Adapting to new roles and key issues for spouses

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So again, we did the best we could. Would I have done it differently in retrospect? I probably would have been more my own advocate as well, which I didn’t know how to be. Which is why what I do, now that I’m a widow, I try to make people aware. There’s a whole issue I think that people are afraid to talk about when it’s a female who’s the caregiver: the loss of feminism. You are pushing that wheelchair, often through the snow if you live where we live. I remember once we were invited to a party and all the wives were dropped off as I dropped off my husband and went to park the car with all the men, and then came back and again the invisibility and everybody chatting how wonderful it was to see him. And then all the husbands and I went to get the cars and shovelling off the snow and warming up the car. And then, as these women are waiting for their husbands to drive up and go into the warm car, I drove up frozen to get my husband in the car and it just hit me. There’s a whole piece of feminism—and that is a very integral part of being a woman and in a marriage—that is gone. It’s really gone, and that’s another loss that you mourn.

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