive or negative towards me or my daughter. 10 years on, we are all better for my husband having been proactive and honest with everyone.

      Long story short – let your kids, extended family and friends know what you’ve told me. And then be happy. Honestly, the idea that widowhood has to be a hellish slog is not helpful to anyone. Yes, you will still continue to grieve. Yes milestones and moments out of the blue will dog you through life but life absolutely is still filled with wonder, joy and love. There is no good reason to miss out on these things.

      1. Thank you so much for your input … I truly appreciate that and thanks for confirming that I’m not totally crazy … I just had a good conversation with her tonight about how I feel . That I’m done worrying about everyone else and that we are friends now and I would like to see where it would go between us .. she was glad that I brought it up and I could talk about it. She said that she is interested in me as friends and would love to get to know me better and see where it goes . She enjoys me and knows I enjoy her and she said no pressure . She wants to get to know me and when I feel like moving forward we can do so. She feels good that we can discuss it and be open about this and feels that we have a good heathy start to a good relashionship if we feel like we both want to move forward romantically .. I will share this with my immediate
        Family… thanks so much

  4. I’m in the throws of a new relationship with a widower who is everything that my husband of 35 years was not . I walked away from
    An abusive marriage , after 35 years .
    He was verbally, emotionally and then financially abusive .. Thank God I had my own job and the ability to walk away to protect myself and my grown adult children. So
    After 3 years a lovely man found me on the Internet and bam I fell in love , and yes dealing with his past and healing together .
    But if I had to go by CHERS advice “it’s in his kiss”. I would say YES!
    So after reading your blog I confronted him after dating almost a year to say I’m sympathetic and not asking for commitment now BUT , I can’t live in your past . I don’t pull you into mine , Seems to have made a big difference so far he’s been trying to stay in the here and now for us which is where I need to be and we need to be , eyes forward to a new and happy future it’s the only way to move on we both deserve to be happy , keep you posted .
    Thanks !!!!!

  5. Hi there, I wanted to reply to an old post of yours about Lisa Parker (who the film Eastern Promises is dedicated to), but couldn’t on the page itself, so here I am replying elsewhere.

    I was in movie shipping/logistics a few years back and worked with Lisa many times. One of my first big projects was The Constant Gardener and Lisa was the production coordinator. She was friendly, understanding and bubbly, no matter how tough things were. We got on so well that I was always put onto films where she was the production coordinator/manager.

    She used to come to my office in this big old Jag, which was loaded with everything she could conceivably need. She loved that car. When I got married, she sent me a bottle of champagne. She was always so kind and decent.

    She was clean living, but seemed to work too hard. Long hours, a crazy workload and plenty of stress: that’s the movie business, but she was such a manic character, she always seemed to be going above and beyond.

    I think I’d started work on Eastern Promises when she suddenly stopped answering emails and calls. As I recall, the line manager told us she’d had a stroke and was in hospital. My boss remarked that it had to be something to do with how hard she worked herself. We sent flowers and asked for updates. A few days later, I learnt that she’d passed away.

    If you’re wondering why I’m sending you this so many years later, it’s because I was just watching a TV show starring Shirley Henderson, who I believe Lisa was friends with. Whenever I catch a movie that Lisa and I worked on, I remember her with fondness. A special lady and a terrible loss.

    1. Thanks for sharing this.

      I love hearing from people who knew her. I had to close the comments on that post because it got hijacked by a few people in the comment section.

      Everyone who has stopped by and shared though just confirm my belief that the the quote “she lives life close to the heart” was an accurate one and something we should all hope to have said about us one day.

  6. Thank you for the blog Annie. I have been on a roller coaster with a man who is widowed. It’s been 8 years for him – and he pretty much entombed himself in the house with memories and never “talked” about all this grief with anyone. He then went looking on a dating site – after 8 years – for someone else to try to start new with. It’s been extremely difficult dealing with the photos of the ex, his words of how his kids had to accept me too (they are grown and have families of their own), and all this other stuff.
    I have told him now that he should have thought about a woman’s feelings when he went trolling for someone new. And reading your comments in another post hit the nail on the head. I get tired of the excuses, especially when it’s been 8 years for him now to grieve and move on.
    Now I feel that I am his “stepping stone” to start moving on – but at the same time, I am sick from the roller coaster ride. And no one – as you said – deserves this.
    When I’ve talked to some other women in my life about what is going on – you hear the same old crap about “well, he obviously loved his wife…” and how i should see that as positive and give this “time”. B.S.
    The first major kick in the heart was when i asked him how often he goes to the grave to see his ex? I read about this grave-visiting in Abel Keogh’s online material. I nearly threw up when I learned this this man still, years after his wife died, goes to the grave EVERY Saturday to put “fresh flowers” out. Sadly, we were usually sleeping together on a Friday night into Saturday and apparently he would go out to see his dead wife that afternoon! I wanted to puke.
    His response was that he just goes there by habit to tidy things up. I told him it’s not normal.
    Shortly after we met he told me he went to her grave because he had to talk to her because “she’s the only one who understood me.” Again, I wanted to puke.

    He still has her wedding photo with him among his facebook photos and sadly, I happened to “friend” him and see those images and finally saw the photo of the tombstone he put on her grave. Essentially, the way I see it now, he died when she died. He put up an elaborate stone for BOTH of them with both their names engraved and his date of birth to his future death so they can also be buried together. She died when he was in his late 30s. It was a little early in life to be expecting your death – and I lost it. I told him how i felt about all this.

    He has spoken to me about how much he loves me and how i have showed him it’s possible to “love again” – and that he wants to marry me. Well, where is he going to put me one day if I die? Across town? In another state? I don’t have children or a big family. He does. Where do i fit into this scenario?

    He doesn’t get that question if i ask it – he doesn’t understand why I ask it.

    Obviously he is planned to be planted next to his loving wife who died years ago. The stone is elaborate – flower holders on both sides, engraved with angels and symbols of love and wedding rings and their three girl’s names, etc. etc. It’s like he fell into the grave next to her when she died!

    He now says that he didn’t “hide” the stone from me – but essentially – he did. He didn’t tell me he died with her! And he doesn’t seem to realize how it strikes me that if he and i did marry some day – I would NOT want to go visit his grave next to his exwife! And how if I died some day before him and we were married – I would not be next to my spouse – HIM.

    He’ll never move out of the house “they” shared – he has made that clear.

    He had her name tattooed on himself and the words “i’ll find a way to reach you.”

    He is 48.
    He adopted her girls when they were very young.

    Apparently he thought that any new person in his life should just accept all of this with no heartache or being creeped-out.

    And to hear how they knew each other “since grade school” and how “she understood me” and other crap – I just don’t need to hear it.

    As you said, I should be the center of his life – full disclosure of everything – as I have done with him. I shouldn’t have to keep finding these things that beat me up emotionally and physically.

    I get so mad that he went went looking for someone for “long term” relationship on a dating site – that’s how we met. He shouldn’t have led women on this way knowing full well all this baggage was going to hit that woman in the face and heart.

    I told him that I foresee I am his “stepping stone” at this point – his learning curve. And I hate it and have told him so.

    We are not together right now because of it – that tombstone put me over the edge and I told him I can’t deal with the trickling out of details and obviously how he had his life and death planned years ago.

    I at this point feel like this relationship is dying. He says he’s not giving up on me,

    And I get leery of someone who stresses – as he has to me more than once – that if we didn’t “work out” he would not want to lose my “friendship.”

    WTF? I have friends and he has friends – i don’t need to hear that. I didn’t go looking for merely a friend to add to my friend list.

    I am feeling so “emotionally abused” as you put it and have so much hurt –
    I don’t need it.

    I have to see action on his part – continual action moving forward – making me the center of his world as I had wanted to make him the center of mine. I cannot compete with a dead woman and his memories.

    1. Tracy,

      I’m sorry this has been your experience dating a widower. It happens. It’s my belief that most widowed people do move on and, if they choose to, have healthy relationships with new partners. However, there are people like your boyfriend who, for whatever reason, don’t do that and they cause a lot of hurt and heartache.

      Why do they date and even start relationships when they clearly aren’t ready and really aren’t trying to be ready? It’s probably more a personality thing than anything else. Difficult and relationship clueless people usually were that way all along and widowhood (or divorce) didn’t create them.

      Bottom line here seems to be that he misled you as to what he wanted out of a long term relationship and wasn’t clear about his expectations. Perhaps because that is his relationship style or maybe because he was aware that if you knew, you would be – justifiably – upset. Either way, it doesn’t make it right.

      So you have to ask yourself, do you want to try and fix this – if he is willing to take the steps he needs to and you both can be honest and really discuss what you need and want and expect.

      Or, is it better for you to walk away?

      What do you want? That’s what matters. You.

      You deserve someone who will be open, honest and respectful of your feelings and is willing to work on building a relationship that benefits you both.

      Couples have reached this same impasse that you find yourself at and they have come through it. However, both people really wanted to make things work and the widowed partner was willing to talk, listen and put his words/feelings into actions. No widow card playing and no expecting special treatment.

      I hope things work out the way you hope. Regardless though, you will be okay. Good luck.

    2. Hi Tracy-

      I don’t want to come off sounding cruel, because it isn’t. But, the truth of the matter is it’s all laid out before you. Maybe he thought he was ready for a relationship. Maybe this IS his ready and this is all he has to give. It’s apparent he is not willing to let her go and I don’t blame him one bit. Most men are not built like women – I don’t believe the majority are as resilient as we are. They “need” someone.

      The crux of the matter isn’t him, it’s you. Now that he has shown his hand (and that takes time to do), the real question is what do you want? What are you willing to accept and what is unacceptable to you? Keep in mind, you cannot change people, you can only change yourself. To go into this relationship any further knowing you are compromising your beliefs/character/hopes and dreams – is an injustice not only to you but to him and it appears how he honours his deceased wife is unacceptable to you. It may change with time, but in that time it could be a long wait, It could even be a short one or never at all. Can you accept any of those scenarios? But, don’t compromise your own happiness because how he copes with things are not the same way you would.

      You are not powerless here and it may be a tough decision but the ball is in your court… not his.

      I hope you figure this out and find happiness.

  7. Hello Annie,

    Thank you for your blog, it has wonderful insight and I am greatful to find a reference to what I am currently going through. I was widowed at the age of 24 to a wonderful man whom I will never forget and always love. However now that some time has passed and I’ve learned to slowly open up, that came along with a another blessing as well. I’ve learned to live with again, to feel happy again and to know what it is like to enjoy life again. It is mainly because of the man that has stepped into my life and traveled on this journy with me. Although I don’t know if we will ever marry, because of how young we are still. I do feel that I have found my best friend and someone that I could spent the rest of my life with. I never thought I would feel that again. Thank you for your words, and please continue writing.


    1. You are welcome.

      I don’t know what I have left to write on the subject that I haven’t already. At some point, being widowed and moving on become a part of one’s past. A big part, but not something that gets pulled out and examined much because now and the future take up most of one’s time.

      I am glad you found the blog helpful and appreciate your taking the time to comment.

      Good luck and much happiness to you in the future.

  8. Dear Annie

    I have been talking with and occasionally seeing a man who is a widower of ten years as I too am a widow of two and a half years.
    I grew up around this community as he did. His wife Kim and I were good friends.
    He came looking for me one evening under the pretense of bringing me a phone number I was asking for to a man that builds gates.
    We both have 3 children each and they are all same ages and have been friends throughout school.
    Ages are 21…18….14.
    Greg and I have been friends since high school and he is a very well respected Rancher and Activists in our community.
    He has only dated 2 women since Kim died 10 years ago.
    He seems to care about me…we have only gone out on one official date and our kids were all okay with it except his 21 year old son who is very close to Greg.
    Anyway…everytime I feel we get clise…he either disappears for a week or doesnt call or text for 4 or 5 days.
    I cannot figure him out.
    We are both extremely busy….he works as an Engineer and is a Rancher and very involved with kids his….activities….
    I am a business owner…my late husbsnd and I had A Homebuilding business as well as a Restaurant.
    Gary was sick with lung cancer for 8 years until he passed in 2011. We miss him terribly. I didnt have time to realize I was lonely until Greg came along…but he just seems emotionally unavailable…and when I asked him recently if he felt he would ever be able to give someone else his heart…he replied “Probaly so but I have been by myself for a long time now and my life is not very empty”.
    So I just replied yes thats what I thought and told him I was tired…to which he said “But I still want to do things when time is available for us.”
    Yes….I didnt talk to him for 3 weeks…he called and texts and I just didnt have anything good to say….Im not sure I want much else but I am lonely and I know he is and we are happy and have fun when we are together but….uh huh…..but he is not interested in any relationship he just wants…company….and someone he respects to have safe sex with I guess.
    No we havent had sex…close but stopped …..having sex in a Truck even for a Texas girl…at 49….each of us are 49….well no…thats not my idea of “a good thing”….

    So after him finally getting me to talk after 3 weeks…we are back to same thing…on off….nothing…….so the other nite while txting I just came out and said I felt like I needed to disengage…but still wanted to remain friends…..after awhile but thought it best we call “it”….whatever “it” was….done.

    He is a good man….and I am a good woman….we could be happy together……but….idk…..maybe what looked like fate was not!
    And I am not crying over it except the loss of the companionship and he is funny and we laugh and the last 10 years…I havent laughed much….and to be honest…he makes me feel safe and he knows how to say things about grief issues and how to just help me through…coz he has been there before me.

    Well…your blog is great….glad you are
    doing this. Thank you for any advice you may have for me.


    1. Georgia,

      I am glad you like the blog.

      Advice? I think if you think about it and ask yourself what you want, you might find that you already know, but in my opinion, it seems as though this brief relationship has opened you open to the idea that perhaps it is time to seek out someone who meets your needs rather than settle for someone who has a very different idea of what a relationship should be.

      My husband wasn’t the first guy I met after being widowed. I scooped out my work, my graduate classes for fellow students, and tried on a couple of dating sites. I went on dates and had email “pen-pals”. I ran across men who probably could have been nice companions but who were, as with your friend, not all that interested in anything but an on-call or part-time relationship. And that just didn’t do it for me.

      Sometimes, a relationship springs up where we least expect it but most of the time, we have to do a little legwork and put ourselves out there.

      This guy of yours might come around someday but it seems as though he has been clear about what he wants in a woman and a relationship and it’s always best to take a man at his word and pay close attention to his deeds. A guy who is serious does not disappear and a man who wants you makes himself available pretty much constantly. Nothing about men and dating has changed since we were young.

      Consider this relationship your wake up call. You might need to begin exploring opportunities to meet available men.

      Good luck to you.

  9. I found your blog, like others, while searching the universe for dating a widower. I’m in love with my friends husband. She passed after battling cancer for 2 years. A year after her death, as a concerned friend, I asked her husband to join friends for an evening out, we were concerned for him. After several months, we realized there was more to ‘us’ than just friends. We are dedicated to each other now, lovingly. We are planning to marry. I think my guilt at loving my friends husband is just as strong as any guilt that he may have. I’m learning to live with that. Last weekend he had a grief episode and I found myself not handling it as well as I had wished. He felt it. I realized I was protecting myself. So here I am, looking for answers or confirmation of some sort that I will be forgiven for not being a better responder. And your wise words have been helpful. Keep being honest. 🙂

    1. Marcia, we all have moments (or longer periods of time) where we aren’t models of “handling it well”. It happens. Even after seven years, I can still sometimes have moments where I am not someone anyone would consider a role model for the perfect second wife of a widower. But, it’s like anything else, time and communication and sometimes just realizing that things simply have to be “let go”. The chief thing to remember, and I speak as a widow as well as the wife of a widower, is to remember that grief is not an activity that can be shared. I am my husband’s main emotional support in nearly everything but his grief for his late wife. That is his. While I can be around and as much of a prop as I am able, the heavy lifting is his and he understands that. He doesn’t expect much from me in terms of whatever fallout there may still be. Our love and our life is separate from what he had with her and what he lost. It’s quite rare now that we even talk about our late spouses or any issues that come up.

      You being his late wife’s friend is different from my situation. You have your own grief and it’s different than his. Your guilt is even different than his, which is why it’s my opinion that it’s really not something that you two share in many ways.

      I am going to err on the side of doubting that you need to be forgiven or that whatever you think you should have done or felt was really all that terrible in the grander scheme of things though it probably felt so in the moment. If you really think (or he does) that this incident needs to be formally dealt with – than a simply “I’m sorry. Sometimes I am out of inner wisdom and awesomeness” (or something to that effect) goes a pretty long way – again in my opinion.

      And you know, it’s okay to tell him that you aren’t always up to the task of dealing with his grief. You are his future wife not his grief counselor. Boundaries are good. All relationships need them and couples should be able to discuss what’s appropriate for both parties.

      I am glad you found something I wrote on this blog helpful or that you could relate to. It’s why I keep the blog up rather than closing it down because I really have very little left to say that I haven’t said a few times or more here.

      Good luck to you both.

  10. A few years ago, I lost my husband and my mother within nine months of each other. I was completely lost and did not know where to turn. I had no idea where to begin following such life-changing events.
    Ever since my husband’s passing, I have wanted to create a website that would help others approach and manage their own personal journey through the recovery of losing a loved one. I also wanted them to know that they were not alone in their confusion and grief — and that life does indeed go on.
    I humbly request your assistance in sharing my new and unique website with as many people as possible.
    Please let me know if this is something that you might consider sharing with your viewers.
    Thank you for your time and consideration,
    Sheryl Silverstone

    1. I wish you luck with your blog and I approved this comment, so people will see the link. I don’t really blog here anymore though I do answer questions and reply to comments. Perhaps you should check out The Widowed Village. They have a blog list there and there are others who maintain blogs and communities who could help you more than I can.

  11. found your blog through the “man without a country” link. My curiousity and agreement(mostly) with your position got me to explore more of your site. Don’t have the time right now to do an in depth exploration, but plan on returning.. Agree in large content with your expressions on the “man without a country” blurb, especially with ex-pats and the lack of understanding on why someone wants to express their humanity and not become just another lemming.

  12. I found your blog today after searching statistics on dating/marriage after (young) widowhood. I knew immediately, you spoke from experience, and because you have it, you know what I mean…… Keep writing, so that those of us, like me, who are more practically minded, realize there is other women with common sense. FYI I was happily married for 16 years, widowed, dated and remarried in within 7 months because, I was happily married for 16 years. Thanks again!

      1. Ann,
        I just joined your blog. Am a newbie. I am dating a widower who was married for 30 years, widowed 5. Having problems and feeling down. How do I start to post my issues like others. Where do I go? What do I click? I only started typing here because I figured if I hit reply, you would read this.

        1. Hi Rose,

          It’s interesting that so many who date widowed people end up here b/c I have never specifically written posts for people who date widowed. Being widowed myself and having married a widower, I tend to write for widowed people who are dating, thinking about dating or remarried, but there is overlap and as I am not sympathetic toward the prevailing view in the widowed world that being widowed should allow you the upper hand in a new relationship – I seem to attract people who just want to figure out what makes widowers and widows tick in terms of new relationships.

          Anything labeled “dating while widowed” might be helpful. Also, “dating after being widowed” or anything about “second marriages” or “remarried widowed”, “late spouses”, “adult children”, “in-law issues” could be helpful.

          If you are looking for community, I suggest you look up Abel Keogh (if you haven’t found him already) and check out his Facebook group for Dating a Widower.

          I am happy to answer any questions you might have or point you toward the few books out there that might be helpful. You are welcome to send me an email if you’d rather have some privacy or you can post a question here or to any post you read. I read all comments and I respond when I am queried about something specifically.

          Remember though, I am not an expert. I have lived a few things and I share what I have learned through my experiences and from people (like Abel) who I respect. His latest book is available as of today in fact – Life with a Widower

          There are some hurdles when dating someone who was married a long time and who might just be getting back into dating and serious relationships. Probably as true of divorced as it is of widowed.

          I am sorry that you are having issues. If I can help, I will.

  13. I came upon your blog today as I was searching for information on living with terminally ill spouse.

    I am at work, so I didn’t get to read as much as I would like, but I wanted to say that I greatly appreciate your honesty in discussing the illness and its true impact on the family. My husband was diagnosed with FTD 2 years ago. My emotions go from numb (the most common) to feeling sorry for myself (also the most common:) to panic and fear at all the decisions facing me. I have 3 teens at home and it is so fucking hard to be a “single parent” to them – but I’m not really single.

    I have tried joining on line support groups – but so often the people are so selfless and uncomplaining…. that I just can’t relate. they always talk about how much they love their spouse, still, and honestly – I can’t go there with them…and I hate myself for not loving him more.

    But…..I want to thank you for expressing so well what I, and I’m sure some others, are afraid or ashamed to admit.

    1. I am sorry for what you are going through. I remember it well. And you are right, we are expected to be some Hollywood movie character – selfless, devoted and madly in love – and it’s not that way for many of us, and we have no safe outlets for such feelings.

      People do survive caregiving. You will too. Do find something just for yourself. Some outlet/somewhere. I joined a gym that had childcare so I could walk and swim. I also started walking on my lunch break. And I had my angry outlet – rap music. Combined it with jumping on my mini-trampoline after my dd was in bed every night. Point being – just do something for you.

      And don’t worry about how you feel. All feelings are necessary and valid and normal. Good luck to you.

  14. Hi there. I came by in a round-about way. Read an article about Carrie Brownstein (Slater-Kinney, Portlandia, Wild Flag) written by Elizabeth Weil, and the author tag included information about her up-coming book No Cheating, No Dying, which led me to do some searching for that, which led me to a post by you in 50-something… which led me to your blog which led me to this page. Not that any of this matters, but I thought it only fair to let you know how these things can happen. :> I’ll have a look around and see what there is to see here. Best to you and yours, pvz

  15. Hi there. I am down with being a bad speller. Me too.
    I am a busy full time mom who works. I have two very spirited little boys. Though my youngest eats everything with gusto, my eldest exists solely on kid food. As for Hubby, dinner only gets a thumbs up from him if it’s worthy of doing the dishes (and we all know dishes are a drag). As for me, I am a restaurant publicist with a taste for the finer things in life but I have a love hate relationship with carbs. Suffice to say making a quick, nutritious and delicious meal at the end of the day that satisfies everyone in my house can be a hair pulling test of patience, creativity and stamina.

    If any of this sounds familiar to you, or you think it will resonate with your readers, then I wonder if you’d be interested in reviewing a food product that I represent. If so, please send me an email.

    Many thanks.

  16. Today I read a story you wrote for the ACS. It lead me here and I’ve been reading for an hour at least. Will I be back? Well, so far I have sent 2 of your blogs on to my nearest and dearest. Yep, I’ll be back I imagine. Though blog reading isn’t on my usual radar. I think you had me at the part where you did your yoga training. ‘sigh’ OK I give up. I get the message from the cosmos? fates? God? Whatever…..I will go to the yoga class I have been thinking about/talking about/ not making time for….. Thanks, I think.

  17. Just read about your experience with cyberspace stalking. My heart goes out to you, as I am someone who had to get restraining order years ago against a stalker at the school where I taught. But I was just thinking at least I knew who it was-would be creepier not to know.
    I subscribe to your posts, you are a very talented writer. I live down the road from you, near Seattle. Keep up the excellent and inspiring posts, many of us out here are inspired by the words you take the time to write and publish in this blog.
    Take care, Dana

  18. I cam across your blog trying to get some information on Lisa Parker.
    Not even a photo and she’s gone after such a short life.
    My mother who is going on 93 left Canada in 1949 and while visiting Miami she met my dad and soon after married.
    It’s amazing how we get here and how we leave on someone else’s clock.
    No guarantee’s on tomorrow.
    Thank God for everyday !

    1. Thousands of people have been here looking for Lisa Parker. She’s left quite the impact on the world regardless. No telling how much of a footrprint you’ll leave behind, eh?

      Thanks for commenting.

  19. Thanks, Annie. I feel better than when I posted last. Not all the time, but at this moment. I think, as with most things, the key to dealing with grief and loss is balance. Not denying it hurts- I saw a fellow church member about two weeks after Joe’s sudden, totally unexpected death and he said, “So are you starting to get over your loss?” ???? And when my grandmother lost her two-year-old daughter many years ago, it was just not something people were supposed to speak about. Once in awhile, my mother said, she’d mention this child who died, and my grandfather would say, “Now, Ethel,” like, you know we don’t talk about this, and she would shut up. And shut down.
    Just as damaging is the idea that grief should be all-consuming and never-ending. When my husband died in July, a former classmate came to the memorial service. She had been suddenly widowed herself, and when I asked how long it had been since her husband died, she said, “Three years… and it does’t get any easier.” I really wanted to, well, join my husband.
    To be charitable, maybe just coming to the service was triggering for her- she had also lost a child a few years before that. But that was really hard to hear. She belongs to a religion which I left, where suffering is really glorified. I like the Buddhist idea better, that we should work to end suffering.
    Sounds like you lived in Des Moines at one time.. I live in Fort Dodge, 90 miles north of there.
    Anyway, enough already. And thanks.

    1. Moderation in all things is what the philosopher said.

      I am glad you are feeling better. Again, just focus on you and don’t pay too much mind to how others have traveled the road before you unless it’s to borrow a trick that seems to resonate and work for you.

      Merry Christmas

  20. I’ve been reading bits of your blog and enjoying it. I’ve moved from the UK to Vancouver in November. I used to work in publishing in London, but I’ve decided to take my yoga teacher training next year and take a change in career. Vancouver seems to be the best place for that.
    I’ll follow your blog to read more about your experiences, yoga or Canada related.

  21. Hi Annie,
    Saw your comment on a widow blog about how eventually people are usually done with the active grieving and wanted to hear more, so that’s why I showed up at your blog. My husband of 31 years died four months ago, and when people say they’ll grieve forever, I really want to curl up and die. I think it has to get better, unless a person believes they’re being unfaithful by eventually letting go of the grief. Hope so, anyway.


    1. Janet, I am sorry about your loss. And I stand by the comment that for the vast majority of people, active grieving ends sooner rather than later but if you are hoping for an exact date or timeline, I can’t help you. Everyone is different. My experience is that most will find their feet somewhere between 6 months and a year and a half. It won’t mean that you won’t be sad or that you won’t have bad days here and there, but you will find that daily life gets easier and that you feel connected to something and that feel hopeful more and more, but it ‘s not a magic thing. It doesn’t just happen. Those who find themselves again really want to. I had goals and dreams and I refused to believe that I would always grieve. I stayed active. I stayed linked to people, job and life. I made myself look at the bright side and I found distractions. I have a new life b/c I went after one.

      The people who seem to be in the active grief stage forever should be taken with a grain of salt too. Bloggers and people selling books and doing conferences have a vested interest in staying connected to their grief. People on message boards are often looking for validation b/c their family, friend and co-workers have moved on (which is even more normal for those who weren’t as close to the deceased) and they got used to the attention and will take it from any source ( and they might be naturally pessimistic types to begin with).

      That’s just speculation though based on what I’ve read.

      Bottom line is that people I’ve known or come into contact with via the ‘net who work at actively moving on – do. Those who work at grieving – sometimes don’t.

      Four months is early. There is likely some up and down to go especially after 31 years of marriage. Don’t pay too much attention to anyone’s timeline but your own. Be sad when you need to. Be busy when you think that maybe you need that more than being sad. You’ll be okay.

      1. Hi … sorry to “eavesdrop.” I’m 45 years old and my husband died 2.5 months ago; I have been looking around the ‘net for … I dunno … grace? … community? Anyway, I wanted to thank your for your observation about people on message boards. I think you might be spot on. I spend NO time in those places because the people there seem so … no, I can’t say it, it’s too ugly.

        WHINY. Okay, there, I said it. They whine, they wallow. I’m sad, but doggone it I hope I’m not -that- pathetic. Anyway, you have given me something to think about. Thank you.

        1. LOL. It’s not ugly or mean. I thought so myself and kinda still do though I think it’s understandable in the beginning. Years on, ya gotta wonder.

          They aren’t all like that. WidVillage is a bit more grown up and you might try WidowNet. But, message boards are still a bit like the Wild West in terms of manners and the occasional free for all. There are groups on FaceBook too.

          Anyway, you are not alone though it might feel like it, and you will get through … survive … figure things out. We all … well most of us … do.

          I am sorry for your loss. Glad I could be some measure of help.

  22. Hi Annie, I thought I would send you an e-mail to let you know that I appreciate your writings. I too am an aspiring writer, but I don’t know where to start. I have a lot to share but starting is so difficult for me. I can tell the story well verbally, but to write I am such a klutz at it. Can you give me some pointers please? I commented on two of your blogs as “fancyface44” when you have a moment please look at some of the things I attempted to write. LOL….

    1. I see that you have just started blogging. That’s where I began. I made myself blog. At one point, I was writing everyday simply to put my rusty skills to practice. As I got better, I kept my eyes open for opportunities to blog elsewhere. My first break was at a site that wrote about mom activist topics. The editor was a woman whose blog I read. She read mine. I got the “job”.

      Are there any writing groups locally that you could join? Perhaps through your public library? I belong to such a group. It’s very helpful and a good place for those starting out.

      Writing, though, is like anything else. It’s practice. Good luck:)

  23. Hi… followed a link and found your blog. You sound great so I will probably visit again and read some more. I’d love to know what your something long and publishable will be.

  24. I see your comments occasionally on WIDOWS VOICE BLOG and note you always have a morose tone to your remarks. Why is that? It’s as if you think you must inform everyone of the negative or perhaps you are just uncomfortable with the positive. Whatever the case, I have come to note when I see your name I can count on what’s coming. So very blah and rather sad.

    1. Morose? It’s a widow’s blog and usually I am sharing experiences related to death and grieving. It’s not exactly sunshine over there. But I am matter of fact and practical, so perhaps that’s what you are seeing. I have to wonder about which of us is the negative one as you felt the need to come here and criticize me. I can’t make any of my past experiences surrounding widowhood romcom or religiously uplifting – because most of them weren’t.

      Thanks for sharing but in future take your snark somewhere else. Or better yet, just reply to me there so that everyone can see you are the better (more positive) person.

  25. My wife and I are thinking about moving to Canada. We have a home in greater London England or UK, and also in S. CaIifornia. I am an Anglican priest/presbyter, but sort of retired. I am Irish born, Dublin. But lived and educated in England. I also spent over ten years in the Royal Marines. My wife has very chronic COPD also. We have two son’s. One 14, and one in college in the greater London area. We are thinking too of selling our home near London. It would bring some money we have been told.

  26. Annie, you have a lot of great topics but this dark background and tiny type is very hard to read… good luck with your blog though! many people seem to be willing to work with it!

  27. Congratulations on being “freshly pressed” on the WP homepage. You said, “leave a comment” so here is some blog-love from Texas.
    Let’s see here now… [highlight… copy… paste.]
    anniegirl1138 is now on my blog roll.

  28. Just found your blog and spent and hour reading it while my kids are waiting for the computer…. I enjoy reading your opinion and I harbor many of the same. Your writing is honest and compelling…. giving me somethings to think about as I go prepare breakfast I enjoyed your review of “The Other Side of Sadness” (and yes, I used to belong to YWBB as well but have since left since I feel I’m in the resilient crowd and could no longer deal with the down and outs that most people associate with death)…

  29. Hey 🙂

    I found your blog in Archie Archive’s Blogroll and it seems really nice.
    I haven’t read your blog yet, so let me comment your profile.

    I really like the short version of “how did I get to Canada” and I feel that I’d love to hear the longer version too (I guess it’s alo here is your blog, right??).

    You look like ver versatile person: teaching, writing, yoga instructor…. By the way, how the last thing is going? I hope you’re doing well in this field!

    I’m sorry if I have made some mistakes – I am not from English language country (I wish I was!) but I’m learning and trying to improve my skills day by day.

    Nice to meet you!


  30. Hi, Annie

    I’m “researching” for my next blog. Have played with a couple over the last year and am so excited I’m finally going to get one customized and dive in to it. Love the way you talk to people in your blog and wanted to say I was very drawn to it. Not a mom in my 50’s yet but found you through the Moms in their 50’s blog. Just turned 40. My husband and I got married a few months but our long story short is that we met on the Internet and fell head over heels.

    Blessings to you!

  31. I had to check you out. I can’t say that I agree with everything you write, but that’s the nice thing isn’t it, getting conflicting veiw points. I am not sure if I will be back or not, the other blogs I’ve visited good bad or otherwise I haven’t revisited. Like you though I am trying to break into writing, so I want to wish you luck and thank you for the opportunity to visit and like I said earlier get a conflicting veiw point.

  32. I think you have been really busy from all of the content on you blog, and it is one of the BEST looking well laid out I have seen.

  33. Good luck with your writing! I’ve written for most of my life but finally managed to get up enough courage to share it with the world. Now I have to find those publishing gurus who agree. Nice blog.

  34. Hi Annie — Found you via Daisyfae. Really like the homey feel here — it’s the wood panelling and the honest prose — I’m looking forward to reading more of your stuff.

  35. Well Annie, I wish you the best of luck in your writing career. My husband is a starving writer is what I will call him. This is when you are excited about what you do, and are just hoping that someone that can dish out the bucks likes it too. I truly wish you the best, you are good with words

  36. Hi Annie. I really enjoyed your talk at the Writer’s Congerence on the weekend.
    You might want to check out
    A friend of One! International was just accepted as one of their bloggers. Her name is Tracey Jackson and she just released a DVD Lucky Ducks which was set partly in Mumbai, India with the children of One!

  37. Just found your blog and spent and hour reading it while my kids are waiting for the computer…. 🙂 I enjoy reading your opinion and I harbor many of the same. Your writing is honest and compelling…. giving me somethings to think about as I go prepare breakfast 🙂 I enjoyed your review of “The Other Side of Sadness” (and yes, I used to belong to YWBB as well but have since left since I feel I’m in the resilient crowd and could no longer deal with the down and outs that most people associate with death)…

    I will def be back to check in 🙂

  38. Just found your blog and will be back. I’m an American girl living in Belarus (just recently moved here) after marrying the love of my life! Nice to find your blog : )

  39. I stumbled on your site while looking for a review of the book “10-10-10” by Suzy Welch (Jack’s wife). I generally don’t post to blogs because I abhor leaving electronic footprints in the world-wide woods. But your site intrigued me and I decided to drop in for a cup of e-coffee. I like your writing style and the layout of your site. I’m glad your life seems to be working up north. TTFN

  40. Salutations !

    While strolling along here in the cyber-wood I stumbled upon your blog. I likened yours to finding a fine walking stick along a flowered path thus decided to pick it up and meander around with it. I’m glad I did as I enjoy the feel and flow of your words. So, I suppose I’ll be hanging around a bit to see what other gems I may find in your blogs …..
    Be well & good cheers !

  41. Hi,
    I read your comment over at Abigail Carter’s blog and just had to see who you were. Thanks! I think you’re great!


    Thank you. I appreciate your stopping by, commenting and the kind words.

  42. I enjoyed reading your blog. You seem to have a way of commenting that connects.

    I would also like to read some of your memoir this weekend. ( I did memoir for Nano 07 and am finalising mine during 09. I’m particularly interested in the different approaches people have chosen. )
    About to start my first blog (rolls eyes) so I’m also window shopping for blog-appeal: layout, backgrounds etc.

    Thank you, but I am only in the first draft and I generally don’t even let my husband read something until it is much farther along. I appreciate your stopping by and commenting though.

  43. Saw your comment on JA Konrath’s site and thought I’d wave to a fellow writer. Yay on the slate of projects and pthbt on people who think we should stop writing. If you’re ever on Facebook as Konrath suggests look me up. I’m Jessa Slade with the blue eyeball.

  44. Hello, Just read your blog “Is Lisa Kogan dead?” I have to say, I DID laugh at the “time flies in the ever after….second husband joining….” it sounds so much like something I would say to my Husband(I don’t know that he would laugh either)~ I too was an English Major in College, and now am a Starving Artist in the Jewelry field, it’s always interesting what life throws you. I wish you all the best in your career with the Written Word~

    Many Blessings,

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Good luck to you too, fellow starving artist.

  45. Annie, I enjoy your blog and your writing. We’re in similar places — I was widowed in 2006, with a young child, and am remarrying (next week!). I’ll keep reading, would be interested in trading ideas with you sometime.

    Welcome Supa and thank you. Unless you are comfortable with the open forum of comments, you can contact me via my gmail. The address in on my Me if you are interested in knowing page.

    Congratulations on your upcoming marriage.

  46. just cruising on the various posts listed under marriage! I loved Becoming Jane and I’m not much on chick flicks. I’m a marriage and family therapist and like to look at what people are saying on the blogs about those relationships. thanks.

  47. Hi Annie, thanks for stopping by BYU. Looking forward to reading what you’re up to in sunny Alberta.

    You’re welcome. Thanks for commenting.

  48. I’ve appreciated your comments on my blog, and wanted to stop by and say hi … I’ve never been to Alberta, but I hear it’s beautiful. Good luck with your writing!

  49. Hi Anniegirl!

    I was looking for your email address but couldn’t find it. I have something I’d like to ask you privately and was wondering if you could email me at LisamunleyATcaDOTrrDOTcom. Thanks!

  50. Hi Annie,
    I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog. Had I been more driven, I probably would’ve been an English teacher myself. Education, I suppose, is far to self-sacrificing.
    I looked for a way to contact you privately, but couldn’t find it. From things you wrote on your last post about not fitting in high school, I thought you might relate to a post I wrote not long ago. It’s written from a comedic stance, but two women didn’t see the joke. You’ll have that. Anyways, I thought it might make you smile. (Oh, and that isn’t me suggesting that you are an “ugly woman.” LOL.)
    Here’s the link:

  51. yes, me too, I was born in Chicago and live in Florence, Italy but don’t feel ex-pat, just split. Also am a poet who got stuck because it is all Italian here. Did write in Italian but then came back to my native tongue.

    1. I was trying to track down wahlert high schhol English teacher mr wojan to thank himfor having us write a journal. I just came across my journal yesterday and it blew me away. The only reference to him was in your blog so I thought I would leave a message to see if you had any ideas. If not best of luck with your writing.

      1. Was his first name Steve? I could be way wrong, but I thought it was so I googled it and found a Steve Wojan in New Richmond, WI – elementary principal. If that’s not him, have you tried contacting the alumni association? They can find nearly anyone. Thanks for stopping by.

      2. Some one mentioned to me that I was mentioned in your blog site. Yes, I did go over to the dark side and left teaching to become a principal. I am still pushing journal writing as I want my teachers to reflect on what they are doing in their classes. Jim- hope you had som new isights on the way you were back then. Just glad to be a small part of your recent relevation. SW

        1. Mr. Wojan! Good of you to stop by and comment. I meet up again with more people by simply writing about them. The wonders of social media, eh? I wish I’d had an administrator who encouraged journaling. I have lost many an interesting tale to the years and my faulty memory by not keeping a journal of my time in the classroom.

          Thanks again for commenting.

  52. Hi Annie:

    Best of luck with your writing.
    You might enjoy Yesterday’s Magazette or The Perspiring Writer online magazines.

    Take care,

  53. Bob, Don’t know your background but like I said. I spent a long time teaching public school. Mostly working class kids with parents who would shock you with their take on something like that cover. Could they be turned from Obama. No. But if they were already inclined to believe any of the wild things already in circulation about him – they wouldn’t bother to read the article because it would give them all the cause they needed to continue with their misconceptions.

  54. Farron, I am glad you came to read and enjoyed it. Thank you for the compliment too. We’ll be back by the weekend and Grandma Gerry is coming next week – maybe come out then? Thanks for the anniversary wish on my wall as well.

  55. I’m glad you sent me that facebook request. I’ve enjoyed reading your last few blogs. Not gonna lie, your blogs read kinda like a douglas coupland…which is a great thing 🙂 look forward to reading more my dear. Hopefully i can get out to see you soon! loves ya

  56. Hi Annie,

    I see that you are an ex-teacher, and I read your post over on MSU. I am working on a book project called Why Great Teachers Quit, and I thought you might be interested in describing your experiences on my blog am collecting responses of teachers who quit or are or were thinking strongly of doing so. I’ve got some strong publisher interest, and now I need to hear from more teachers nationwide. I hope you will visit and share your thoughts! Also, I would love it if you could spread the word to other teachers you know.

    Thank you!


  57. u commented and made a blog about lisa parker. she was my best friend from the age of 4 1/2 what would you like to know but i wont tell u her family history as its best left in the past. she came from ashford and was born in scotland but was adopted. what du want to kno

  58. Let me be the first to congratulate you on reaching the milestone of 10,000 page views!

    Way to go sweetie! (Oops, I forgot. You don’t want anyone calling you sweetie. Sorry!)

  59. Is that you, Annie? It’s me, rrw on the board. I didn’t recall that you had a blog until I saw your name on Alicia’s blog. Good to see you!

  60. Annie, it was nice to meet you! I hope we talk again soon.

    I’m an aspiring writer too, and I’ve published some of my first-drafts on my blog. I hope to read your pieces too, either here or better still, in print. 🙂

    Best of luck with everything!

  61. Dear Annie,
    Wishing you very well with your writing career. I visited your blog today and it seems to me you write very well. Bonne chance.

Leave a Reply to Mary Svikhart Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.