I just returned from seeing Meryl Streep’s remarkable performance as Margaret Thatcher in “Iron Lady,” for which she surely should win an Oscar.

But she also should win that Oscar for touching aging widows’ hearts.

Like Margaret, many of us went through our husband’s shoes, clothes, and treasures — along with old family photos — and could not bear to take that final step and get rid of them. They were the constant reminders of a beautiful life lived well that is no more.

But this powerful film and Streep’s performance in it are not for the faint hearted.

In the final scenes, as Margaret hallucinates, and talks with her dead spouse (and don’t we all do that sometimes?) she finally packs up everything, and watches him put on his coat, pick up his case and leave.

“Oh, don’t go, Dennis,” she cries . “Don’t go yet, I don’t want to be alone.”

And he turns to say, “Oh, you’ll be all right. You always have been.”

Some of us, who also lived independent professional lives identify uncomfortably with that moment.

Sandra Pesmen 2012

Sandra Pesmen

Sandra Pesmen, host of www.widowslist.com, also writes the weekly DR.JOB column syndicated by Career News Service. A member of The Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and The University of Illinois Media Alumni Hall of Fame, Ms. Pesmen is author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide,“ and “Writing for the Media: Public Relations and the Press.” A reporter, features writer and editor, this business journalist was features editor of Crain’s Chicago Business from its inception in 1978 to 1990, when she became corporate features editor for its parent, Crain Communications Inc. She also wrote the monthly Executive Woman column in North Shore magazine in suburban Chicago for many years. Previously, she was a reporter and features writer for the Chicago Daily News.

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