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My very own Widow Island

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It has been a long time since I posted here.This forum though was a lifeline to me through some very difficult years and I met some amazing people. I turn 50 tomorrow, 31 years to the day since I got together with my wonderful husband and 7 since he died. My hope is that in posting here it encourages someone.



From now on I will wish I was 50 again. Graham didn’t have the privilege of making this decade, I still miss him every day and very much. I know now though, that I am a better version of me, more capable, healthier, fitter, stronger in every way.


This has been the toughest of decades, but I have survived and at times thrived. New words by which I can be described this decade include; widow, head teacher, triathlete, yogi, mountaineer, vegan, mother in law, grandmother-to-be, islander, debt free, campervan lover. Almost none of these were anticipated.


Last year I moved to the very tiny island of Muck (named as muc-mhara is Gaelic for whale). An island one mile long by two miles wide with only 30 adults and no shop off the west coast of Scotland. Possibly one of the most beautiful places in the world. My very own widow island retreat. I can feel hope seeping again into my bones through my wellington boots as I stand in the sea on this beach (in the picture). It’s a slow healing process each time I see a golden eagle, the sky full of stars or the aurora. I listen to the waves, the birds and my breathing. I swim here and canoe and heal. My wounds are still there but invisible to most.


Trials have built character, character has taken me to new places and these have slowly built hope. I will not stay here forever, another year or two. I kept my home in Edinburgh too so I can visit my 5 children and I plan to return there. Ten more working, saving years and then camper van travelling around this most beautiful of counties and abroad, I am strong enough to do this now.


Now at 50 I am beginning to feel comfortable being single and the Isle of Muck has helped. The dating has not gone well so far and some downtime was called for. It would be lovely to be married again at 60, but it will also be lovely to be well and single.


I can honestly say I am happy again and I didn't ever think I truly would be. This is not the life I chose, this was not part of my roadmap, but it is life and a good one. I wonder this evening, which new words will describe this decade to come?


Many years ago I started the Three Good Things thread so these are mine today:


1.Still in my 40's for 6 or so hours.

2. In Edinburgh today so have seen some of my children.

3. I am alive and living.


Much love to you all,





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WOW,  is what I am saying and showing!  THANK you for sharing!  I remember the thread you started. Timeliness.  I believe in Godwinks,, and this is mine today. What an aspiring place to live!  


I turned 50 last month, it has been 7 yrs. since LH died, and 36 yrs. ago I went on my first date with LH.

I am not feeling as confident as you in my new life, so your sharing is wonderful.  HOPE.


Three Good THINGs


1. I made it to 50 when LH did not.

2. Our son is doing well, and I enjoyed his jazz concert last night, in fact. This among his concert band and marching band participation. His love of music.

3. I am dating and moving forward despite the trials.  And I will be okay coupled or singled.  



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1. Helen restarted the three good things thread with an inspiring post

2. I chatted with a good friend who is moving soon

3. I made a date to see Jersey Boys on stage.

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1. Helen came here and gave us a wonderful update on her Life Journey. Wow, indeed! 


2. I will be celebrating my own birthday, this month, by the sea. I grew up always near an ocean and am now quite land-locked so I’m really looking forward to it. 


3. Each year I understand more fully the gifts that grief has bestowed upon me. I am thinking of that quote by Cynthia Occelli; ‘For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, it’s insides come out, and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.’ 

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Hi, Helen,


It is nice to see you here again.  Happy 50th Birthday, bittersweet as it is. 


I hit my 57th birthday a few weeks ago, surpassing the age at which my second husband died (5 days before his 57th birthday).  Again - bittersweet.


But this post is about you and your journey and I am a little envious that you have your widow island!  It sounds like a beautiful place where you have the opportunity to refresh your soul!  I am glad to know you are happy again.  I cannot say the same for myself - yet - but I am less unhappy.


I don't even remember if I ever posted on the Three Good Things thread, but I will now:


1.  I am no longer working for a miserable boss.  The job was worth the experience, but the environment was oppressive.


2.  I have decided - after 2 years on the east coast (US) - to move back to my home in Kansas.  It feels more like home than anywhere, and my sadness has lifted enough that I feel like I can thrive there.


3.  Today, it is sunny and it isn't raining!


Best wishes to everyone!





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Helen, It is so wonderful to hear from you! I was actually thinking about you not so long ago when a bunch of us got together! I am so uplifted by your post and my main question is this? Is Muck big enough for a BAGO?!?


1. Hearing a wonderful update from Helen

2. Yes, sun, finally!

3. My cherry tree has bloomed for the first time since it was planted. So pretty

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Thank you for the update!!! This place looks heavenly and I’m so happy for you. And happy 50th!! I’m right behind you as a 7yr widow. 


3 good things (thank you Helen for reminding me...needed this right now)


1. Have a good day planned for my son and I for the impending sadiversary.


2. I’ve realized that being widowed has made me reflective and super strong. 


3. Thankful for Spring arriving (and some sunny weather). 

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Happy belated 50th, Helen!  Glad to hear good things from you!


Three good things:


1. Family life (including my new wife) is great, even as we deal with the chaos of my 18-year-olds' upcoming graduation.


2. Spring is here, and I will be able to ride my bike again soon.


3. Music remains a source of meaning and fun in my life, and I am back on the radio on Sunday.

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This is so lovely to read Helen (from a fellow Scot). Nature, solitude and simplicity have played a huge part in my healing too. My DH died 6 years ago this week (and I’m on the other side of 50 now). I can honestly say, at some point in the last year, I have become truly happy and content, and I now feel stronger than I’ve ever been. Life is pretty good and I’m looking with hope and optimism to the future. Who would have thought? Such a long time…. I’ve never been to Muck, but I holidayed in Arisaig a couple of years back – a beautiful part of the world. Sending all my very best wishes to you.

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Hi Helen,

I'm in my 9th year now, and was one of the YWBBers from the before time. I still miss my husband, Mick, and think of how my life would be different if he had lived. There are so many "would have," "should have" moments, I can't begin to count them all.


But, that being said, I am in a good place too. I was lucky to find love again and am remarried to a wonderful man, another YWBBer. We met on that original board. It was our own personal miracle. We've been married now going on 6 years and I am happy and grateful to have him in my life.


Does being in a relationship erase the pain? No. It does not and cannot do that. But, what it does do is gives up hope for the future. I too wish to travel more and perhaps our paths will cross one day. Until then, I wish you happiness, my friend. Here are my "three good things":

1. I am at work this week, but will be on vacation NEXT week :)

2. I get to go home soon and be with a wonderful, loving man

3. I will see my son and his lovely fiance for dinner tonight.


Hoping today brings peace to you.


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How you described yourself and how you feel about life is what I hope and pray for! Thank you so much for sharing. Nowadays I come on here to look for inspiration and you gave me that today.


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