Something about my face must say, “Give me advice. Whenever you feel like it. About any subject.” I don’t generally think I give off a helpless vibe but I get everything from how to change a tire (like I would ever) to setting a table (girl, please). Giving advice? Can you say superpower? Generally about pearls, pumps and dresses-but still.
I get a message via Twitter. Would you like to become a Widow Coach. After my brain did the cartoon shake until stars circled about my head, I ponder, “This is a job?” ‘Tis indeed my girls. Some chicks are making buck off grief. My second thought–what the hell would I know? I love a dead man and each time one foot enters the date pond, it comes back missing a toe. It’s the acid.
Ever inquisitive, I check out the widow coaching biz. Interesting tidbits emerge. Some even make me feel better. Did you know “recovery” from sudden widowhood is 5-8 years? Not nearly as behind as first thought. Of course, advice on the subject is from men, mostly unrequested. Widowers, it turns out, are much more likely to be in a relationship or even a new marriage within a year of losing a spouse. It’s almost zero for the ladies. That’s because we know how to fold socks and underwear and eating cereal for dinner is okay by us. Men, turns out, are less adept at caring for themselves than women. Surprise!
On the other hand, women take the financial hit. Seems after a lifetime, that difference in earning power, or sacrifice for the higher paying career, adds up. Conclusion: Widowhood is bad for men from a health standpoint and bad for women on an economic level. On the remarriage road, there is another factor. Women outnumber men, creating a large pool for the unmarried, poor, helpless widower. Meanwhile, women figure out how to get the oil changed, assemble the Christmas tree and what a wrench looks like.
According to The New York Times, women actually thrive in widowhood more than men. One doctor’s study even suggests that women who were very emotionally dependent on their husbands while married (read: good marriage) showed the highest levels of self-esteem in widowhood. The doc reported, “They had to learn new skills. Within about a year, you see boosts in things like personal growth.”
That may be. It does not, however, mean there are not nights emptying a bottle of wine, cats at the ready, tear streaked face and hair askew. Even pearl clad girls get the blues.
As for the widow coaching? One claims to have super powers to fast track grief. Others provide an amazing service filled with compassion, love and promises of a brighter future. Hats off to those girls. As for this girl, I’ve got this grief thing so licked, I recently put my wedding rings back on.
One step forward–whatever. Call me if you need a snarky comment, where to get a deal on pearls or how to behave at High Tea. The emotional stuff? Open a Pinot Noir and drown yourself in Netflix. Easy peasy right?