My Last First Thanksgiving as a Widow

Finding things to be thankful for

Pamela Hazelton

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Joe — photo by Pamela Hazelton

Earlier this year, I was writing a piece to explain where I’d been and why I took time off from writing. Fact is, after losing both my parents in a ten-month timeframe, I poured myself into my work more than ever before. Then, after being laid off in November of ’22, I realized it was all a mistake. I had never taken the time necessary to grieve — to accept my adult orphan status — and figure out who I now was because my parents being alive had so much defined just that. If I was no longer a daughter, who was I?

So, for the first half of this year, my husband gave me the space each day to research, try new things, and basically figure out what I wanted out of life. Did I want to keep writing? Did I want to continue my longtime love of discovering unique marketing approaches? Did I want to travel or re-immerse myself in cooking fine meals each evening?

Joe and I worked on many things together, also. His writing quality far exceeds mine, but it still needed fresh editing eyes and graphic design. He worked on building a fictional city, complete with roadways, street names, landmarks, a city council, and residents. People who got into reading the series could earn deeds to homes with designated addresses. I used Photoshop while he finger-drew portions of the map on my office door. It was highly creative, and his attention to detail was fascinating. It reignited me.

By August, I still wasn’t certain what I wanted to do for “work,” but I was stoked about the process.

Until he died.

Joe, aka “the blind guy,” took his last breath on August 19th. I remember the final moments and the immediate aftermath clearly. Everything else? Not so much.

For the past three months, I’ve been living in limbo. I have a different emotion every few seconds. My mind whirs about what needs to be done; I procrastinate completing all the paperwork because it feels so… final. I attend a support group where I don’t feel entirely isolated, yet I’m still alone in my thoughts and feelings. I throw out most of the groceries I have delivered because I don’t have the energy to cook. I’d rather eat chips and salsa anyway.

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Pamela Hazelton

Avid writer, marketer & business consultant. // Reward yourself a little every day. 🆆🅾🆁🅺 + 🅻🅸🅵🅴 🅱🅰🅻🅰🅽🅲🅴