Who Will Zip Up My Dress Now That I’m A Widow?

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Being suddenly widowed brings on a bunch of unforeseen practical things you can’t do by yourself. In between bouts of tears there are moments when I get dressed up and go out. My first blog Demoted to Lunch resonated with friends and I am now booked for a month with dinner and lunch plans. The other day I was slipping into a sheath dress and there was no way I could get the zipper up. I live in a house and can’t go half-dressed to the neighbors. I think I will invent a zipper pull for widows. Business op? It’s number 12 on my “To Do” list.

Thrown into widowhood unexpectedly brings up a slew of new challenges. Hanging pictures solo is a complete pain. Putting on a tablecloth evenly is a feat. Moving a table or any type of furniture is agony. Lifting heavy groceries from the car is a trial. Bringing down my overstuffed heavy suitcase — the Principessa still does not travel light — is a backbreaker, literally.

Peter used to say that “some assembly required” were the worst words in the English language. If he had to put together a bookcase, it was a nightmare. He was not the hardware-store-loving-type of guy. He would try and then we would call our handyman for help to fix it again. But he did try, and occasionally would fix something and the grin on his face was priceless.

All these practical tasks can be accomplished with the help of friends but my biggest loss is not being able to share thoughts with Peter. After a dinner out, or dinner in, or any part of my day, I talked to Peter. While I was out in the daytime, I must have called him five times a day with updates and he called me with the same. That is the hole in my life. I can talk with friends and family but it is not the wise counsel of my deliciously kind husband. I miss that more than anything.

Grief has changed my life forever. I am not the person I was three months ago. What existed in my life before Peter died has been suddenly altered. Nothing is the same, nor will it ever be so. What was important to me before is meaningless now. I have new eyes to see but the view is murky with a treacherous road ahead. I will walk it but it will take help and guidance.

In the meantime, I am moving my tight sheath dresses to the back of my closet and have invested in a very high stepladder to replace all the light bulbs myself.

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