Thursday, May 20, 2010

Lonely Widow(er)s Wanted, All Encouraged to Apply

Help Wanted
Originally uploaded by
Melissa Gorostiza

Being that I am currently dipping my feet into the job market, I got to wondering, what type of ad would encourage me to apply? Now of course I am looking for a job, and I suppose I should be searching the web for one right now. I can't just stop with the first job I came across. Right?

I have also been thinking this...some days I get a lot of visitors to my blog. Some stay and read awhile, others do a bit of a fly by. I have my regular net-friends, and I have my regular chat pals who leave comments, but I also receive many who appear to leave as quickly as they arrived.

What happens? Am I not what they were looking for? Was the blog not about the subject they expected? Were they looking for a male point of view, but not a gay one? Were they looking for a younger point of view, but not a young middle aged guy? Was the Latin flavor a bit too spicy for their taste? Are my posts too long? Is my hair too short? Okay, get my drift?

These are the crazy things that go through my mind when I finally come up for air. Earlier I was thinking that it would be interesting to conduct a bit of a social study. I could begin a few different blogs, with different identities, but with almost identical content, and see which one picks up the most steam. I sometimes wonder if we limit ourselves by seeking those that are most like us. I also wonder if we look for commonalities because we don't seem to find anyone like us.

When I first started this blog, I thought it was a way to reach out to other widow(er)s who identified as gay or lesbian, and who might feel a bit marginalized. Some have come and gone, but currently we are a rare breed in the world of grief related blogs. Actually, I might be it. Perhaps I'm extinct, but didn't get the memo.

When I look at the group of people I have come to know well through the blog, I get a sense of many feeling like a bit of a nomad. Some have chosen to hit the road, some had to move out due to extenuating circumstances, some yearn to be transported to far off galaxies, and some just think it might be nice to rest in the shadow of a large palm tree in San Diego. Perhaps what ties this group is a sense of isolation, or a sense of needing to reach out. I have previously discussed feeling like an outsider in many ways. Is that what joins us? I have sometimes noticed that my phone doesn't ring very often. Is it simply a matter of us paying our phone bills? What is it?

I know that I have had the good fortune to meet, by way of the written exchange, many wonderful and struggling people. There are many ways in which I identify with these individuals, and there are many ways that I see our differences. What I do feel though, is that we all welcome each other into our blog worlds. We encourage each other to lean on us, and to accept the mutual support.

I know there are many people who read the blogs each day. I often wonder if some feel like they may not have something to contribute, but I know that is not true. Today's post is a calling out to each of you. It's my way of saying everyone who visits is welcome. Everyone is encouraged to quietly read if that is what they need. And, everyone is encouraged to share their thoughts, no matter what your journey is, or what your journey looks like, or how you identify.

So here is a bit of a starter. My title says "lonely widow(er)s wanted," but you don't have to be one to share. The fact that you take an interest in our struggle, is enough for me to say "welcome." Even if you were looking for the video of the film "Dan in real life" and you got "Dan, in real time," you are welcome to stay and chat.

So...What brings you here? If you are grieving...What do you find online that you can identify with? And, what is it that you may not have found quite yet? Are there parts of your experience that still makes you feel like you are still searching for members of your lost tribe?



  1. That made me chuckle when you stated that some find you while looking for the movie "Dan in real life". I'm sure you can guess how many find me by googling something about the movie P.S. I Love You =). Maybe I'll have to watch it one day . . . .

    I know I don't comment as often these days - I found I've been struggling with finding words. Passing the year mark was most certainly a low point and I still feel as though I'm crawling back up (though of course you know the anniversary tomorrow will set me back a few knotches).

    And, I know that you didn't end up finding what you were initially looking for, but I'm glad to know you've found support in whatever shape, gender, preference, etc it comes.

    Much love to you Dan (in real 'time')

  2. I don't remember how I stumbled across your blog, but I am grateful that I did. Your story, your gift of words, the intensity of your love, the beautiful gift of family that you gave your children, the depth of your introspection, the immense pain that you have lived, and continue to live, the grace and dignity with which you live your grief, your tenacity that allows you to make it through another day...all of these things made me return again. and again. and again. It is my honor to be allowed to share in your journey. And know that prayers for your comfort and strength are my thanks for that honor.
    from Alaska

  3. Hello Dan,
    I come here because I knew Mike and feel like I got to know you a bit as we shared caring for our loves and now mourning them. I come here because your words inspire and comfort me. I come here because I am awed with your honesty and courage. Love, Susan

  4. Hi Chelsea. I would recommend waiting on watching "P.S. I love you." I'm sure you know the main plot line. It will hit far too close for comfort. I'm thinking of you today, on your anniversary.

    My Alaskan friend. I'm so glad you found my blog, and that you find some inspiration in it. Your words are very kind, and I really take them to heart. Although each of our lives are somewhat different, we can always learn so much from eachother. Welcome.

    Susan. I'm so glad that you read my words. You were the first person that I met along this journey that was going through a similar struggle. I remember feeling so heartbroken for your loss, then ironically found myself there 7 months later. I have appreciated your support.

  5. I hope more people will feel inspired to leave a comment in response to your questions.
    I can't remember what brought me here first - maybe a link from Deb's blog. What has kept me reading is the way in which you are able to put your feelings into words - with, as everyone has commented above - honesty, grace, and dignity. Also, perhaps it is the similarities in our experience as caregivers before being widowed. I like that you take the time to greet those who leave a comment for the first time, and that you manage to find time to make the rounds to so many other blogs. I often come here to use your blogroll links to visit some of those blogs too. At almost a year further along this difficult road, I read your posts and it brings back so many memories of how things were for me a year ago. Maybe that's why many of us read each other's blogs - to see how others are managing, what they are doing to try to keep going.

  6. Hi bev. Thanks for weighing in here. I too feel an afinity to your journey, and sometimes find myself living vicariously through your travels. When I was in San Diego earlier in the week I took some time to look at houses. I was remembering the start of my current home, some 17 years ago. It was the worst house on the block. Talk about a fixer! Now I'm so busy, that I wouldn't have the time to take on such a big project. Plus I now have three kids, where back then I had one. So, once again I will live vicariously through your home improvement projects. I will try to keep busy with my Dan improvement projects.

  7. Hi Dan,

    I just found your blog maybe a week or two ago. I think I came from Matt, Maddy and Liz, Life and death in a 27 hour period. I keep coming back because your writing and your struggles draw me in. You are very talented. I wish I could be of more help to you.


  8. Hi Jacky. You are of help. Knowing there are individuals who read, is very comforting. I hope you, and everyone else, knows that you are always welcome to share your thoughts on what I write, or to communicate with others that leave comments. It just makes it all a little more interesting.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  9. When I started a blog to chronicle my own journey through grief, I searched out other blogs by widow(er)s. Yours is one that I keep coming back to, and though I don't always comment, I do read every single post. So much of what you write about resonates with me. Though grief is a lonely path, I find that these blogs make me feel a little less alone. The one thing I haven't found yet is a blog by another suicide widow. In this aspect of my grief, I still feel rather isolated. Thank you for sharing yourself and your struggle so honestly. You inspire me to do the same.

  10. Hi Dan,
    My name is Steve and I actually just stumbled across your blog today (May 26th) and I'm glad I did. Having lost my loving partner of 6 years Robert in 2008 to leukemia, I have an acute sense of what it feels like to want to be isolated but still search and try to find people who have been through what I have been through, who understands the incredible ups and downs and are still dealing with life after losing the love of your life. It's bloody hard work isn't it (I know, understatement) but I have to say that I'm so glad I found your blog!

  11. Steve,

    I'm so glad you found my blog. I hope that you will continue to share your thoughts with me and the other readers. I write because I need that connection with other who truly know the pain and sorrow that I go through. So, welcome, and I look forward to hearing more from you.