September 27

Some dates seem to have more significance than others. August 20 — my birthday. August 31 — the day I got married. November 20 — Karen’s birthday. March 25, April 12, May 19, November 4, November 8 — my children’s birth dates.

September 27 — the day my life and my family’s lives changed forever … the day Karen died.

We’ve been through the details before. If you’re interested, just page back to this date over the past three years.

For the most part, I’m doing fine seven years after the fact. I’ve been able to navigate through the early days of widowhood and the ever-expanding realization of life alone. The bright spot is you can get away with more — working late, sneaking snacks, watching what you want on TV, not sharing the covers — but it’s really just a flicker.

Karen and I were married for 40 years. That’s a lot of memories. That’s a lot of togetherness. So, yes, even though I’ve been maneuvering through life for the last seven years, there hasn’t been a day when I haven’t thought of Karen. It’s not melancholy. But the joy of life is dulled. As countless widows and widowers following long relationships can attest, there is a hole in your heart. It closes over the years, but you still wear the scar. And it’s not just the same going through life alone … especially after being yoked together for so many years.

I’ve tried to maintain a relationship with Karen beyond the grave. I’ve maintained many of the traditions we had — like morning coffee and cartoons, flowers once a week {usually a single rose or roses from the garden}, our conversations still.

I certainly miss her. But even more, it saddens me she never got the chance to meet three of her grandchildren or her two great-granddaughters. Even as I move forward, there is a twinge of sadness Karen isn’t sharing those adventures. You can blame her for my fascination with Maine and, while she is there now, it’s inside an urn.

There is a Funky Winkerbean cartoon taped to the file cabinet next to my {her} desk. I look at it every day. Les Moore lost his wife to cancer and he is driving with his daughter Summer. She asks, “Dad … Do you still miss Mom?”

Next frame, Les responds, “There hasn’t been a day. But after a while, you begin to understand …” Jump to frame three. “… That you can’t let your grief become the substitute for the one you love.”

We always kidded each other. I would say “You’re going to miss me when I’m gone” and she would respond, “No, no, no. You’re going to miss me when I’m gone.”

Once again, she was right.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: He who loses money, loses much. He who loses a friend, loses much more. He who loses faith, loses all

About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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4 Responses to September 27

  1. Del says:

    Hello Joe.. I see this post is from some time ago, but I was led to read it. I hear your heart and feel the loss. My son, 47, just lost his wife of not even 1 year. They were together 12 years and finally got married on August 3, 2019… So sad. It was not COVID, but if not for COVID, she might have got help and been here. Such a shock. He is totally heartbroken. I pray for him night and day. Sadness has gripped our family like nothing before. I hear your heart and can’t imagine. My prayers are with you and if you have any wisdom from a father, I’ll take it. Bless you…Del


  2. I am so sorry. The unintended collateral damage caused by this pandemic is unspeakable. I will certainly lift your son and the family and friends left behind in my thoughts and prayers. I don’t have any “wisdom” to share except life goes on — differently. We don’t journey alone; hold onto each other; support each other. We all grieve differently, but I suspect your son (and others in the family) will have a a few days next month when he (they) will retreat inward. Emphasize the memories — the good memories. Cherish those memories. If he needs someone to talk to, to vent with, to cry, to understand, have him get a hold of me ( Widows/widowers have a very close sorority/fraternity … because we’ve been through it.


    • Del says:

      Good Morning Joe~ Thanks so much for the reply. I do agree with you that all grieve differently. The hardest thing is knowing what to say and what not to say. I try to pray and only say what God would have me say to never make his pain worse.

      Thank you also for the invitation that he could reach out to you. I can suggest it and just leave it in his hands.

      Praying for you daily. I love your blogs and writing. Always so encouraging and eye-opening to the truth.

      God’s blessings,



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