Monday, July 26, 2021


Background: On June 16th my hubbie, Tom, (I've been remarried quite a while in case you didn't know), walked me to the TSA checkpoint at the airport. It had been 19 months since I'd seen my kids in Seattle and I was making a run out there while we were all freshly vaccinated. Tom would be starting a new job 1000 miles away from our home in South Carolina before I returned. (We didn't know this when I got my non-refundable tickets). We kissed good-bye, and that was the last time we were together.

This is not good for a marriage. Well, not for mine, anyway. Maybe military people, or others who travel for weeks/months at a time, have some special skills for dealing with long separation, but I do not. It is a learning experience.

It's also a reminder to me of what my widow friends go through every day---LIVING ALONE. Plus, they are often dealing with the heavy load of grief. The weight of grief doesn't bother me any more, but .... can I be honest? Living alone is very difficult! 

Any tips for grocery shopping or meals?

The first time I went in the grocery store when I got home I thought I'd be a smarty pants and get all healthy and nutritious food. Well, forget it. I didn't know where to start. How was I going to eat a whole head of lettuce or broccoli? I bought 2 apples and walked out. I decided I'd just eat PB & jelly sandwiches. 

I'm finding that FEAR is a weird struggle for me too. Now that I live by myself I am gripped by caution with every step I take. I'm afraid I'll fall down! I actually did fall about three months ago. I got up to walk but didn't know my leg was asleep and wham! down I went! Tom saw the whole thing and found it amusing. Lucky for him I wasn't hurt except for some swelling. But now I'm gripped with thoughts like: What if I fall down the steps in the garage? No one will know!.... one disastrous scenario after another goes through my mind. Any little thing goes to worse case. Once I woke up in the middle of the night and decided that I wouldn't go to the doctor 's office for fear that they'll find cancer!  

I'm also struggling with ANGER. I'm living alone, I don't like it, there's nothing I can do about it, and I feel trapped like a tiger in a cage. For me, this is a temporary situation, but it's extremely frustrating. As soon as we find house to buy where Tom is working I will put this house on the market and get moved. But if I were staying here, I could do stuff; I could be looking for a job or increasing my volunteer work, getting a pet, joining a gym, etc. Instead, I just have to wait (and mow the lawn, pick up the mail, pay the bills, turn the lights on and off, and pick up after myself). Do you ever have that head-banging, helpless feeling? That boredom? Do you want to yell and tell your husband, but he's just too far away to understand? Do you have old grudges and unresolved conflicts that he's totally oblivious about? I know! Those are sometimes issues for both widows and marrieds.

Groceries. Fear. Anger. Do you have any tips? Please see contact info below. 

If we can jump these barrels, I think we can solve world peace next. I'd love to hear from you!

💗 ferree

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  1. Every single day I deal with those things in some way. Find every good carryout place. I hate to cook meat for just me. Buy 1/2 pound cooked meats that you can take home and get 2 or 3 meals out of by adding something simple at home. Like microwaved potatoes or sweet potatoes or fresh or frozen vegetables. Add salad and call it meal. Cook 7 hardboiled eggs and eat 1 or two at breakfast, or egg salad, or chef salad. They will keep several days! For the first three years, Salads of all kinds were my mainstay. When my kids come and I actually cook, then always freeze individual portions of it if it will freeze good and taste decent later. No, it’s never as good as fresh.

    As far as fear, sleep with your purse and keys and walking shoes beside your bed, so you can run if you have to! You can also use your car remote alarm to sound it if you need to! Or a gun if you’re so inclined!

    Pray a prayer of protection over you and your whole family naming every single one and ending with yourself. Ask God to place angels around your house that is also His. I pretty much drift off to sleep every single night doing this. Remember that He covers me with his feathers and under His wings I can trust. Morning and night.

    Wear pocket clothing that hangs loosely so you can have phone with you even to the mailbox. My phone is my lifeline right after God. They’re both right here with me.

    Do I like living this way? No. Did I live this way when Mike was here with me or coming home to be here with me? No. Life changed when he died and I am alone. So I must be prepared to take care of myself at all times. Only with God’s help.
    I am fortunate that my son lives about 10 minutes away and I can call him if it is an absolute emergency or absolute need. But I’m pretty independent! I also am a recluse most of the time especially with Covid here. My girls are not close so that help is not available. They are two hours and nine hours away.

    My advice that you didnt ask for—Sell your house now while the market is good and go live with your husband in a rental if you have to! I would in a minute if I had a husband. I am praying for another great one still. I was blessed with the best one for 44 years! I dont want to marry an older man that would be older than my hubby would have been-69 next month. God knows and holds me.

    1. Dear Karen only, thank you! great tips on the groceries, prayer and cell phone! My kids were with me, teenaged, when I was widowed first time around so I feel like I should know this stuff but it's very different phase. Plus, I'm married, and as far as your un-asked for advice, you said it far more graciously than I say it to myself! I keep saying "Quit wasting your marriage!" lol, so I appreciate your good sense. Thank you very much for taking the time to share these very valuable tips. I hate toting my cell phone around, but I think what you've said makes perfect sense and I just need to get with the program. I do love pockets! :) I will pray about a husband for you, and a good one like your Mike was, and I will treasure your prayers for me. Thanks again, it was so good to hear from you!

  2. Oh, Ferree, I’m so sorry. What you’re going through is NOT fun. After almost 7 years, I’m still not used to the fixing meals for one. I’ve finally given up on the PBJ sandwiches, hot dogs, frozen meals, etc, and gone back to cooking in binges. I’ll fix a few things, and then freeze all the left-over portions. That way I just have to heat up a meal; and my cooking is either salt free, or very low sodium, plus I like the taste of my own meals. LOL I do buy frozen veggies, and use them. There are even times I micro up a meal of just veggies, add some pepper, maybe a light touch of butter or olive oil, sometimes a few spices, and that’s dinner. It’s really satisfying. Anyhow, that’s my solution.

    Oh, and my daughter explained to me (and did I feel dumb) that when bags of fruit and produce are OPENED in the fresh section and it’s being sold by the pound, I can remove what I want and put it in a bag. Well, DUH! I now enjoy grapes, oranges, and loads more fresh fruit and veggies. Plus my local Publix will even cut up a melon (or most anything) and sell me a small portion. It’s great.

    As to the loneliness, there’s no real answer other than the cliche of “you get used to it.” *shrug* I find I’ll go through phases where I’m fine, and phases where I’m not.

    Now the fear, oh how I get that. I’m blessed to now live next door to my kids, so they are within text reach, but I worry that I’ll fall and not have my phone. I’m to the point where my phone goes everywhere, even when I step out into the garage and could holler for help. But the totally irrational fear? I feel for you, and will be praying that you can rest in the amazing love and comfort of our Savior as you deal with this.

    I’ll also be praying that you are able to work through, and let go of, your anger. It’s totally normal, and you know this, ;-) but that doesn’t make it any easier. Another prayer point for me to pray about for you. And rest assured, every widow has been there — maybe more than once. Oh, not me, no ma’am, I’d never have to deal with emotional issues more than once. Yup, I learn real easy. HAHAHA

    I’m so sorry you are facing all of this. In some ways it’s like being widowed all over again. Praying for you, Ferree.

    1. Dear Mrs.Mac, thank you for those good tips too! I didn't know that about the opened bags of produce either! I did help myself to putting some Bing cherries in a little bag for myself the other day but I felt so guilty and kept thinking someone would say something, whew! I loved your sense of humor too. Thank you for helping me know that even though you would "never" have to deal with emotional issues more than once, you have had to deal with them from time to time. lol I know God will get me through this, but it sure helps to reach out and hear from friends like you and Karen and other. I can't thank you enough!


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