This is an excerpt from The Good Widow: A Memoir of Living with Loss – Kindle edition by Katz, Jennifer. Health, Fitness & Dieting Kindle eBooks @

My Beloved,

It’s just over seven months now since you’ve been gone.

At times, I still can’t believe it. It feels incredible that I’ll never again be able to hold your hand or stroke your hair. I ache to touch you again, for you to touch me. I’m starving, ravenous to smell your scent, to breathe your breath. Instead, I stand in front of your open closet and stroke the dress shirts that had touched the once warm skin over your once beating heart.

Although I miss your body—the smell and touch and feel of you—I also miss your mind, your wisdom, your clarity. You had such a broad perspective on our lives and the world around us. I miss your personality, your shyness, your sturdiness, and your silly puns. You appreciated the absurd. You taught me to find and to laugh at the funny parts of bad behavior and bad situations.

I miss your generosity, how you’d buy me tulips and bring me treats. You’d ask about my day and listen patiently to my complaints, my worries, nodding and softly stroking my hand, my cheek. I miss your companionship, you seated next to me, talking about parenting or planning our next vacation.

With you, the future was a fun and exciting place. I miss being yours, how proud I felt to be your life companion. I loved being the wife of the kind, brilliant scientist who worked tirelessly to make a difference in this world. And I miss your flaws. You were often indecisive, flustered, forgetful. You were always buying new nail clippers.

This morning I had the image of our life together as a tall building with clean white walls. Your death smashed into this structure like a wrecking ball, leaving a gaping hole and debris everywhere. Our life is now my life—broken, fragmented, such a mess. The damage is massive and overwhelming. Is it even possible to clean this up?

Should I even try? The cavernous hole has left me bare, exposed. The winds hit me directly now. I shiver and feel vulnerable, unsafe. I also wonder about the foundation. Is there enough of a base here? Will I suddenly collapse? How will I be able to find a way to exist in these jumbled ruins?

Only time will tell. We didn’t have enough time. There is no more time to be together. Our time is over. The world keeps spinning, the sun keeps rising, the clock keeps ticking. Time advances. Carried forward by new days, I move unwillingly, powerlessly, away from time with you.

Slowly and painfully, I’m adjusting. It’s happening automatically, against my will. As the days pass, as I continue to live and
you continue to be gone, your absence feels more and more familiar. The circular indent from our wedding band on my left ring finger, now naked, has been mostly smoothed away.

Last night, mindlessly, I parked my car in the middle of the garage we once shared. I hate this, of course. I still want to tell you the good news, still want to lie next to you at night. But now I find that, when positive events occur, the old immediate urge to tell you has faded away. And when I force myself upstairs, stumbling into our bed in the darkest night hour, it’s now familiar to find unwrinkled sheets and your unused pillow, bare and cold.

Yours always, with love,

Visit Jennifer Katz’s website: Jennifer Katz | Author of The Good Widow

Read about the financial cost of spouse loss: When Things Go to Hell in a Handbasket – Coping with the Financial Aspects of Spouse Loss – Open to Hope

Jennifer Katz

Jennifer Katz was born and raised in South Florida along with a twin brother, a younger sister, and a toy poodle named Muffin. At age twenty-five, she earned her degree in clinical psychology and met Tristram Smith at a job interview. After she was hired, they became friends, and then more. Jenny and Tris married and moved to upstate New York with a son. Later, they adopted a daughter. After 18 years of marriage, Jenny was widowed at age forty-five. She loves reading, yoga, musical theater, and broccoli. An award-winning professor, she teaches about gender, sexuality, and helping relationships. Jenny contributes regularly to StepMom Magazine. The Good Widow is her first book.

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