The Rhythms of Widowhood
By Betty Auchard
Married when she was barely 19, Betty Auchard went straight from her parent's home to her husband's bed. She raised four children, returned to college, taught art in the public school system, and became a grandmother, a published artist, a retiree, and then a widow.
When she loses her husband of almost 49 years to cancer, widowhood forces Betty to find out what she can do on her own. She has a lot to learn, having never been single before. She didn't know how to put gas in her car. She was not freeway literate, nor had she ever used a computer. And she had never paid the bills by herself.
Facing her new responsibilities, the septuagenarian makes all kinds of mistakes. These short, upbeat, inspiring stories tell us how this spunky woman got through widowhood -- she decides to dance instead of sitting on the sidelines. Betty laughs and cries her way through grief and, ultimately, comes to see her situation as normal. "None of us is going to get out of this alive, and someone is always going to be left behind feeling sad."
Betty shares her journey of widowhood with poignancy and humor. As she drives her husband's cremains home, she realizes that "it was the only time that he was a passenger in my car and didn't say a word about my driving." She places "guy" things around her bedroom so the plumber won't realize that she lives alone. She sweats at the gym, flirts with gray-haired men, swims laps, and then tirelessly dances into the night.
Betty's road to self-sufficiency is filled with laughter, creativity, connection, and transformation -- and tears, self-doubt, and lonely nights. Through it all, Betty lands firmly on her feet, ready for whatever comes next. The last page doesn't feel like an ending at all because, really, it's just the beginning.