By Caitlin Kelly
He’d come through heart surgery and we were all relieved.
Then he died.
Sadly, his widow lives very far away from us and we’re not close enough friends that we would fly cross-country.
But our hearts ache for her, a funny and kind woman who helped me through some very tough times, long-distance, in 2014-2015.
This is the sixth woman I know who has been widowed in recent years — all of them younger than 70, many in their 40s or early 50s, with or without children.
Two died of that brute, pancreatic cancer. Two of heart attacks. One was a 40+ year relationship that began in high school, another a happy second marriage.
It’s the moment every happily married woman (and her children) dreads. We think it will happen, hope it will only happen, when we, or they, are old and wrinkled and have enjoyed decades together.
But sometimes we are robbed.
I’ve now been with Jose, my second husband, since we met through an online dating service in March 2000. We married in September 2011.
I cannot imagine my life without him.
Yet one has to.
So he created what we call the “red binder” — which I wrote about this year for the website considerable.com. It describes how to create this binder, which is meant to ease in all practical aspects, what to do after your partner or spouse dies: passwords, PINs, pensions, bank accounts, car leases and loans, mortgage details.
All of it.
Much as I know a lot about our finances and the details of our shared life, like many couples we also divvy some stuff up, so he handles some and I handle some.
Have you been widowed or become a widower?
How did you cope?