After His Death, I Didn’t Cook Anymore’: Widows on the Pain of Dining Alone – The New York Times

And now, I am so alone.

Everyone has gone back to work and is propelled by the demands of daily living — having babies, preparing for exhibits, working. There is always an undercurrent of unstated criticism: Get on with your life. You should be over it.

— Katherine Gaskins, Columbus, Ohio

There’s nothing more lonely than sitting down with a Sunday roast with all the trimmings by yourself.

— Eric Bubb, Dorset, England

Dinners at home are hard, tough and jarring reminders of what I have lost. I find more and more that I eat a really good breakfast, a late lunch and a small dinner. Sometimes it’s yogurt and fruit, sometimes it’s leftovers from lunch, sometimes it’s just an appetizer and a glass of wine.

I find I can’t eat dinner alone at the dining table. So it’s on the couch, in the living room in front of the 6:30 p.m. news. My daughter asked me how long I’m going to do that and I said, “I guess until I spill something that takes a long time to clean up, it’s just going to be me and David Muir.”

— Karin Kemp, Matthews, N.C.

I’ve often wondered what happened to me that caused me, two months after my husband’s death, to decide to cook supper. I had been living off cereal for the most part before.

I cooked our favorite foods, set the table for two and, when the food was done, took both plates and filled them up.

I sat down, looked at his empty seat and realized what I had just done.

I think that the shock of that moment made me realize that from that time on, I had to become used to an empty chair in front of me.

— Marilyn Irlbacher, Nashua, N.H.

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