You Died, I Didn’t…

by | Mar 21, 2023 | Senior Dating

Share this post

Happy Tuesday from Gail and Cowboy Bob. Instead of a blog this week, we want to show you an excerpt from our new book entitled You Died, I Didn’t, The Boomer’s Guide to Online Dating. We started writing it on December 21, 2021, that’s right, 2021, a lifetime ago it seems, and if all goes well, should be in publication by this fall.

We hope you laugh and cry along with us as we tell exactly how and why we have chosen to make room for a new person in our heart. So, throw off those widow weeds and break out those saddle buff oxfords and remember, “Oh, my love, my darling, I hunger for your touch, the long, lonely night…”

Chapter 1

Until Death Do Us Part

Oh, my gosh…I’m seventy-six years old and twelve months a widow, and now somebody I don’t know has asked me for a date—an online date—but I barely even know what that is. I was Tom’s wife for over half a century, but that life has passed, and it’s finally sunk in that he’s not coming back, quick person that I am, I’m about to enter a dating site. How in the world did I get here? 

He died, but I didn’t, that’s how I got here. I didn’t really have a choice in my current situation because Tom, the love of my life, to whom I was married for over fifty years, died. And now, he’s gone and I’m still here, healthy and active, wanting to complete our bucket list by continuing to have adventures, and living my life out. I always thought I was a good problem solver, but this problem had dropped itself squarely in my lap, and suddenly I feel like a woman without a country. What do I do? Where do I go? I thought about it a lot, and I saw only one solution: status quo, being a lonely widow for the rest of my life.

This book tells the story of the difficult journey of losing a spouse and dealing with the sounds of an empty house, no matter how loudly you set the CD player or TV volume. It relates the tales of Robert and Gail, both widowers over the age of seventy-five who lived through the life-changing event of losing a long-time spouse, struggling with the decisions that had to be made. Stay the course, alter the direction, or choose something totally different.

Although losing someone you love happens in every family, it is different for all of us and leaves an empty space needing to be filled by activities, people, or change. Sometimes an accident or sudden illness leaves a blank space immediately: right here and right now, allowing no time for preparation or adjustment. No good-byes, no last-minute kisses, nothing. He or she just doesn’t come home from work one day or doesn’t wake up or a different type of tragedy, such as murder or suicide, that is difficult and impossible to talk about.

For others the ordeal of the death experience may take a couple of years or even longer, and the surviving spouse switches roles from spouse to caregiver. Many of us serve as caregivers when one spouse is diagnosed with an extended illness, changing our roles as spouse to that of a personal care nurse. We all understood the “until death do us part promise” but did not ever think it would happen to us, and the months spent watching our love pass away takes a dreadful emotional toll. One spouse becomes dependent on his or her mate for many things, health issues, transportation, bathing, economics, and more. The time spent during these months allows time for asking the un-asked questions such as “Who gets your jewelry?” or “Do you want to be cremated or be buried in the ground?” or “Where did you put the title to the car?” or a common problem for widows, “Could you show me how to run the remote?” Talking about imminent death is always uncomfortable, and all too often, these questions lie incomplete, even after several years. The surviving spouse is left wondering the answers, with no one to ask. Each chemo treatment or new drug promises hope, and the nurses pat your hand, offering weak and sometimes insincere smiles for the surviving spouse who knows and fears this terminal illness with only one outlet.

Unexpressed words and feelings linger in our minds, and we regret the unspoken and undone, like not giving one more compliment, offering a flirty wink, or simply saying another “I love you” when he or she walked out the door. On the other hand, we may regret the spoken or an action, like words voiced in anger or slamming the door or throwing something across the room because it wasn’t in the right place. Important questions that we should have asked lie in the back of our minds. We didn’t ask because after all, we could ask them tomorrow. Only now, time has run out and no tomorrow will appear to resolve these and other questions. Our unopened emotional baggage, like fuming over an unresolved issue that occurred years ago, an epithet blurted out in a moment of frustration, being too tired for a last opportunity for love making, or an unresolved argument about nothing important, such as leaving dirty clothes on the floor or an unpaid bill hovering over us. These memories of lost opportunity can cause even more regret and grief. What’s done is done and reparations are too late.


In Gail’s research for a book about an internet dating, life happened, and she inadvertently posted her picture on an online dating website and a blue-eyed Montana cowboy showed up and asked three questions, can you swim, do you have a passport, and do you want to go to Paris—Well, let me tell you, a whole new adventure started right there…Stay tuned!

Share the heck out of this! All my blogs and books are on my website

Gail Cushman, Author

Share this post

Related Posts

The Adventure Begins

The Adventure Begins

I’m still working on my best-selling book about online dating for widows and widowers and I thought how I can write a book on online dating if I’ve never been on an online date?  Sometimes I’m a genius that way. I was texting with four different guys from Idaho,...

Blue Eyes Continued

Blue Eyes Continued

My life’s been rather topsy turvy for the past several weeks. I’m still wrestling with the alligator-sized hole in my bathroom, my best-selling book about online dating for seniors is coming along fine, but my search for that blue-eyed cowboy has taken more time than...

Hello Blue Eyes

Hello Blue Eyes

Hello, Blue Eyes! Well, I’m not really sure about that, but maybe. My drugstore cowboy has gone away and now I’m on some dating sites, checking out the eye candy, or men who think they are eye candy. I kind of liked knowing old Luke. He was a pseudo-cowboy, but still...