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  • Writer's picture susan kendal

some personal stuff

Updated: Feb 1, 2021

As the creator of evolve for widows, I thought you might want a little more background on my story. So, here’s the sad stuff. Then we can celebrate the good.

I became a widow at the age of 53 in May 2014. I met my husband when I was 14 and he

was the only love of my life. I am currently single and live alone in Toronto, Canada.

My 54-year old husband, Neil, passed suddenly and completely unexpectedly of a heart attack almost six years ago. At that time my only son had recently married and my middle daughter was living with her then boyfriend (now husband).

Thankfully, my youngest was away at the time so she wasn’t in the house to witness the tragedy. However, we did need to get her home from overseas and gathering in my home office with her older siblings and telling her the tragic news on the phone was terribly painful for all.

I had been helping my parents through my dad’s chemo sessions at the time of Neil’s passing. It was within the month of his loss that I took my dad for his next appointment. In fact, when my middle daughter heard that ‘dad’ passed, she assumed I meant my own father. We were lucky enough to have my dad around for another two years before he too was taken.

The loneliness continued. Six months after my dad died, I lost my big brother unexpectedly too. Thankfully, I was able to be at the hospital to comfort his wife and children, including his eight-year old son. I was very, very close to my brother and I believed the loss of my trilogy would be enough pain for me. I had lost my foundation. My ‘rocks’ were being kicked out from under me.

If I am opening up all my wounds, I must recount the loss of my best friend and brother-in-law six weeks after he toasted me at my wedding. Darren’s loss at age 18 has affected my entire life, including how we raised our children.

Only last year, in September 2019, my other brother succumbed to the ravages of early-onset Alzheimer’s. I had spent the past two years helping him navigate life and living. Although his passing was expected and probably a gift, his health went downhill so quickly it was like a whirlwind to keep up with the new demands he required. When he died, I lost another of my pillars of strength and unconditional love. I was heartbroken and spent a month inside my home trying to understand the purpose of all this personal tragedy. All this recent loss in five years’ time.

Prior to each tragedy I had pulled myself up and planned my next steps. This included moving to a new home, planning a new career and marrying 2 daughters. Each its own huge life experience.

Throughout the many challenges, I became convinced that someone ‘up there’ was trying to tell me something. Why was I being pushed into more and more solitude? Yes, I have wonderful friends and family. Yes, I have been blessed with five incredible grandchildren in the past four years. Yes, I am healthy, active and reasonably busy. But, you know…

And yet, I wasn’t as alone as I thought I was – until now. I am in self-isolation at home with my dog (thankfully). I am dependent on the internet to keep me connected with those I love and I am trying very hard not to think about how long this will last and how we will all be affected…and what I shall do if the internet stops… what if I get sick or if food runs out…or if something should happen to the ones I love…

I am trying very hard to be optimistic (in between wine & self-pity) and accept this time to finally begin anew. I am excited to share my thoughts with you and move forward – thru a pandemic.

Let’s begin to know one-another. But, let’s not dwell on the painful past in a negative way. There are a zillion other social media sites for THAT conversation. Share your story and where you are heading!!!! There is so much living for us to offer, so much more to learn and so much exciting life to live ahead of us.

There’s no judgement here and no negative responses are acceptable. Discussion is welcomed. Encouragement is encouraged ♥

evolving together,



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