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Released January 2019, “Learning to Dance in the Rain – Dealing with Grief, Moving On and Online Dating”

My story begins with the last three days of my husband’s life, two weeks before our fiftieth wedding anniversary. It is dealing with one of the five most difficult situations in our lives – which are the death of a loved one, divorce, relocation, buying a house and a major illness. It is about survival and perseverance as one learns to live alone. It is about grieving and giving ourselves and others permission to grieve the loss of a loved one because it is absolutely necessary for our healing. It is about building a new life for myself as a mature senior adult, and I became a published author.

Shock and denial were my first reactions to the news that my husband “didn’t make it.” I thought I hadn’t heard correctly what the nurse said the first time, and I didn’t understand what she meant after she repeated the phrase. Then I exclaimed, “No! That cannot be true! You must do something!”

“There is nothing we can do,” the nurses replied.

When I remembered  I had signed the paper for the intubation procedure which caused his heart to stop, I immediately reacted with the thought, “I had killed my husband.”

Suddenly other accusations struck me like arrows shot from a bow one after the other:  “What am I going to do now?” “How can I live without him?” “Why did this happen?” “It is all my fault!” I cried.

Then I was angry! Oh so angry! “Why did you leave me?” I cried. “Why, God? Why did you take him away from me? I need him!”

Thinking I was alone now, and afraid to live alone, I was relieved when my daughter made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. She suggested, “Mom, I think you should come back to Michigan and live with me until your Tennessee house is sold. That will give you time to grieve and decide what you want to do with the rest of your life.”

So I left my friends behind in Tennesse and relocated to Michigan to live with my daughter, her husband, and two-year-old son. Still, there was so much to be done, packing up my stuff for the move, paperwork, decisions and more decisions!

After six months of grieving and feeling sorry for myself, trying to adjust to a new life, I was lonely and I decided I needed a friend. I took a look at an Online Dating Website only to find out that my daughter and son were adamantly opposed to my dating again. I persevered and after much soul-searching,  I bought a subscription for a dating website and it wasn’t long before I was scheduled for my first date. Now THAT was an experience…

In conversations with some of my new friends, the told me that they admired my courage. However, I disagreed because I was lonely and knew if I did nothing, then I would continue to be lonely and scared. I told them, “We don’t know what we will do in a difficult situation until we are faced with it. Then we do what we have to do!”

“Learning” begins when we have a problem to solve, our attention is captured, and our minds are opened to new ideas. During my journey of grief, I became thirsty for knowledge in many different areas of living and I began to read voraciously searching for the answer to one question, “What do I want to do with the rest of my life?”

I learned that I needed to get involved in the community and I did! I use the word, “dance,” to mean not only the physical activity of moving my body to music (as in “dancing”) but to also include the other activities in which I participate. I did start Line Dance classes and started attending Singles’ Dances in the area. I also learned to play Euchre and Hand and Foot Canasta. I began talking to people and I re-discovered my love of the piano by joining another music teacher in playing four-hand-one-keyboard piano duets for nursing homes and senior events, and I decided to start dating again. You won’t want to miss any of my stories.

Book was Released: December 19, 2018, by Xulon Press. It is available in paperback and electronic versions at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, York Mercantile in Sturgis, MI, and all retailers can order it from their distributors. This page was last updated on Feb. 7, 2020