something I didn't expect

08_05_10.jpgon march 25th, 2008

i had more

friends than

i'd ever thought

i'd have, 

and more family members

than i remembered having.

everyone i'd known

throughout my life 

rallied around me

in numbers i never

could have expected,

all of them ready to

ready to help me

clean my house,

(as if i needed a clean house)

to feed me

(as if i could eat without puking)

to hold me

up as i collapsed

under the weight of



(this is exactly what i needed).

but few of them

knew what to say. 

because who really knows

how to speak

to a man

whose 30 year

old wife died the

day after she gave

birth to their child?

no one.

i went about my

days, mothering/fathering

my daughter, 

trying to figure

out what the fuck

i was going to do, 

and writing it all down

so i wouldn't forget.

all while crying over


i wasn't writing

as a way to

reach out to 

anyone in particular.

i wasn't writing 

hoping that i'd 

find a wider group

of support. 

i didn't want

anything from anyone, 

because i told myself

that i could handle things

on my own

and i felt like

seeking help would

make me weak

(typical man, right?)

but something interesting

happened along the way...

i started getting

emails and 

comments on my blog 

from women all 

around the world

who were just like me.

they had dead husbands, boyfriends,

fiancee's, and partners,

and better than

anyone else in my

life, they knew 

exactly what to say.

so when i got

a comment from

candace or melody or janine, 

or an email from kim,

or andrea, or sarah, or nikki,

i read them 

like they

were my college textbooks,

and when i talked

to jackie

on the phone

i laughed and cried

and yelled and swore

and listened and shared

and smiled and cried 

some more.

jackie was funny,

brash, and she swore

more than i did.

she could look

past the obvious awfulness

of our lives

to find some hope. 

i really felt like

i had met my

long lost canadian sister. 

she was one of

the major inspirations

behind my desire to 

give back to 

this community of widowed

people i started finding

myself becoming closer to.


last year, 

michele asked me

to speak at

a conference for widows.

if that didn't sound

depressing and terrible, 

i don't know what did.

i agreed, simply because

i like michele. 

then i started to 

hear from the widows i'd

gotten to know

over email and the phone...

they were also planning

to attend this awful conference. 

suddenly i was excited

to meet all of

them, to sit down

and say the things

you can't say in front

of someone who hasn't had 

(what i consider to be)

the worst imaginable 

thing happen to them, 

and share a few

drinks in the bar. 

when i arrived in

san diego and finally met

them in person, 

along with abby

and a few others,

i knew for sure that

we would be forever

bonded as friends. 

it was a lovely sisterhood

that developed 

that first afternoon

in the hotel bar

(i was the only widower in attendance).

there was no pretense.

there was

friendship and understanding

and fun.



at a conference created

specifically for "sad" people.

i got to know 

a lot of widows

that weekend in san diego.

like jennifer, and erin, and jerilynn

and so many others.

and i can't begin

to articulate how

thankful i am that i

was able to meet them. 


as i look forward

to camp widow 2010, 

i realize i'm 

not just going

because michele

asked me to speak.


this year i'm going to 

join my sisters

for some laughs.

and drinks.

and to add more friends

to a list i never 

thought could be 

so long and wonderful.


oh. and it sounds like

i may actually meet some

widowers this year.

i guess i'm 

not the only man

who has realized how

important this sisterhood

can be.

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