PaulaFB-1Widow. The word conjures up images of frail little old ladies in long black dresses, adjusting veiled black hats with bony crooked fingers, red-rimmed eyes imploring the heavens above. I like to think of myself as the updated version, Widow 2.0. There’s no such thing as a typical widow. We arrived at different times in our lives with unique stories to tell, but the common denominator of widowhood is strong. Although you may feel alone – you’re not. 

After you’ve had your fill of widow casseroles – So sorry your husband’s gone, here eat this – feed your soul here on my blog, and join the journey. You’ll find the best books to read, other widow sites to visit, and helpful links. You’ll get support enduring widow angst and gut-wrenching grief, surviving survivor guilt and dealing with the bullshit barometer. After experiencing tragedy, you may find yourself incapable of bullshit and diplomacy – that’s OK, we get a free pass.

106 Responses to “WELCOME”

  1. Jay

    Thank you for this. I read your article Surviving an Alcoholic in the New York Times. It is my story but instead of hepatitis it was a sudden death of heart failure due to chronic acute alcoholism. Perfect storm night where my husband and father of my two young kids, fell asleep intoxicated, in our backyard in the cold… It was an extremely traumatic experience but yes, my years before were filled with a roller coaster of sober-ness to drunkenness. He was so high functioning that he had me and himself convinced he had control. Anyway it’s a long story but I’m so glad I came across your article because I am now going through a different roller coaster of grief, guilt, and anguish. I’m so Angry at him, at times. It makes no sense!

    • JackieS

      You’re not alone and always remember it wasn’t Your fault……He made these choices. Poor ones at that….but this is what he chose…..You didn’t. I’m sure You only thought of Your two Young children…..We’ve All been in survival mode……and the Roller Coaster…..Can’t think of any of Us who didn’t want to jump off….but, the rehabs said we had to stay on the ride…..which is BS……I’m sorry for All that You have lost…..I know how You hurt and how the guilt creeps in…..but…..think of the peace and now You can move on….be strong even when You are crying…..for the love lost the life lost…..Your capacity to Love is not lost and Your capacity to Live is not lost……It’s been 28 months for me…..and every morning I tell myself, “Get up Jack…..nothings going to happen until You get up out of this bed and make it happen……without Him”. And, I get up and I move forward……You can do this……

  2. ayoungwidowsjourneyweb

    Thank you. Thank you so very much for speaking truth. I was only married to my husband for 2.5 years when he died in a car accident while drunk driving. The craziness. No one knows of his alcoholism except his father and all assume he fell asleep at the wheel because his father pushed that story. God rescued me when he took Kyle. The long nights of wondering if he’d come home. The verbal abuse. The emotional abuse. The financial irresponsibility. The constant struggle. The guilt. The babysitting a grown man. Protecting him so the world wouldn’t find out. All of that is over. It’s done. I can breath for the first time since I got married. He was wasted on our wedding night. I’m relieved he’s dead. Grateful I don’t have to wonder if he will be drunk for our daughters birthday or make the decision if I’m going to hide his keys again and get into another 5 hour fight before he passes out on the kitchen floor. The only guilt I feel is that I’m free when other wives/husbands will suffer living with their alcoholic spouse much longer than 2.5 years.

    • JackieS

      Ignore the Alanon crap. You are an amazing woman! You have survived and You will move on….there is a beautiful life out there for You and Your Daughter…..GO for it.

    • JackieS

      You can do this ……You are strong and brave…..Let go of the BS……being on my own is so very peaceful….and my house is peaceful……the lies the deceit are over…..the Boogy Man/Monster is gone.

  3. Anne

    Your support group would be Alanon .: my partner died by suicide 2 years ago… the wonderful people of Alanon understand and ar are very supportive . I have been with them since once month after he passed … it has saved me

  4. Jalisa

    My husband of 23 years passed almost four months ago. I’m finding that the feelings of guilt are getting worse. He’s on my mind constantly. I have so much regret. Things were so bad between us the last few years. I was frustrated and constantly angry with him and his drinking. It got to the point where we couldn’t go out together even for a dinner date because he was always drunk. I stayed angry with him and the situation we were in. He became very needy of me. Always wanting me home and thinking I was cheating; sending me mean text messages while I was at work or school. He was usually mad at me when I came home (I was most always on time). Now I regret not being more sympathetic of him and his feelings. Now that he’s gone I miss him and would give nearly anything to have one more day with him. Drunk or sober. I wish I could find a support group for people like myself.

    • Stacy

      I totally understand the guilt. I was in the process of divorcing mine because he refused to get any sort of help/treatment. He died just a few weeks before the divorce was finalized. Granted, I could no longer stand any of it when he was drinking (which had become pretty much all of the time) but somewhere in there was the love of my life. I know it’s kind of irrational but a part of me feels like I let him down, like if anyone in the world should have been able to get through to him, it should have been me. We were together for twenty-two years. But we no longer had much of a relationship at the end. Alcohol had become his everything. He passed away three years ago and not a day goes by that I don’t wish that he was still here. I miss the man I fell in love with. But the reality is that, in the end, he was no longer that man. I lost him long before his death. It will always be tragic and senseless.

      • Jalisa

        I too feel like I’ve lost the love of my life. When he was sober he was wonderful, funny and my best friend. I guess I lost that man years ago. I miss him. I wish I could have helped him and been more loving to him. Now I’m all alone. But, I’ve actually been alone for years. It’s a strange relief not living in craziness anymore, and its crazy that I miss it.

    • Jacqueline Snyder

      Maybe Your Support Group is Here(?)……We’ve All been there in some-way-shape-or-form…..with an alcoholic. And Al-anon cannot help us…..they are for the living. We deal with the Dead & Departed…..and all the psycho crap they left us to deal with.

  5. Jalisa

    I lost my husband to alcoholic cirrhosis three months ago. We were married almost 23 years. He was my companion. My best friend. He couldn’t give up scotch. It took away his dignity and in the end, his life. God, I miss him so much and now I’m a widow at 51. My heart is broken.

  6. Robin Eileen Bernstein

    I’ve always assumed the word “widow” meant a woman who’s lost the love of her life, who is heartbroken and can’t imagine moving on without him. But I’ve learned from your site–and from my own experience as an “atypical” widow–that this isn’t necessarily true. You’re absolutely right; there is no such thing as a typical widow. Thanks for sharing your story and for prompting so many others to share theirs.

    • PaulaGanziLicata

      The more we “atypical” widows share our thoughts, the more we’ll feel a sense of sisterhood and camaraderie. Thanks for commenting, Robin.

    • Stacy

      I became an “alcohol widow” three years ago when my husband and I were 45. But I truly do feel as though I lost the love of my life. The only difference being that I feel as though I lost him and began this process well before his life actually ended. Either way, I definitely feel like an “atypical” widow.

  7. Diane

    18 months ago my husband’s organs shut down one by one and he died of severe liver disease and all it’s hideous complications. We’d just celebrated our 39th anniversary. Ours was a drinking culture…2 other wives of our close couple friends are widows due to alcoholism. Nicest guys you’d ever want to meet.
    My highly functional husband, so proud of his brain, turned it to mush.
    2 rehabs didn’t work. A leading liver specialist in Houston, who told him he’d die a horrible death and never see another Xmas with his family didn’t work. And by the way, neither of us knew he meant the next Xmas!!
    Talk about denial. He was so good at hiding it until the end. I was embarrassingly clueless. He was 66. We’d just had our first granddaughter.. he held her once. Our eldest son was on his honeymoon during the worst episode of hepatic encephalopathy.
    I cleaned toilets and blood off the walls.
    I’m suddenly finding my life much harder. It makes no sense to miss him but I do. How does one pick up the pieces and have any confidence at age 68? I am overwhelmed every single day.
    I always said my strong, smart, successful, hardworking husband was black and white..a pragmatist. Now I know he lived in a horrid secret gray area. Awful for him and agony for those who loved him. Thanks for letting me vent.

  8. Diane B

    I am so glad I found this blog. My husband died 6 months ago from liver failure due to years of drinking, evidently a lot more than what he let on to. He was only 55. We had been married for 32 years. I have been to grief groups, but none seem to fit how I was feeling after living with an alcoholic all these years and seeing the different stages that drinking was taking on his life, and mine. I don’t feel guilty for what he did to himself. And I was glad to see some said that they were somewhat relieved. They could come home from work and not have to worry what stage of drunkenness they would find their husband in. My husband had a mistress and it was booze. No more lies now. RIP

    • Jalisa

      I lost my husband three months ago. My husbands mistress was scotch. I do NOT miss not knowing what I was coming home to after work. He almost set the house on fire cooking for the dogs. He wrecked our car. Something had always happened. I DO miss my friend and companion. I miss telling him about my day. We had children together. We had a history of nearly 23 years. Our life was crazy, but I miss him. I miss him so much.

  9. Kelly Bibler

    I’m so glad I found this article. You articulated my deepest inner thoughts without ever having met me. I have read and reread this 20 times. I will continue to do so.

    I lost my husband to alcoholism on February 20, 2015. Your story sounds like an exact carbon copy of my life.

    Thank you.

    I’m forever grateful for you open, honesty and sharing your story.

    Kelly B.

  10. Teri

    Dear God! I am so glad I found your article in the New York Times. The basement!!!! I can’t believe it!! My husband and I were happily married for 33 years. Then in early 2013 something happened to him. He pulled away from me and our adult children. A man who couldn’t keep his hands off me for 30+ years now huddled away from me in bed like he was afraid he would catch something from me. He said I “bothered” him when he was trying to sleep so he would go into the basement most nights. I blamed myself. I thought I am getting older and maybe I had become disgusting in some way to him. I cried a lot. I didn’t realize he was probably going down there to drink most nights. He started telling me he hated his life. He slept all the time. He lost a job that devastated him. After 6 months of looking he found another job that he hated because he had to go to an office everyday – probably cut into his drinking time. Then he found a job where he could work from home. Little did I know that a lot of days when I walked out the door to go to work he started drinking. He would spend a couple of hours every night in the basement “stretching.” He would wake in the middle of the night to exercise! When I questioned his sanity – he told me I was crazy. My kids told me he was drinking. He denied it. Said the kids were against him. I believed him. I guess I couldn’t believe he would lie to me. We were together since we were 17 for God’s sake! He picked fights with our adult children. Getting physical once with each of them. Found him passed out on a plastic bag after I came home from work. Another time passed out behind the shed in our yard. Finally, found him passed out in the basement in a pool of vomit. The last time he went downstairs on a perfectly fine Sunday morning and came up 30 minutes later drunk and passed out in bed. Denied he had been drinking! That time I forced him to go to inpatient treatment. Stayed sober for 6 weeks. Relapsed. Back into inpatient treatment. Sober for 6 months. He was a social worker’s dream. He helped all the other drunks and addicts and everybody loved him. Never fixed himself. Maybe he felt guilty because all of these other people were so much worse off than him. He had it all – great job, great house, money, good looks, intelligent, nice family, and, great insurance for his treatment! Nobody besides my kids knew he was an alcoholic. My own sister and brother didn’t know what we were going through. I didn’t know what to do. I never in a million years thought the alcohol would kill him! Looking back on everything it is easy to see that he was suffering from severe depression and alcohol was his numbing agent of choice. He hated getting older. His knees were starting to hurt him, his eyesight was not good and he was beginning to have prostate problems. I don’t know what caused him to start drinking again 8 months ago but i saw the charges for large bottles of alcohol and after his death we found bottles hidden in the house. My daughter in law called me on May 11, 2015 to tell me he was drinking. I rushed home and he was drunk but not too bad. I told him he would have to figure out what he wanted to do – did he want to go back to treatment or what? I didn’t yell or scream – I was very calm and resigned. I told him I had to go back to work for a few hours but I would be back. I expected he would just sleep it off. Instead, after I left he went after my daughter in law yelling at her for calling me and blaming her! When my daughter tried to intervene he screamed at her too called her names and then ran and locked himself in the bedroom. I came home from work 3 hours later and had to break the bedroom door down. He was laying in vomit and had stopped breathing. I called 911 and they got his pulse back but he was brain dead. We kept him alive for 48 hours but the neurologist said there was no brain function. He died on May 13, 2015 at the age of 58. I guess the word that best describes my feelings is bewilderment. I don’t know what caused such a shift in his behavior at the age of 55 and I guess I never will. All I know is that he went downhill fast. I guess this is how domestic violence is. He would have an episode and then be apologetic and sorry for a while until the next episode. As a pretty truthful person, it was extremely difficult to deal with the lying. I literally felt like I was going crazy because this was not the person I lived with for 30 plus years. I have so much anger at him to – especially how he treated our children. My daughter’s last memory of her father is of him cursing her and slamming the door in her face. I wish I had advice to those whose spouse is still alive but continues to drink. My husband had everything and every chance and he still drank himself to death.

  11. Stacy

    I became an alcohol widow almost two and a half years ago. He was 45. I knew that there were others like me out there somewhere. What a terrible club we belong to. But I’m glad to have finally found others who will understand.

  12. Michael Besette

    It’s been just over 3 months, since my wife died from liver cirrhosis, she was 43.
    Much of of the same story here.
    Life is on auto pilot, doing the daily things. Everything is focused on our 3 children still at home, making sure they have what they need for school and so on. Other than that I don’t know what to do, where to start. Her clothes are still on the dresser where they were waiting to be put away, her pillows are still on her side of the bed, I sleep on my side. The clothes that were for her to come home from the hospital in are still in the bag by the closet, my bag of clothes and etc from the hospital next to it.
    I think about many things, what I did to try to help, what I didn’t, could I have done more?
    I don’t have the answer

    • Diane

      Try to take the positive(IMHO) step of letting go of her things. I gave all my husband’s clothes to my occasional housekeeper and her husband was thrilled. It’s a good feeling and a small step toward reclaiming your life. Buy a new pillow. Nothing easy about any of this, though…Best of luck to you..

  13. Deb

    My husband was found dead in his apartment when county sheriffs and the landlord arrived to serve him with eviction papers…..he drank himself to death and died alone despite having a family and friends who loved him. He never recognized himself as an alcoholic and refused treatment.
    I am a survivor…..I left him in April of 2013 years ago after I realized that I was alone in my marriage and was losing touch with my family and friends….and I was losing my sense of self. Being married to an alcoholic is extremely isolating and that isolation can lead to depression and a sense of helplessness.
    Despite his pleas to return, I could not go back….
    And then I got the call 2 years later…… And I had to tell my 3 adult children that their father, who had pushed them away for years in order to “hide” his alcoholism….was dead.
    And I identified his body at the coroner’s office.
    And I cleaned out his apartment where he existed….no longer interested in caring about his surroundings or himself.
    And we had to decide what to do…..how do you mourn someone who had replaced his love for his family and his dedication to his career and his friends with Jack Daniels???
    We held a memorial…a packed house for 2 hours…and supported all who said “I tried to help but he wouldn’t let me” , assuring them that they had done all that they could.
    But as his widow, I question every day whether I had done all that I could!
    I’m angry…..and sad…..and at other times I’m relieved that he cannot hurt others or himself any longer…and then I feel guilty.
    An alcoholic leaves emotional wreckage behind for all who loved and cared for him or her. I do the best that I can in any given moment. I allow myself to find joy in friends and family….especially in the new babies born into our family. I throw myself into my work and try to gain satisfaction from a job well done.
    And when I am sad, I allow that too. If I don’t fight it, that sadness that goes down deep and hurts so completely……if I let it happen…..then it passess and I am better able to let it go.

    So many say that I am strong……but when your love is thrown back at you and eventually destroyed, it’s not about strength. It’s about accepting love from others and finding peace in what you have left…
    I’m looking forward…one day at a time.

  14. Jacqueline Snyder

    Wednesday May 11, 2016……Will be 34 weeks @ 10:24PM……..I lost My Husband of 34 1/2 Years to the monster (Alcoholism-End-Stage-Single-MVA)…..He’d been in rehab twice ….the last being the VA. He lost his job, ended up in jail for hitting me and disconnecting me from the 911 operator (I’ll keep my bent/broken phone as a reminder)……his public defender blamed me…..Our oldest daughter won’t talk to me….she called me a selfish little girl….He was demented he thought we were going to kill him….take his money….these last months I’ve made decisions any “normal” Widow would have never had to make. You ruined Our finances, You destroyed any trust I had in humanity….We had everything….I had everything……I’m devastated….I’ve thought of suicide I’ve been violent unto myself……I’ve HATED yOU, i’VE loVED yOU and I’ve wondered what I did wrong…why I lost the battle……I had everything…..I lost my World My Everything. And I’m angry at God for everything, I’m angry at You for everything, You were just like the movie A Beautiful Mind…..and I’m suppose to get up in 5 hours and go to work….and save lives? When I can’t even save myself…I failed You. I’m lost….I did not ask for this….this loneliness this celibacy this I just want to come home and tell You about my day….No one touches me….no one hugs me….no one slaps my ass…..no one holds my hand at night…no one kisses me good night…one spoons with me in the morning before the alarm goes off…..I didn’t ask for this….I want the ed doc to give You back to me….13 units of blood…..I know everything that happened to You.We parted in anger…I drew a line in the sand…..I f****d up….I lost You.”what I would give for only one night”- Bruce Hornsby and The Range…….

  15. mary

    I lost my john 7 weeks ago. i,like you tried everything. I tried leaving, (he lived in my house), throwing him out (he wouldn’t leave, the police told me I couldn’t because he was there too long). Tried calling his only remaining family member in from the other side of the country (she got drunk with him). Finally, he died at 52. i am sooooo lost and hurt, I loved him trough it all, and still do, always will. i pray a lot, swear a lot, put my brave face on and go to work. i hate alcohol. the worst is that my son drinks also, I can only be around him in small doses. i hurt and am tired of crying.

    • Anne

      It has been one year this week since I lost Roger to suicide and alcohol . It feels like a lifetime and seems like yesterday all at once. I have been to counseling weekly and now monthly and I go to a suicide survivors meeting monthly and above all Alanon has gotten me through the last year … I can’t encourage you enough to go and find a meeting that you feel comfortable with .. It will save you

      • Annie

        Here we are one year later. I lost Chris a year ago and yes it seems like yesterday and forever ago. The counseling helps. So many different emotions to sift through. Some days are better than others. I never lost hope that he would be able to overcome his demons. I’m still so sad, angry, guilty….yikes the list goes on. I’ve had a year to think about all the crazy that went along with the alcoholism and depression. I try to remember the good times and the man I fell in love with. I wish he was still here, but then again…..sometimes I don’t. And that makes me feel awful.

      • Anne Minihan

        I understand completely …I always wish he was here…I just didn’t want it to go back to the way it was….After one year of learning I think I could do it better and maybe things would have been different

  16. Judy

    I read your story on Facebook. I’m headed down the same road as you did with your Alcoholic Husband. Mine never got the rehab for Alcohol, he refused to go and has never said the words I am an ALCOHOLIC. Wouldn’t go to an AA meeting either. The only rehab he got was from the hospital visits two times. The rehab PT and OT from two hip surgeries. My fear is one morning I’ll find him dead from drinking. I love him. But you can’t force him to get help. He’s a Functioning Alcoholic.

  17. Paula

    Just read the newspaper article looking for anything to make sense, get knowledge and some advise, explanation….and I couldn’t believe it when I read your story!!!!
    I am going through …wow!!! the same exact story as yours. I was reading and thinking, this woman knows me, and it is me….with 18 years of marriage and dying from the alcoholic hepatitis. and the life before that you have described. Your thoughts and stories, from the basement, the debt, to the guilt. …I cannot put it any better, it is like a mirror looking at me, to my last feeling and experience.

    Thank you for showing me that I am not alone, or insane…and maybe there is hope for peace one day, maybe some relative happiness. For any type of future….with or without that horrific mess. But the uncertainty and chaos are so painful right now, and so maddening that only if you have been there can you understand it in its entirety. And you described me to the last feeling really, till the time of the death….as that is where I am, standing at the door right now and it is just swinging both ways, just as my sanity.

    Thank you Paula

    Believe it or not even our names are the same, not only the experience….

  18. Judi lopez

    My husband died in may from liver cancer. I would love to start a journal blog type thing. Where my loved ones can read the truth how its going. Facebook is not the place for this. You tend to hold back on things that make people uncomfortable. Any suggestions? Grief is hard work.

    • Leanne Nurse

      Thank you for such an honest question. I took care of my late husband who had diabetes and several other conditions for nine years until 2009. When you say you want others to know know you are doing, it sounds as if you think they want to know. Few people, especially Americans, are prepared to face, much less discuss death. How else might you get what you want from your relatives more directly?

  19. Lisa

    Thank you so much for sharing. My husband lost his life a little over a year ago to alcohol and like a lot of others left me to clean up the mess. I was never a jealous person and before this marriage I never really doubted or wanted to think that my partner would be cheating on me behind my back. I tried the ultimatums and failed with following them through. After his death I felt so released to come home and know that I wasn’t walking into a mess or a drunk. The guilt that I have now is overwhelming at times and even though I can look back and say to myself that I didn’t have a choice it still hurts. Others that know me tell me I did what I thought was best but when he got sick I did nothing but try to get him to a doctor. He refused and told me day after day he was fine. Surviving this marriage was a good thing but it doesn’t stop the guilt and questions. The hurt doesn’t go away and even with time it doesn’t stop the questions of what I did wrong or could have done differently. It was so good to stumble upon your story and see that I am not alone. Thank you so much for sharing.

  20. cynthiasdomaine

    I’m very grateful and relieved to read your story tonight… My husband died of alcoholism almost a year ago and the pain is still so great… The guilt I feel every day, of wishing I could’ve done more still remains with me. He died in a hotel room with an empty bottle of vodka by his side, slumped over the bathtub – so shameful so sad. We did not know what caused his death until recently, as the toxicology report was pending… But I always knew. Now when people ask me I don’t know what to say I’m not even sure what to tell my children my 13-year-old son knows but how do you say that to an eight-year-old little girl? I’m hoping this is going to get easier in time. I lost him to alcohol about four or five years ago and it’s been a spiral downhill ever since it was so painful for so many years. And I did kick him out of the house. I let him hit rock bottom, with the deepest intention of him picking himself up and starting his recovery as there was nothing more I could do. What happened is he drank himself to death in a hotel room. I’m hoping the guilt will go away, and I will come to the place where I can absolve myself somehow, someway …. I know in my heart and head that it’s not my fault… It’s still at Haunts me… thank you for sharing

    • Karen Cheyney

      I am so glad that I tripped on this blog. This is EXACTLY my story, but it has been only 6 months since my husband died in a hotel room with a vodka bottle by his side and the toxicology report pending. I also kicked him out of the house in hopes that he would hit rock bottom and go back to treatment (he had been 4 times). I even had him sectioned by the court to treatmentment, but the treatment center saw him as very put together and someone with a job, so they let him go after only 10 days (when what he needed was long term treatment). I have older teens (16 and 18 when their dad died) and their grief is complicated, but they witnessed and understood what happened. They are able to talk about it and even joke about it at times. They have been truly amazing and are trying so hard to take care of me each in their own way. I would love to talk to you if that’s allowed (I don’t know how these blog things work). I go to a support group for family members of substance abusers that is fabulous, but no one else in the group has lost their husband and would understand the way that it sounds like you might.

  21. Annie Visone

    Anne and Allise,
    your stories are mine – the vodka, the lying, the shame. I am slowly taking baby steps to get back to some kind of normal. I am lucky to have family and friends who look after me, but the range of emotional turmoil I feel daily is sometimes so overwhelming. Even my cats are messed up. Hopefully time will help to heal us. We are members of a club we don’t want to be in. I am thinking of you…..stay strong

  22. Anne

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. it seems like we all have the same story and are left with the devastation. We are not alone and wish things could be different. keep talking and sharing your story…anne

  23. Allise Vicens

    My husband took his life on June 8 and almost took mine with him. He also moved to his home office and drank in the basement. He had a job, a beautiful garden, two children, and two dogs that he loved. When confronted with a choice of us or vodka, he chose the vodka and then death. It was like living with Jekyll and Hyde. The straw that broke the camel’s back was picking him up from the police station after a DUI at 4 am. He told me the car was slightly dented. It was totaled. The cover up lying was another pathological facet.

  24. Annie Visone

    Someone from my Al Anon group forwarded me your NYT article. Thank you. My partner struggled to stay sober and 3 weeks ago he took his own life, leaving me to find him. As hard as I tried, I could not save him from himself. We were together for 7 years. I was afraid to marry him. The guilt is crushing. I’m so glad I am not alone.

    • Anne Minihan

      Annie….I just read your comment from June 8th…..I feel like I wrote it….My partner struggled too and we were together for 9 years…..I never admitted it but I was afraid to marry him also…he took his life 6 weeks ago and I found him …..I have been going to Alanon for 3 weeks and find it very helpful but you are right the guilt is crushing. He left a 13yr old daughter that i helped raise for 9 years and now I see only once a week….I feel as I have lost both of them….and then there is his family……another story. We are not alone….although at times it feels that way…anne

  25. Monica

    It will be a year on June 28 for me and my new title, widow. I’m 39 with a just turned six year old son, Oliver and about to turn four year old named Natalie. Thank you for your words, they hit home: big-time. Looking forward to reading your blog.

  26. Danielle Kirsch

    Hi, I just read your article in good housekeeping. As my eyes well in tears reading your story, I can relate. I’m not a widow of an alcoholic, but an adult child of one. My father, who was dying from hepatitis and cirrhosis, unintentionally killed himself if a drinking and driving wreck last week. The guilt of feeling was there something more I could do, to the anger for the mess he left behind. My father had 30 years of sobriety at one point, and to the day he died, I never saw him drink. It’s nice to hear stories, as I deal with this. Thank you!

  27. Sally Eckhoff

    Your piece in the Times was magnificent and giving. Thank you for writing it. You left only one sentence for complaints. Your restraint is admirable also.

  28. Karen

    All I have to do is change Paula to Karen and your story becomes mine. It brings back all the unhappy memories and I cried while reading your article. It took me longer to resolve my guilt, five years with only $17,000 of debt and a deplenished IRA. But, I’ve survived and I’ve also met a man and I am so thankful that I can experience true love before I die. Thanks so much for writing that piece.

  29. claudia

    My husbands name was
    Robert————————–sober 18yrs ———–then cancer took him……………………..

  30. Jordan Klimek

    Thank you for your piece in the Times. I tend to enjoy the “newsier” policy articles more, but I read yours twice. It was so smoothly written, and poignant in an elegant, understated way. Please write more. I would love to read whatever it is.

  31. john Mcglynn

    You did all you could do, as we all do for a loved one in any situation,

  32. Bill h.

    Wonderful writing. Thank you for this. We are counseled to say it one time. “Go to Alanon. Give it a year. It’s a foundation for the rest of your life.”

  33. Carey

    Thank you for your opinion piece in the NYT. I am a physician, six months divorced when my husband died of alcoholism. At the time, our son was four. As you can expect, divorce was a difficult, but necessary choice. I am a survivor…and so is our son. Despite this feeling of “accomplishment” in surviving…there is sadness, and shame, and guilt. Thank you so much for bringing this forward, for all of us who survive and plan to thrive.

  34. Sherry

    Thank you for such wise words.. I’m still involved with someone whom I feel has cheated on most of our marriage, but instead of a person, it was the bottle. He is now sober, because he has to be…he has liver disease. Me, myself knows it’s over, been over…he on the other hand thinks everything is just fine… tho we sleep separate and have been for over 5 years. I have a lot of anger, resentment for all the years I came second.
    Your read rang so very true to me in many ways…it really helps to hear others have been where you’ve been…and I’m not alone…
    Thanks again!!

  35. Mary Duggan Fischetti

    I am the daughter of an alcoholic. So, I do understand compulsive behavior and the shame associated with alcoholism. I really enjoyed your article and look forward to the memoir. The final thing that struck me was your name and hometown. I went to Mepham and knew that name. I lived in Bellmore for many years.


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