The Widow or Widower Next Door

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Don't Should on Me

How many of you have received unwelcome advice?



Can't Never Did Anything ~ Join Me in the Widowlution!

I remember being told as a child, very often "can't never did anything!". Were you told that?  Well, I took it to heart and have applied it to a lot of things.

I usually found out it was true. If I tried to do something, very often I could. Flying didn't work out so well, but a lot of other things did.


That's why, when I discovered that I wasn't the only widow out there that was being treated rudely, insensitively and sometimes shunned, I decided to do something

about it.  If there are a lot of us who think that, as a society we can do better, then why not change things? Why settle for being treated as second class citizens by strangers,

friends and family who hide behind the excuse of "I didn't know what to say or do for you". 


Well why didn't you?  I say, let's teach them. Let's teach them by refusing to live in the shadows, by staying home and staying quiet. By behaving like we did something wrong.

Let's show people, gently, a better way, by speaking up and making our voices heard. Join me in the Widowlution! Stay tuned for more blog posts about that!


Click on the link below to watch my video and let's start a conversation:



Change Partners and Dance

Don't we all wish it was as easy as it sounds?  Being partners for a long, or even a little, time means getting in sync, knowing eachother's idiocyncrancies, our respective biorythms even. That doesn't happen quickly or easily. To all of those (especially those long married to living mates), it's not as easy as it sounds. Don't pressure us. We'll find our own way, alone or with a new romance.


Change Partners and Dance


You Don't Have to Be an Amputee to Be Caring to the Grieving

All it takes is a little kindness.


The Milk of Human Kindness



Most people don't have a clue how thoughtless and inconsiderate they can be to grievers, and yet most of us will be one at some point. We can do better.


50% of all married people will be widowed


It's Got to Stop !!! ~ We Need to Change This

It happened again.  I attended a local Chamber of Commerce seminar yesterday; those are always fun for me. The Chamber Director made a point of introducing me to their part time receptionist. Dolly recently became widowed…again….for the second time. Her first husband died when she was in her 40’s.  Now a senior, she wanted to know if I was working on any social groups for widows & widowers in our area. You see, she told me, both times her husbands died, not only did she lose her spouse, she lost all their married friends. They just stopped calling. They just stopped including her in their plans.


Join the Widowlution


It makes me angry every time I hear this story, and I hear it often, from my Facebook followers to people I meet in my daily life.


I get it. It happened to me. I’ve heard all manner of excuses. “I know you want your privacy.” Really? I was suddenly handed more privacy and solitude than most people could endure. “I thought you’d feel awkward in a gathering of all couples.” Really? I’d be among former friends. Who’s the one who would feel awkward? Not me! “I didn’t think you’d want to be alone at midnight at our New Year’s Eve party. “Really? Because being all alone at home at midnight is so much fun. “I didn’t know what to say” Really? So you said nothing at all. What a cop out!  

How about letting me decide? How about letting me choose if I feel like joining in?  And you people called yourselves my friends?  Pardon my bluntness, but what the hell happened to our society? When did we forget how to act, and the etiquette of death and loss?  I’m not the only one who has noticed. Dolly and a whole bunch of other folks have, too.


Florence Issacs, the Dear Abby of Death says “People are terrified of death and funerals today, and it didn’t used to be that way,” she said. “Your grandmother died at home or next door and you saw everything, and people talked about it. It was a part of the home and part of life. These days, people die in hospitals or hospices, so death is removed from the house and spoken about in hushed tones.”  Read more of what  she has to say at:



One of my other favorite quotes from Ms. Issacs is “There’s a huge audience for this, because everyone’s getting older,” Ms. Isaacs said. “People are dying all over the place today, and the families aren’t familiar with the etiquette.”  She is right, we aren’t! However, we used to be.


“I see people, as they approach me, trying to make up their minds whether they'll 'say something about it' or not. I hate if they do, and if they don't.” 
― C.S. LewisA Grief Observed


I am privileged to be working with Lynda Cheldelin Fell,, on the 5 Star series of books on grief, The Grief Diaries, found at One of our keystone books is Grief Diaries: How to Help the Newly Bereaved. A wonderful resource that should be on every household’s book shelf, it is a well done effort to educate us about how to treat grievers, since we so obviously don’t know.


Gary Roe, hospice chaplain and author,   just released Please Be Patient, I’m Grieving. It is a splendid effort to help those around us to understand us and better support us. Gary clearly thinks we are falling short as well.


No conversation about teaching our world about how to help grievers would be complete without a big “BRAVO!” to  Angie Cartwright of Grief the Unspoken,, who set out to change our world. She has campaigned tirelessly to have a National Day of Grief Awareness be named an official event.


One of my favorites, a much lighter and comedic look at loss, grief and death is Being Dead is No Excuse. It takes a funny and affectionate look at Southern funeral customs, and how the object is to get the griever wrapped and embraced with love, support and humor.

Friends, we have our work cut out for us. Join me in the Widowlution. I invite you to follow me on my blog: and on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Let’s link arms and “Stop It!!!”




Mary Lee


Challenge the Status Quo ~ Join the Widowlution!

For way too long, widows and widowers, and grievers in general, have tolerated rude and bad behavior from people around us who just don't "get it". It's time for change.

While nobody who has not experienced deep loss will fully understand grief until they do, even children can be taught to be thoughtful and considerate and caring. It's time

to turn the world around about this. Why? Because everyone will have a loss someday....and we want them to be treated with kindness and compassion, don't we? Let's teach them how!

Let's show them a better way!  A good place to start is with my book: Grief Diaries; How to Help the Newly Bereaved.  It can be purchased right here at The Grief Toolbox. Just browse through the store at the link below:


Join the Widowlution


Guest Poster, Barbara Morris on "I Hate to Cook", or What to Do About Eating While Widowed

Welcome healthy eating and aging well expert, pharmacist Barbara Morris, as she writes a little

bit about doing both after becoming widowed. Be sure to watch her video at the bottom, as well.



I Hate To Cook


By Barbara Morris, R.Ph.


Healthy Eating For One




I don't like to cook. Since my husband died I like to cook even less. However, I do passionately care about my health so I try to eat what is nutritious. It doesn't matter if it's not particularly tasty. I'm a big girl and know how to take my medicine regardless of what it tastes like. I have learned it's' possible to  develop a preference for most anything (except slimy mushrooms -- ugh! and yes, I know how nutritious they are).


My preference for breakfast is a cup of coffee to wash down my supplements, eggs, an English muffin slathered with organic butter and organic strawberry jam. But good grief. What a pain to prepare and clean up after it's eaten! It's too much trouble. I feel exhausted just thinking about it. And  besides, that English muffin, butter and jam is a no-no. Therefore, I may fantasize about that "all American" breakfast but I consume something different.


I drink my breakfast consisting of a huge (and I do mean huge) handful of kale, some ginger root, strawberries, blueberries, a squirt of MCT (medium chain triglycerides), carrot, almond milk and protein powder. Everyday it's pretty much the same thing. It's a nuisance to clean the blender, but it's a small price to pay for all that goodness. And, it tastes delightful! (Frozen organic blueberries and strawberries are available pretty much all year at Costco. You gotta love Costco.)


My preference for meal simplicity has been vindicated by an article in the April 2016 Life Extension Magazine, "How to Delay Brain Aging by 11 Years" by William Faloon. It you read it and don't resolve to get your nutrition act together you are doing yourself a grave disservice.


Faloon reports on a study conducted by researchers at Rush University. They studied over 900 people, ages 58 to 98 years, and followed them on average for 4.5 years. Three different diets were evalu­ated: the Mediterraneandiet, the DASH diet, and a hybrid of the Mediterranean-DASH diets called the MIND diet. The research­ers then looked at the effects of these three diets on the risk of Alzheimer's disease.


The researchers comprehensively adjusted for poten­tial confounding factors such as age, sex, education, APOE4 (genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease), pre-existing cardiovascu­lar problems, physical activity, and total dietary energy intake.


Results of their study analysis showed remarkable benefits for each of the diets, in particular for those folks who closely followed the MIND diet with its emphasis on berries and green vegetables.


The highest level of compliance with the MIND diet resulted in a highly significant 52% reduction in the rate of developing Alzheimer's disease compared with partici­pants with the lowest level of MIND dietary compliance.


In my opinion, this is awesome, mind-blowing information. If you care about your mental health now and in the future, perhaps it's time to toughen up and start eating what's good for you including (gag) mushrooms instead of what TV chefs and TV advertising encourage you to eat.


So,  here is the article link in Life Extension Magazine. Read it and be motivated to improve your health in one of the easiest ways possible.




Barbara Morris publishes The Put Old on Hold Journal and e-Magazine. Content tends to be eclectic but the main focus is on helping mature women avoid premature decline by advocating balanced lifelong growth and productivity. Sign up here to receive her monthly Journal. Learn more about Barbara at


It's Biblical...

When dWhen did we stop looking out for widows?id we stop looking out for widows & widowers and orphans? More importantly, why?



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