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Life as a Widower – Joe’s Journal

Life as a Widower – Joe’s Journal

A widower has joined the blog team. Joe was introduced to as he is a realtor looking to make the buying and selling process easier for widows and widowers. It is great to have a widower’s perspective now available on As he mentions, his journey continues and day to day different challenges are faced as a widower. I hope Joe’s story will help you through your own day to day.
Jennifer Black, Founder

Joe’s Story…Life as a Widower

I am a proud father of three girls and the husband of Finola, who passed away in 2010 after a 5 year battle with Colon Cancer.

I now find myself after 34 years of being happily married in the ‘No Partner’ world. I distinguish ‘No Partner’ (NP) from single for a reason. Single usually means available, possibly content, looking to meet somebody and having been single for many years. NP means learning to live without a partner, making decisions for yourself, learning to be single, alone, cooking, shopping, downsizing, making friends etc. Each widower has different challenges and a whole new world. The last time I was NP, I was in my teens.

People always want to help which is great. But it is difficult for them to relate to my grieving and normalcy journey. When I meet people, I would prefer if they would say ”I cannot comprehend what you are going through but I empathize with you” rather than “I understand.” This is hard to accept since no one really knows how you feel, not even I.

I have found from the beginning that almost every day I encounter challenges associated with being an NP; some funny, some nerve racking. For example, when I go for a walk down the street and meet somebody whose name I cannot remember. Normally, I would have my wife to ask – I relied on her to remember so I did not have to try! All the accepted normal events are now different; like going to the grocery store, clothes shopping, buying a car, a house, etc. These decisions used to be our decisions but now they are my decision alone. Luckily, I have children whom I can discuss issues with, but as they remind me “it is your decision” and it is my decision. I have to live with the consequences.
It is getting better, but only time heals. You do not forget, but you learn to live again.

I look forward to sharing more with you as I discover more on my NP journey.


  1. Marylou Drygas  August 18, 2011

    Joe’s definition between being single and an N.P. has given me a whole new perspective on the experience of being widowed. My husband passed away suddenly more than ten years ago and I truly wish I had found the valuable resource that provides at that time. It is so true that having no partner is a very different experience than being single. I met Jennifer Black just over a year ago and found a truly amazing young woman. Thanks Joe for sharing the widower’s perspective. It is my goal to contribute to this very necessary organization in any way I can.

    Marylou Drygas

  2. Joe  October 8, 2011

    Thanks for the very positive feedback.
    Happy Thanksgiving.


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  1. Dr Aoife  August 10, 2011