I’m writing this late at night on purpose. Or maybe I’m not. I don’t know. Right now I’m in Widow Time Zone (WTZ).

WTZ comes as a surprise to us all. I know this because I’ll be sitting at my computer just typing away when an email will come in at 1:00 in the morning and I’ll respond to it.

Hey, Widow Chick! Just wanted to see if you could help me with ____ or if you could read the following ____ or if you could just let me know if I’m crazy.

As soon as my email pings, I’m responding.

Of course! Here’s what I can do and let me know if I can do anything else!

There is usually a 10 minute pause and then I receive a message.

You’re still up?

Well, of course I am. Because the laws of time no longer apply to me. I’m mentally asleep when I shouldn’t be and completely wide awake when everyone else is asleep. I zone out at the normal person’s prime time of the day and could solve the energy crises at 2 AM. This is how a widow in the United States can successfully communicate with a widow in Australia. I would say that this would be the perfect time to have a newborn, but I’m guessing that those widows with newborns would say that they’re actually sleeping when they should be awake and awake when they should be sleeping.

Welcome to the Widow Time Zone.

When I meet new widows, the first thing I hand them is my email address. Because I know how it works. You’re exhausted all day and then – ping! – 3 AM hits and you’re brimming with inexhaustible energy and you need to talk to someone. And after 5 years of widowhood, I may be up. But if you’ve hit me when I’m actually able to sleep, I’d rather you not call me.

Just email me and I’ll respond at 3 AM the next night.

WTZ is one of the main reasons why I created a website for widow(er)s where anyone, anywhere can chat in the middle of the night. I discovered that need for late-night communication about 6 months into widowhood when all of the “normal” people in my life were sleeping and I was wide awake and wanting to talk. This middle-of-the-night loneliness is what led to many late night chats on dating websites where I had no actual interest in dating…I was just desperate to converse with someone else who was awake.

I wouldn’t recommend that. To this day, I still wonder if there is some guy out there waiting for me in Cabo because it sounded like a good idea during a solitary January blizzard.

This has, without a doubt, completely changed how I operate. I’ve always been a night person, but not an “all night person.” I need at least 8 hours of sleep or you don’t even want to know me tomorrow. (Actually, there are a few people who are probably reading this thinking, “Even if you had 10, I’m still cutting you loose.”)

I have no point to this piece other than to say what I hope you always understand: You’re not alone. Right now there are millions of widows awake, lonely, and wanting to talk, change the world, or just do a successful load of laundry.

Whatever gets us through the night. Or day.

What time is it anyway?

Catherine Tidd 2012

Catherine Tidd

Catherine Tidd is a widow, a writer, public speaker, and mother to three young entertaining children. She received a degree in English from Rollins College in 1998 and has since worked as a writer, editor, Marketing Manager, and Event Planner. Originally from Louisiana, Ms. Tidd currently lives in Denver, CO.

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