For what it is worth, the YWBB has closed up shop. widda

If you are currently a member, you have until March 20th to log in and contact anyone who might be on your personal message list, and you might be able to use the search function to track down any old posts you want to save (just take screen shots – it’s easiest) or contact anyone you haven’t connected with on other social media outlets.

Thanks to some quick thinking by a marvelous widdas named Jezzy (Jess) and Justin, a new board is already up and running and you can access it via this link.

If you are an oldtimer from the board days or someone whose recently been directed to the site and haven’t been able to register – think about signing up. The more the merrier. There are also YWBB groups (think high school reunion type stuff) on Facebook. They are closed groups but I don’t think anyone is being denied entry. They added me after all. And you don’t get more grief heretic than me.

I won’t comment on the decision to shut ye old widda board down without warning beyond saying, I would have handled it differently (but I would have done a lot of things there differently).

And the ye olde widda board founders are directing folks to Soaring Spirits, which while they’ve done good things, is a bit too commercial for my tastes. If you like your grief Life Time for Women movie style or 5 step self-help to happiness again though – it will be right up your alley. It’s very “fix it” oriented and has a plethora of “been there/done that” semi-celebs (yes, there’s a hierarchy in the widow world – that’s life after all) to sell you a book or moderate a conference that will set you right again.

In the meantime, if you are recently (or not so) widowed and just  looking for a place to go to vent, to cry, to share with people who “get it”, check out the new place. It seems like a nice place. You won’t be alone because you are not alone. There are people out here on the wide web who’ve been where you are and can – if nothing else – listen. And being heard is a lot.

The server for the YWBB is in the Northeast somewhere. New York State, if I remember correctly. It has to be in some weather vulnerable area because if memory serves, every time the area got whacked by winter – as is the case today – the board took a powder. As it’s a volunteer thing for the most part, it sometimes took a while for the tender that is to notice and, depending on whether or not it was a power issue, get the board back up on line.

When the widda board goes dark, my site lights up. I get search hits and loads of page-views from widowed in varying degrees of withdrawal. Last night, my stats doubled thanks to a couple of widowed folk in Texas*.

I had a comment yesterday from a board member on a more recent post about grief not being a process. She personally found the board an immense help and that the nastier souls that roam there were few in number and more to be pitied than worried about. She isn’t wrong in her asessment. If a person sticks to the newly widowed forum and even the 6 to 12 month forum, most of the time all is well. It also helps to have a co-hort, people who arrived at the same time you did who were roughly within your widowhood time frame.

I was a late comer to the board. I didn’t have a clique. The existing ones in my time frame weren’t welcoming, and I had the added burden of having spent well over a year physically/emotionally on my own prior to Will’s death. I just came in with a whole different mindset and needs.

I made some friends. I met my husband Rob there. I won’t tell anyone not to go there, but I will caution people to keep their true feelings close to the vest lest someone (usually someone who is older in widow age and heavily invested in the community) take offense and decide to “school” you.

Being schooled makes me cranky. Being told my own feelings and experiences aren’t what I know they are … gets my back up. I wasn’t so “yoga” back in my board days. I let my fingers fly and I got myself in trouble. End of story.

But back to the point, yes the board is down. It will be back up because you know what they say about bad pennies? It applies to the board too.

So breathe. Follow this link if you like. It will take you to a widow blog whose blog list is all widowed. The blog community can be just, if not more, helpful.


*Yes, I can see you via StatCounter. State, city, ISP addy and what you are reading. I’ve had problems with board members linking me back in posts there for the purpose of having a little flaming fun at my expense. That kind of thing doesn’t amuse me. I get that I am a heretic, but I am allowed to be so on my own blog – which no one has to read if they feel threatened or offended by my pov on grief and moving on.

UPDATE: I learned via widda friend status update on Facebook today (Sunday) that the board will be down until Wednesday due to a winterstorm related power outage. Just thought I’d pass that along.

The weekend has flown by once again. Even without a 9 to 5 job, I still lament the relative shortness of the weekend in comparison to the rest of the week. I don’t get as much done of course in terms of my fiction writing but it’s a worthwhile trade-off because I have my husband around. There is much to be said for even the drive-by smooches and snuggles as we go about the domestic routine.

So this weekend’s Friday Night Flick was Steven Soderbergh’s Full Frontal with David Duchovny, Julia Roberts, Catherine Keener, David Hyde-Pierce and that guy who was the photographer on Just Shoot Me

Just a quick aside, has Duchovny ever starred in a motion picture (aside from his neutered alter-ego Mulder) where he didn’t play a sexual deviant of some kind?

Full Frontal is not one of Soderbergh’s recognized triumphs. It’s a film within a film that is ultimately within yet another film. It took a while but I eventually realized that the film within was written using elements of the life of the screenwriter whose life and that of those connected to him are being explored via pseudo-documentary and character interviews. The reviews complained the that film doesn’t go anywhere but it’s really about how life influences art and artists, and about the small worlds we all really live in.

We were better than half-way through the movie when Rob realized he’d seen it before thanks to a plastic sack and David Duchovny’s penis. Which you don’t see. Although you do see the plastic bag and wonder once again what attracts this man to characters like this, but the penis is prominent – I assure you. Even though I missed it the first time and Rob had to “rewind” for me.

But anyway, two hours of life – gone – when we could have had sex instead. But it is not an awful movie (Rob will beg to differ) just one that makes you work hard to figure it out. We in North America are not into thinking while movie watching.

Saturday was organizing. Rob is determined to have a garage sale in two weeks. In admiration of his sorting and purging zeal, I tackled my side of the pigsty office because it would be nice to write at my desk again instead of the dining room table (which is hell on my posture).

I nearly pitched my high school yearbooks but Rob thought they should rest in the basement for a bit until I am sure. 

I am sure I don’t know what to do with them. I haven’t cracked one open in BabyD’s lifetime and since I was too mousy and unpopular to rate much of an inclusion in them aside from a head-shot and the newspaper group photo, I can’t think why I should keep them. It’s full of people I can’t remember or have no fond memories of. And they take up shelf space.

I found Will’s old Sunday bible group bible too. Another space hog that holds no personal value for me, so I am thinking about sending it to his mother. She has been less her nasty self in cards and letters of late, and I have been thinking that it might be safe to cultivate a correspondence type relationship now. She found God after Will died – or so she claims* – and the bible has memories for her.

Now I have a clean desk and a surprisingly small pile of papers to assign to folders. I even have my calendar updated and all pertinent dates marked for the next little while. So why am I still writing at the dining room table?

I also began a rewrite of Kumari because what I am trying to do isn’t clear to readers yet, judging from a new review I received yesterday. I am liking it, so the reviews have been a plus. I wish, though, that the site was more like a message board because single reviews are only so helpful. I really need a give and take forum.

I also ventured over to the widda board and signed on. Something I haven’t done since February. I noticed that I was getting referrals from my profile there – something that has never happened. It made me curious. To my surprise I had a message waiting from a board member who’d found this blog through a google and traced me back there. She wanted to talk about remarriage/recoupling because she thought I might have something valid to say. That I can understand if the only sounding board she’s had is the widda board. There are probably only a handful or better of people there who don’t have an agenda when it comes to this topic and will listen/share their experiences without spouting absolutes. The board is really a singles haven and that is what is pushed – mostly by people who haven’t found a new partner despite their efforts or those too frightened or traumatized to try.

I did find one interesting thing in the short perusal I made of the active topics. Someone who used to jump all over me with both feet about my opinions of moving on and remarriage requested a new forum for remarried widowed – because she got married again recently. Funny how that can swing a person 180, eh?

Although the remarried thought this was a great idea, the other vintage widows nixed it. Remarrieds, in the general opinion of the board, have a duty to grieve for the edification (and probably entertainment) of everyone else. End of discussion.

And finally, Rob and I took great interest in watching the reports on Ike. If Rob hadn’t turned that transfer down last spring, we would have been losing our hurricane virginity this weekend in our new home somewhere in the Houston area. Actually, Rob would have been doing this most likely with me worrying at my folks in Iowa. We are not so attached to stuff (and honestly are well enough off financially that we don’t have to be) to ride out a hurricane. 

I will take a Canadian winter over the balmy, hurricane prone Gulf coast any day.

*And it might be true. She was nastier than she had ever been while spouting religion at me in the aftermath, but I have found that “coming to Jesus” brings out a rather substantial amount of bile and intolerance in some people.