Everything but the Kitchen Sink

As widowed people we do not talk about this enough.  When they died, our sex lives died with them.  There I said it. 

Sexual bereavement is a thing.  It is very real and it profoundly affects us as we live on without the one we love.  Daily, we miss the intimacy of being a couple.  And, nothing, not one thing can replace this.  The daily nuances that exist between two lovers.  Your unspoken language.  The secret words you whispered to one another.  The tone he reserved for just you. The dialect of love.   

As surviving spouses we miss the stolen glances.  The way his adoring eyes watched me prepare a meal.  The winks he sent me across the room during a dinner party.  Tenderly placing my hand on his leg as he drove us some place.  Walking side by side and casually reaching for his familiar hand; and, then interlocking my fingers with the man I love. Their hands.  Their kiss.  That place on the small of my back that only he knew.  The way he gently brushed the hair out of my eyes before his lips met mine.  The way I fell into his chest as he pulled me to him.  All of this.  Every last thing.  This is the stuff we ache for.  This is the stuff that I quietly grieve.



I miss your hands on me.

I miss your touch against my skin.


I desperately miss having you beside me on an ordinary Sunday night.


I wish I could turn my head and see you here in front of me.


I want my dinner companion back. 

I miss him.


Eating alone while I talk to my dead lover is killing my appetite.

It is not food I crave, it is your physical presence that I hunger for.


I long to taste your kiss.

I want to run my fingers across your shoulders as I set your plate down.

I want to drink up your smile as I swallow my wine.


As I sit here alone, 

I close my eyes,

And, I feel you come up behind me and wrap your arms tightly around me 

- like you always did.


I remember how you’d slowly turn me around to face you.

We’d stop and briefly look at one another.

If I could go back, 

I’d stay there locked in that moment.


I remember feeling something magical happening inside those fleeting seconds when we looked into each other’s Souls.

We stood still, but within this space we held for each other, we travelled someplace else. 

A place without a name. 

A place that is gently suspended outside of time and space. 


Maybe this is the place where you exist now.

- I don’t know.


Nowadays, I slip far into the depths of my heart space remembering how this type of intimacy felt. 

To say I miss this connection to another human being is an understatement.

I’m starving for you.

And, tonight, I long for you to take my hand and lead me away from the sink full of dirty dishes because they can wait, but you can not.


Tonight, I sit here hopelessly wanting my memories of you to come back to life.

I am remembering how you would take me and push me up against the counter as you leaned in to kiss me.


I want to make love to you - long into the night.

I want to lay contently in your arms with my hair a mess.

I need to lose myself in you again and again as the moonlight shines through the blinds and lights up our eyes.

But, none of this will happen tonight; or any other night because you died.

So again, like always, I fight your deadness because I wish to have you here in the room with me.


Your empty chair bores me and taunts me.

It’s not enough to survive on memories alone. 

They can not feed the hunger in my Soul.

Mike, the dishes can wait, but I can not.


All my love,



Showing 21 reactions

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  • Valeria Hargand
    commented 2019-09-15 13:55:08 -0700
    Yes – to all of it.

    Even at 62 & 69 the hunger still needed to be fed.

    And now that I am a widow alone, since December 14th, 2019 starting at 8:05 a.m. … the hunger eats me alive some days.

    Bob was my man since my eyes saw him when I was 10 years old (he was 17) – we met 7 years later and married 4 months later. We were married for 44 years wonderful, passionate yeras.

    We made love every night (menstrual days & late pregnancy days being the exceptions).

    Bob was a tender, thoughtful, and pleasing lover.

    I miss Bob.

    I will always miss Bob.

    There will never be another Bob.

    And I am not looking for a replacement.
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2019-06-12 12:34:13 -0700
    Kathy, I am glad that you feel validated in what you read. I am sorry you understand this.
  • Kathy Lenhardt Cox
    commented 2019-04-19 08:39:21 -0700
    You nailed it. The million little things! ♡♡♡ I have felt just empty inside since I lost him. :(
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2019-04-17 18:10:10 -0700
    Terri, I am glad that your feelings have been validated. ~S.
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2019-04-17 18:09:29 -0700
    Mi, In the many discussions I have had about relationships after loss, I think the one thing most agree on is that they will not settle. Myself, I am not even remotely interested in a cheap imitation of the love I had with Mike. I want to be able to write about the new guy with the same passion that I write about Mike. If I can’t, then he isn’t my guy. He’s not the one… Sure, I am lonely, but I would rather be alone than be lonely in a relationship with the wrong person. Best to you, to me and to us all as we try to figure this stuff out. ~S.
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2019-04-17 18:06:17 -0700
    Mary-Louise, So do I. There is so very much to miss. The secondary losses are awful. ~S.
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2019-04-17 18:05:17 -0700
    Denise, You are more than welcome. This blog clearly spoke to many in the widowed community. ~S.
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2019-04-17 18:04:28 -0700
    Ludy, there is zero selfish about missing being part of a couple. And, being a couple includes intimacy and sex. ~S.
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2019-04-17 18:03:42 -0700
    Maree, I believe that we can change the tone of these conversations. In a private grief group, we had an amazing conversation regarding sexual bereavement. There were over 300 comments and hundreds and hundreds of engagements because, in the closed environment, widowed people felt safe enough to discuss what others don’t allow us to express outside of this community. The conversation was less about sex, and more about intimacy and the missing of the nuances between a couple. ~S.
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2019-04-17 18:00:36 -0700
    Marissa, To say we miss “it” is an understatement isn’t it. And, I am not simply talking about sex. It is all the stuff in between that we miss the most… ~S.
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2019-04-17 17:59:25 -0700
    We all miss it. It is part of our grief. I am glad I wrote about it. I think it helped a lot of people feel validated. ~S.
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2019-04-17 17:58:07 -0700
    You’re welcome. It needs to be said. ~S.
  • Terri Lynch
    commented 2019-04-16 18:18:36 -0700
    Exact description of my daily feelings and life, Everyone asks “How are you?” You’ve described exactly how I am. Thank you
  • Mi Fasola
    commented 2019-04-15 19:43:37 -0700
    While my late husband of 40 years was terminally ill sexual satisfaction was the last thing I thought of. I was too busy trying to keep him alive. Almost a year after he passed away I realized I’d never been a single free sensual woman before. I began a relationship with a man who was able to fulfill my sexual needs. I see him infrequently for intimate relations and it suits me for now. Aside from that I’ve dated a few men however there was absolutely no chemistry on my part and there was no physical relationship with any of them. I suspect it’s because my expectations are high and I’m not willing to just settle because I’m a single woman now. I don’t stereotype myself as a widow as I don’t want men acting differently around me.
  • Mary-Louise Cardosa
    commented 2019-04-15 17:10:08 -0700
    Miss it and him so much
  • Denise DiGrazia Lishefski
    commented 2019-04-15 17:06:53 -0700
    Thank you for putting into words what so many of us are feeling.
  • Ludy Rotchford
    commented 2019-04-06 00:43:37 -0700
    I thought I was being selfish. Nice to know I am not alone.
  • Maree Norfleet
    commented 2019-04-05 10:23:41 -0700
    Widow intimacy conversations are either inquisitively or jokingly.
  • Marissa Hutton
    commented 2019-04-01 18:09:51 -0700
    Yes! Just. Yes! Yet another thing that didn’t die when he died. I miss our intimate time so much.
  • Don Yacona
    commented 2019-04-01 11:16:56 -0700
    I miss it so much.
  • Ron Marro
    commented 2019-04-01 08:05:04 -0700
    Thank you. For a year and a half I’ve been feeling this and nobody speaks of the intimacy that is lost when the love of your life dies. Thank you 🙏