My life changed dramatically this past year. My husband came down with aspirated pneumonia
in March of 2012. Despite doctor visits and medication, his condition didn’t improve. I brought
him to the hospital Saturday morning of Memorial Day. Bernie never came home.
For seven months, he went back and forth from hospital to rehab facility. They linked him up to
all sorts of tubes. Despite antibiotics and care, his congestion remained. He couldn’t eat and was barely able to speak. He died December 30th, in the Veterans’ Home in Stony Brook.
And now I am a widow. A widow. I repeat the term because it’s sounds alien to me. Still, it’s now one of the many tags–like mother, friend, and writer–that make up the identity of the person who is Marilyn Levinson. I’m doing all right. I don’t mope around. I’m not feeling very sad and weepy. I’m busier than ever because now I have to run errands, do chores, and see to the many household obligations that Bernie used to take care of. I change light bulbs, I shop for groceries, I take out the garbage. I arrange for house repairs and service calls. I learn something
new every week. I’m glad I have my family, and that my good friends, including couples, still want to spend time with me. I’ve heard from so many people that friendships often change after the death of one’s spouse. It’s comforting to know one’s company is appreciated, though going out for dinner isn’t the same without Bernie.
People tell me I’m doing well, and that I’m lucky my writing keep me occupied. I am grateful to be a writer. Now that social media is a big part of any writer’s life, I can no longer separate writing novels from communicating with my fellow authors and readers via email, Facebook,
Pinterest, blogging and Twitter. When I’m not working on my current novel, I’m editing or blogging or getting ready to attend a writing-related meeting. Writing is my way of life. I feel Bernie’s absence the most on weekends, when we used to take drives and meet friends for dinner. I miss our trips abroad. Busy as I am, I realize I’m in a holding pattern. I continue to do what’s comfortable and familiar. Life changes are in store for me, but right now I’m not dashing out to meet them. I don’t think I’ll be joining a bereavement group, but you never know. I do want to start traveling again. And I’m about to become a grandmother in June, something I welcome with all my heart.