Just Frances

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All entries tagged with “widowhood”

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    Wet toes - Mar 11th, 2014
    I’ve never been a swimmer, but I’ve always loved the water. I tend to dip my toes in slowly to check the temperature then inch-by-inch I will wade further into the lake. I don’t jump in; I never dive in. No, that’s just not my style. (Partly because I don’t know how to swim; mostly because I am afraid.) [more...]

    I’m ready, but I don’t know how - Feb 27th, 2014
    I decided quite some time ago that I was ready to date again, though I admit to not actually doing anything about it. It’s not because I secretly don’t really want to date though. It’s because I don’t know how to date. [more...]

    Keep living until you feel alive again - Feb 23rd, 2014
    “You will feel better than this. Maybe not yet. But you will. You just keep living, until you’re alive again." I heard this quote the other day and it struck a chord with me. The words were spoken on an episode of Call the Midwife by one of the nuns who was offering comfort to a young woman who had just lost her boyfriend and was going away to grieve. [more...]

    So long, 30s! - Feb 20th, 2014
    Today is my last day of my 30s, so it seems appropriate to reflect on the decade in preparation for the start of my 40s. [more...]

    Just four years - Feb 15th, 2014
    Just Frances is four years old. Wow! Can you believe that I’ve been spewing this utter nonsense for that long? And if you thought I might be nearing the end of rubbish things to talk about, you’re wrong. (No apologies. If you don’t like it, you can just stop reading!) [more...]

    Twelve years ago - Feb 6th, 2014
    Twelve years ago today, my friend bailed out on a day trip to St Andrews. With nothing better to do, I decided to walk up to Edinburgh’s Royal Mile instead to buy some souvenirs for my nieces and nephews back home in America. [more...]

    On the other hand - Jan 21st, 2014
    I was half-way over the Atlantic when I moved my wedding rings from my left hand to my right; I had made the decision several weeks earlier that on my return to Scotland I would make the transfer—though that didn’t make it any easier. [more...]

    Thirty nine before 40 - Jan 13th, 2014
    My 30s are nearly over. Yes, in just 39 days my age will tick over from 39 to 40. I’m not stressed or upset about that because I don’t believe that age represents oldness, but I admit that I have spent a bit of time reflecting on the ups-and-downs of the last decade. [more...]

    Why should I settle? - Jan 9th, 2014
    It’s been more than four years since my husband died and I’ve yet to enter into a new relationship. I’ve now had four first dates (the fourth not as bad as the first three, but he wasn’t a keeper) but I’ve not found someone to have a second date with. [more...]

    I’m just not that into you - Dec 3rd, 2013
    There’s something ever-so frustrating about the way life and love mix. We want so desperately to be part of a couple, but when someone reaches out for just that we turn them away—all the while wishing a completely different person would reach out instead. [more...]

    Birthday celebrations - Nov 27th, 2013
    Birthdays are to be celebrated. Always. Even if that celebration is as simple as an inward smile and the reflection on happy memories of birthdays past. [more...]

    Roca and rattlesnakes - Oct 22nd, 2013
    Today was a bit of a hodgepodge day that consisted of shopping, tourist-ing, and panic attacks. But there were no rattlesnakes. Well, at least not ones I saw. [more...]

    On being happy - Sep 25th, 2013
    In the past few weeks, I’ve noticed an increase in conversations around happiness and depression so I thought I’d throw some of my own words into the mix. You know, because the Internet needs more opinions! [more...]

    Three first dates - Sep 16th, 2013
    It seems that my dating life is of great interest to folks these days—just like it was before I was married. In fact, the vast majority of people I’ve run into here in the Homeland seem to get around to the question of my dating life before our initial conversation ends. [more...]

    Grave digging - Sep 9th, 2013
    I went to the cemetery to see Paul today, and ended up digging away under his headstone. I hadn't really planned on that, or I'd have taken a spoon with me! [more...]

    Slamming doors; breaking hearts - Aug 15th, 2013
    It started a couple of years ago. There was a boy. I liked him and I thought he liked me. But he wasn’t willing to commit. He didn’t want me as his girlfriend; he just wanted me as a play toy. So I walked away. [more...]

    A world of stress - Jul 31st, 2013
    The world seems to be closing in on me right now and it’s destroying my soul. The only thing that is saving me from a complete meltdown is knowing that soon—very soon—some of today’s stresses will naturally resolve themselves. [more...]

    Holiday dilemma - Jun 24th, 2013
    I want to go away on holiday somewhere. It doesn’t have to be far away; just a nice holiday away from home. I want to book into a lovely little B&B in some coastal fishing village where I can explore the local environs. I want to stroll along the beach collecting interesting shells or pebbles. [more...]

    Alone by choice, begrudgingly - May 24th, 2013
    For the vast majority of my adult life, I have been alone. I’ve only ever had two boyfriends, the first of whom was not very nice; the second of whom became my husband and taught me what love was. In between the two, I dated quite a bit in the (seemingly necessary) search for love. [more...]

    Marriage odds - May 21st, 2013
    Eight years ago, I stood at the altar of St John the Baptist Catholic Church and professed my love and dedication to the man who taught me what love was. It was a blessed day filled with joy and laughter and one that I will always remember with happiness. [more...]

    Four years - Apr 26th, 2013
    Life is so very different without Paul and these past four years have been a rollercoaster ride that I never could have imagined. Without Paul, the sad times are sadder, the hard times are harder, and the lonely times are lonelier. [more...]

    Software glitch - Mar 16th, 2013
    There is a glitch in Just Frances that I can’t seem to repair. It started when I first got the Frances 3.0 upgrade nearly four years ago and it seems that it can’t be uninstalled. At least not until there’s a new major version for me to download. [more...]

    Running with music - Mar 15th, 2013
    There was an interesting piece in The Guardian’s Running Blog yesterday about running with music. The post offered insights from two runners—a pro-music runner and a no-music runner—and it got me thinking about how my own stance has changed over the years. (Just as the no-music runner’s did, only in reverse.) [more...]

    They are family - Mar 2nd, 2013
    The day before my husband’s funeral, my eldest brother-in-law informed me that I was family and that Paul’s death didn’t change that. He let me know that I will always be part of the family—even if I remarry. The rest of my in-laws agreed and reassured me that I am, in fact, part of the family. [more...]

    A life I value - Feb 24th, 2013
    Yesterday’s post seems to have created some interesting—and unexpected—feedback, so I thought I’d take the time to talk about it some more. [more...]

    My social worth - Feb 23rd, 2013
    Since becoming a widow, I’ve given a lot of thought about the value of my life; the purpose and the meaning of it. I’ve wondered why I’m here in this world that seems so filled with pain. I’ve wondered if I want to continue living in this world into old age. [more...]

    Nearly 40 - Feb 21st, 2013
    Today is my 39th birthday. It seems silly to care or to mark the day at all. But it’s my birthday, so I can’t help but take note. [more...]

    A sulk-less Valentine’s Day challenge - Feb 9th, 2013
    Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and I’ve already started hearing and reading comments from people about dreading the day because they’re all alone. And I get it, I really do, because even though I’ve never been a big celebrator of the day, it is another reminder that Paul isn’t here to be my Valentine—and that I’ve yet to find someone new to spend the day with. [more...]

    Random fate - Feb 5th, 2013
    On Wednesday, February 6, 2002, I was meant to go to St Andrews for the day. Only the friend I was meant to travel with was ill, so I decided to wander around The Royal Mile looking for souvenirs for my family back home in America. [more...]

    I fell - Jan 26th, 2013
    The truth is, I fell. I fell really, really hard and I spiralled a bit. OK, maybe I spiralled a lot. [more...]

    My fright in the night - Jan 24th, 2013
    I didn’t sleep well last night. I didn’t sleep well at all. And, to be honest, I’m ever-so-slightly afraid to be home alone because of it. [more...]

    To date, or not to date? - Jan 3rd, 2013
    One week before Paul died, we had a conversation about our futures, should one of us die—a conversation sparked because it was the anniversary of my very dear friend’s death. And it seemed that Paul and I both agreed: We would want the surviving partner to carry on and live life; to be happy; to date or re-marry. Not the week after the funeral, obviously, but eventually. [more...]

    Only in my dreams - Dec 29th, 2012
    There is a man who appears in my dreams who isn’t Paul. In my dreams, we’re madly in love. And much like the widow dreams I still have, these dreams are different each time. Sometimes happy; sometimes sad. But always a dream; never a reality. [more...]

    Survived - Dec 26th, 2012
    I managed to survive Christmas alone. I won’t lie and say that it was easy. In fact, it was so very hard. My broken heart ached all day long as I watched my Facebook feed fill up with photos of happy families and statuses about the perfect gift from the perfect spouse. [more...]

    Preparing for alone - Dec 22nd, 2012
    I’ve decided to spend Christmas alone this year. I know that sounds silly to some people, but it seems like the right thing to do for me; for my heart. It’s not that I’ve not been invited to spend the day with others; it’s just that it’s hard to spend such a special day in someone else’s home. [more...]

    Failure to launch - Dec 16th, 2012
    Way back in May, I had a failed attempt at re-entering the dating world—and that was after my ego had already been shattered! At the time, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share the story here or not. But it seems to me that the story should be shared because I keep reflecting on it, so it’s obviously something that’s been bothering me. [more...]

    To the birthday boy - Nov 27th, 2012
    Another year, another birthday. Only he’s still not here to celebrate. My Paul would be 51 years old today, but instead he will forever be 47. It’s a day of hurt and sadness for me and I find myself missing Paul more than ever when his birthday comes around. [more...]

    Digital Diaries - Sep 25th, 2012
    To celebrate Social Media Week, I have decided to share a paper I wrote a few months ago about digital diaries and online identities. It was a difficult paper to write because I needed to balance sharing my ‘personal’ life with the academic side of the equation, but it was a good exercise. [more...]

    Packing up - Sep 10th, 2012
    I alluded to a big step toward a happier future the other day, but also said I wouldn’t share the big(ish) news just yet. Only I’ve changed my mind because I realised that the little steps needed for the big step are a bit more stressful than I thought, and writing about my stresses often helps to ease my mind. [more...]

    The dating game - Aug 27th, 2012
    Sometimes I think about dating. Only it’s a confusing topic for me. Not the dating part; I know how to do that. It’s more the mental and emotional part that has me uncertain. And not uncertain in an ‘Am I ready?’ way; uncertain in an ‘I am a mad woman’ way. [more...]

    That dissertation? Done. - Aug 20th, 2012
    First, an apology for my absence the last week. I’ve had some Website glitches and had to enlist the help of some amazing friends who are fluent in Web Geek (I am merely conversational at best). Anyhow, the site is still under observation and I may be absent again—but I will tell you all about that later. [more...]

    A year later - Aug 12th, 2012
    Today marks one year since I hit the reset button on my future. Yes, it’s been one year since I moved back to my beautiful, beloved Scotland. [more...]

    The cruelty of random memories - Jul 14th, 2012
    There is something ever-so-cruel about random memories. OK, not always. In fact, most of the time random memories are happy moments. But sometimes, like today, they’re just reminders of a future that was stolen from me. [more...]

    Words about me - Jul 5th, 2012
    I am participating in an online thing where a few people are getting together to chat through a moderated forum run by a grief counsellor. It’s kind of an experimental thing run by the niece of a woman I used to know, and when the moderator went looking for participants, this woman suggested me. [more...]

    They’re braver - Jun 24th, 2012
    A friend of mine sent me a link to a fellow widow’s blog this weekend and I had a wee peek around to see what she had to say. It’s not the first ‘Widow Blog’ I’ve read, and it certainly won’t be the last, but it’s made me realise several things about how un-brave I am at times. [more...]

    Seven years - May 22nd, 2012
    I started a post yesterday, but couldn’t bring myself to finish it through the tears. You see, yesterday was my 7th wedding anniversary—and the 4th one I’ve spent as a widow. And it really hurts to realise that, which means that the past couple of days have been filled with tears and sorrow. [more...]

    Three years gone - Apr 26th, 2012
    It’s been three years since Paul died so suddenly; so unexpectedly. Some days I can’t believe that he’s gone. Some days I struggle with comprehending the fact that I lost the most important person in my life. It just seems so unfair; so wrong. [more...]

    Expiry dates - Apr 24th, 2012
    I’m a little bit crazy most days. Always have been; always will be. But widowhood seems to have increased my insanity. In fact, it seems to have created new forms of crazy all together! [more...]

    The Desiderata way of life - Apr 23rd, 2012
    It’s time to answer another of your questions so I’m going back to the first request to write about a poem that has stirred great emotions for me. (Don’t worry—I’m working on a couple of family history posts for that question, too!) [more...]

    Without regret - Apr 21st, 2012
    OK, I’m going to answer another question from when I asked what you wanted me to write about. The second question was if I believed in having regrets. So, here’s my take on the issue! [more...]

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