by Just Lynne

# 1. 4/10/15 12:39 PM by Growel E. Bayher
What an emotionally gripping column. I guess none of us know what impact such a traumatic experience will have on us until it happens.

Thank you so much for sharing.

Editor's Note: Your whole life and being can change after a traumatic experience, Growel, and I find it fascinating to watch! There is a lot of layers to all of us humans.

# 2. 4/10/15 12:54 PM by amnesiac
My sis was happily married fifty years when husband died, she was the family member most likely to do the correct thing, she remarried in 6 months!

Editor's Note: Yep, you never can tell what anyone is going to do, amnesiac, but it's kinda fun to see what happens, isn't it?

# 3. 4/10/15 3:10 PM by Nick
We have the kind of marriage in which we're each others' soul mates. We're not fatalistic or morbid people by any means but every now and again we have that "what if something happened to one of us" conversations. The general consensus is I would go to pieces and become a recluse and she would be okay after an understandable period of mourning.

My question to you Lynne is how do you think you've done compared to how you thought you might do?

Editor's Note: At least both of you have a good idea of where you would stand if the worst happens, Nick. As to me, I thought I would stay a super-busy woman but to my surprise I have become a slug sitting on my couch with my feet on the coffee table enjoying life.

# 4. 4/10/15 3:28 PM by Tom Dey - Springwater, NY
"I kinda like myself." That's Wonderful, Lynne! I really enjoyed your painting of their personalities and how they morphed...Very vivid descriptions. My wife and I are still both here, but agreed long ago that the one remaining will get over the mourning and enjoy what life still offers. My understanding is that people naturally tend toward preferring a bit more solitude and personal space in the later years. I know I lean that way. Socialization - for sure - but in smaller and less frequent doses. And cut way back on giant commitments; resist assignments from others. I've gotten really good at the "just say no" when someone wants my time, money or labor. Phone solicitations for NFPs I don't even bother to decline any more - I just hang up. And me too...I Like myself! That's just gota be healthy...we're long past the life stage of working to please others. Tom

Editor's Note: I have some friends in my age group who are still energizer bunnies, Tom, but I tend to look at them with pity. I think it's good to admit you're tired and take naps and never ever commit to anything that will make you too busy! So I stand with you, learning to just say no is such a relief!

# 5. 4/10/15 4:00 PM by deep water
interesting. my parents divorced after 50 years, and my dad found someone else. my mom was content never to share her life with another man, and she seems much happier, they both are happier. but for my mom it's kinda like losing your spouse. she's single and loving it though.

Editor's Note: I think that happens to a large number of women, deep, they find they actually like being single, they may even love it like your Mom! Some women fall apart but most don't. Life goes on I guess.

# 6. 4/10/15 6:41 PM by BF
I am not "officially" a widow, except, perhaps in sentiment.

In 2013 I moved 90 miles away to become companion and caregiver to a friend I'd had since my undergraduate days back in the late 1970s. It was a bittersweet year as I watched the body of my magnificent friend deteriorate even as his mind stayed sharp, though slower.

We talked all day long about all the things we loved: the music, the literature, the music. We never once ran out of things to talk about.

As he declined I became more and more caregiver; I was happy doing what I could for him. He eventually got a hospital bed, placed in front of the living room picture window so he could look upon the birds and trees and the river and the gardens he had so lovingly tended.

Last July, after all his friends and family said a last goodbye, I held his hand as he peacefully slipped into the next world.

What a wealth of living we packed into that last year, and I will take all that living with me to my last days.

Editor's Note: What a a beautiful story, BF, it touched my heart. What a lucky man he was to have you with him as he made that last journey. And how lucky you were, too, to have had that opportunity and those memories to carry for the rest of your life.

# 7. 4/10/15 8:32 PM by mk
You have an excellent way of describing human conditions. My husband and I speak about the "what if's." We have experienced so many deaths in friends and family, you have to talk about.

We haven't made our final arrangements. I have wondered: Will whoever goes first find comfort in making the arrangements with the kids? Will our kids find comfort in working out those final details?

From your experience, any suggestions?

Editor's Note: Kids are sometimes a difficult situation as they don't want to hear about your death and the plans you have made. At least mine are that way. I have tried to go about it in a calm way as though we are talking about someone else and sometimes I get my point across, but I have to admit their resistance has been a tough thing to handle. Wish I had some wise advice for you, mk, but I don't. It's been a muddled mess for the most part.

# 8. 4/10/15 8:32 PM by BF
Thank you for your very kind words.

I feel honored that he chose me to be with him as he passed on. I am convinced he orchestrated it thusly.

Editor's Note: You're welcome, BF. I think things happen as they should if we don't try to control everything.

# 9. 4/10/15 9:08 PM by BF
I guess I should get back to the subject of your column and say that I am most always happy on my own. I have nobody to answer to and nobody to have acquiesce to.

Still, I derive a great deal of esprit de corps with my friends, and most days I get out for lunch or shopping.

When I have the money I love to travel, and count among my friends people on three continents, so I do get around, in a way . . .

Editor's Note: There's a certain freedom in doing what we want to do when we want to do it, and most of us deserve that after years of answering and acquiescing!

# 10. 4/12/15 8:48 AM by Marilyn
thumbsup.gif Great column Lynn - and yes each of us reacts to being tossed alone in different ways. It has happened to me twice.. and due to time each was very different.

Editor's Note: I think one of the hardest parts is that you have to make all decisions alone - sure, you can talk to your kids and friends but in the end, it's all up to you! You can only hope the consequences won't be too bad, LOL.

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