Secret Widow Files, Part One- Sex.

by Lori Dwyer on July 8, 2011 · 63 comments

From the Secret Widow Files.

Hmmm.. to blog, or not to blog, about this one?

To blog, I think, but with a disclaimer.

As we’ve discussed, really, dead people don’t feel or think anything.

If this post is going to bother you- it concerns activities that took place after Tony passed away that a good, respectable, grieving widow probably should not admit to- please don’t read it.

I was so deeply in shock After what happened with, after he died. Nothing felt real- in fact, the world was totally surreal. I was so caught deep inside my own mind- I felt like I watching the world through a thick, murky pane of glass, while I lived in the past. While I lived the last half hour of Tony’s conscious life, again and again. While I live the 100 hours in the ICU one hundred times.

Numb. The only thing I could feel was pain so deep within my soul I felt like biting myself, tearing at my hair.
Whole body experiences- anything with a bit of a rush- they were the only things that could break through the fog. I’ve said before, I used to cut myself, just to feel something, just to watch it bleed.

Cutting myself didn’t even appeal. It wasn’t enough, not enough close to enough, to break that all consuming, all surrounding pane of glass.

Much more than that was needed. Swimming was good, the break over cold water over my head, the crack of it as it passed my ears. The exertion of muscles working against liquid gravity.

Piercings were good. A pain, intense and deep, on the outside. Something to focus on, to draw the pain away from the inside, just for the tiniest bit.

And sex was good.

I won’t go into detail, except to say it was anonymous enough, safe enough, and helped. And I closed my eyes and pretended it was husband and the illusion was destroyed by an unfamiliar weight, an unfamiliar scent.
They say sex is an antidote to death- if you want proof of life, what better way is there? If you want to feel, deeply, something other than pain.. what better way is there?

Judge, if you dare. Beyond caring. I know- it’s damn disrespectful. Whatever. The funniest thing about that phenomena I talked about- how a dead person would feel about a situation, a moot point if ever there was one- is that the dead person’s feelings seem to take preference over those of living.

Really- it’s all about getting through. Respectful, or otherwise. This is truth.

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{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

Work Kitty and Me September 6, 2011 at 11:34 am

Your honesty is so fucking inspiring. I am drawn to people who say what others don't dare to. It's brave to be able to write the words that everyone else is too scared to, and I admire bravey.

Sex one way that someone in greif or pain or numbness can feel like they are alive. And something that makes you feel alive (done safely and with mindfulness) is something good.


Andrea July 19, 2011 at 8:25 pm

1, What phonakins said.
2, for chrisssakes, who are they to judge anyway.


Being Me July 15, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Respectful bow to you, dear Lori. I'm struck again that you write what so many would not (they may do but they would not write). And the confirmation and the self-acceptance are a beautiful gift for you to give anonymous and nameless others on this blog space, so that they may too find it within themselves. xxxx


Carmel Sanders July 12, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Dearest Lori,
I know this sounds nuts, but when my hubby left our family suddenly whilst I was still crazy in love with him, it felt like part of me had died and I went through, am still going through, a grieving process not unlike your own. Everything you say resonates in my heart. Every behaviour you exhibit, I have been there, Im still there at times. I step forward and then, Wham! and I fall back again. I feel like you're putting my story into words on your blog. I cry with you almost every day. I only found your blog a few weeks ago and I cant stop reading. I havent gone back 'before' yet cos I dont feel ready to laugh with your previous blogs. The pain of awareness of what you have lost would be all the harder cos I know I will feel like Im losing my life all over again too. Please dont stop being my voice. I need you to speak my pain too.


Janet July 11, 2011 at 1:12 pm

You are so brave and so honest. Katy is right. xxx


MamaRobinJ July 11, 2011 at 6:22 am

Do what you need to do. Pun intended. Tony would want you to be okay, whatever that looks like.


Jen July 10, 2011 at 11:07 pm

I have been reading you for a while now on recommendation from a friend. I really had to comment and say ….. thank you. Thank you for your honesty. If more people could be this honest, life would be better all around.
I wish you only the best Lori and know there are many people out here supporting you and being very grateful you are in this world.


alliecat July 10, 2011 at 10:17 am

God, you weren't committing adultery, so why should there be judgment? None here, you do what you need to get through, as long as you keep yourself safe, I see no harm. Much more fun then swimming I bet too…


theKatieKitten July 10, 2011 at 5:55 am

I have to pipe up and vouch that Lori is/was (whatever) safe. Same goes for the kidlets. As a IRL friend I know that they are always priority No. 1.
"Judgie-wudgie was a bear
Judgie-wudgie had no hair" Remember that old rhyme?
And "don't judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes. That way you are a mile away, and you have his shoes!"


Watershedd July 9, 2011 at 11:34 pm

You keep showing me things I never thought of, perspectives I'm just realising. Can't say more, but you've made me understand a lot more, about myself, about others in your situation. Thankyou. X


MaidInAustralia July 9, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Hey as long as it's safe – physically and emotionally – for you, and safe for your kids, go for it.
Sex can be like an itch you have to scratch. Like cutting, it releases endorphins. Having sex after a loss like this is quite normal.
Honey, you do what you need to get through this.
As long as you're safe, and you're looking after yourself, that's okay.
As long as it's not destructive, it's okay.
And if ever you need help, you ask, okay? xo


becca July 9, 2011 at 9:37 pm

I bet that was hard to write. I hope this doesn't sound contrived or something, but you did what you needed to do! You weren't cheating because he was gone. Better than cutting really. and the fact you had presence of mind to make it anonymous and *SAFE* means you knew what you where doing and knew (hoped?) it would make the pain go away, even for a moment. Thanks for sharing. xxoo


Linda July 9, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Shine on. :)


Tina Gray July 9, 2011 at 2:45 pm

I love your honesty, Lori. No judgement here. You do what you need to, to get through xx


ros July 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm

I read a book a few years ago called something like "diary of a promiscuous widow"…this young lady nursed her husband thru cancer then when he died she went crazy with sex for a year…and was very judged…but it really explores why she did it/how it helped/how she felt during that awful time. I don't know what the psychs say but I gather it's a very common/very silent/very normal thing. Good on you in your honesty and courage.


Stephanie D July 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm

It is just awesome how you are able to share this experience in writing. Hopefully that brings you some comfort. The biggest thing I learned about any emotional hardship/crisis is that you need to love yourself through it. Sounds like you are doing just that.


Sophie July 9, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Whatever gets you through.

For what its worth, I get this. There is something about sex in grief… it is the anti-death… When you touch death so closely you need to feel alive and nothing achieves that as much as sex.

So yeah, I get this. No judgement. In fact I heartily approve.


Miss B July 9, 2011 at 10:36 am

I adore your honesty and think nobody has the right to judge. All you need to foucs on is you and your babies and what ever feels right for you!


Kate July 9, 2011 at 9:41 am

You are such a brave woman. Good on you for blogging about it.


EmmaK July 9, 2011 at 1:32 am

I admire your frankness and honesty and certainly don't judge you for doing what you needed to get through this dark time.


Megan July 8, 2011 at 11:36 pm

You are alive, my dear, and you connected with another living being in a way that reinforced that you are… alive. You are alive. Can we say it again? You are alive. And as Toni said, the key word you used was "safe." If it was safe, then more power to you. No one has the right to judge you, particularly not for that, by any means!

Much love to you.


Stephanie July 8, 2011 at 11:20 pm

No judgment here. I can't get over how much I never considered the mootness of the dead persons feelings. I can't imagine having been in your shoes so I can't possibly judge you for what you did to get through the pain. Keep writing…your honesty is much needed in this world.


Hear Mum Roar July 8, 2011 at 9:56 pm

The way I see it, is widow or not, we're all sexual beings. And you were single, so you've done nothing wrong.

You survived that hell, and that is something to be proud of


Rachel July 8, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Someone, I don't remember who, or on which post, commented on a post months ago that there was some research saying that young widows tend to have sex with a number of partners after losing their husbands. So it sounds to me like what you went through is normal in the sense of what the fuck is normal in this situation…. To me anything that got you through, that sustainednyou and kept you here, alive and still you, was what you needed and was therefore a good thing. If people want to judge you, well, you know, fuck 'em.


Lirio Jaguar July 8, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Carry on, my love. I'm selfish and want to see your light in this world for a long time to come. You're right – what better way to prove life than to allow someone to light your fire? I am most definitely a glass house, no stone throwing from here ;)xxx


phonakins July 8, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Sex is a wonderful thing and people should beless uptight aboout it all


Donna July 8, 2011 at 8:35 pm

No one should have the right to judge you until they have walked a mile in your shoes. As is the consensus, whatever it takes to help you survive… And you should yet again be applauded for such honesty – imagine how many people you are helping by writing these…


Oscar’s Mum July 8, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Your honesty still really amazes me. No judgement, what ever gets you through another day.


Glen July 8, 2011 at 7:46 pm

No judging to be done.


Lynda Halliger-Otvos July 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm

So glad it helped you. That’s all that matters-what helps you.


kayren July 8, 2011 at 6:09 pm

sex is beautiful. and its the best feeling to know that someone wants you, that you are attractive.(;


Leah – Bogue Living July 8, 2011 at 5:39 pm

No judgement here. Dare say if a man did it after what you went through, it would just be seen as evidence of his desperate pain, no betrayal.


Miss Cinders July 8, 2011 at 5:12 pm

One day at a time, one step at a time, one hour at a time…. and whatever helps you get through every one of them moments through every day while you are working through this. Then that is the right thing.

I know alot of people who would say "that bitch!". The people that are too wrapped up in what 'should' be the way one gets through each moment after such an emotional full on moment in their life.

It helped you get through. And that's what matters.



River July 8, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Everyone works through grief in their own way and no-one has a right to judge anyone else.


Sarah July 8, 2011 at 4:14 pm

My opinion, not that it matters in the slightest, is that he was gone so you had to do whatever you needed to to keep you here. I'm glad it was something safe & not cutting.

Love you chicken xxx


Eccles July 8, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Hey Lori – c'est moi. You know your antithesis. After I stumbled upon your After, I clung to my husband, a big 6'4" man, with a heart of gold. We have made love nearly every night since I 'met' you & Tony. It doesn't matter who gives you the warmth & the feeling of being human; we need to feel human & we need to feel outside of our own heads… for a little while at least… we need to feel… (X)


Catherine Dabels July 9, 2011 at 1:56 am

It is the truth and you are brave for sharing.


Wendy B. July 8, 2011 at 3:24 pm

I don't think there is anyone out there who has the right to judge. If you needed to do it, you just needed to do it. Period.

Lots of love,



Kel July 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Zero judgement. 10/10 respect to you. Honesty is hard to come by these days, and I admire you for that.
If it helps and you're safe, what else matters?


Hi I’m Rhonda. July 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm

life is for the living, so fuck anyone who judges you for doing what you need to do to get through an impossible situation.


Jane July 8, 2011 at 2:17 pm

As always, I love your honesty, Lori xxx


Ms Styling You July 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm

No judgement required. Your life. Your right to get through it as best you can. xx


Georgia July 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm

As God Golly Miss Holly said, there is no right or wrong way to get through the trauma you have suffered, to navigate the grief. There is just your way, your path. If it helped YOU, even just a little bit, that is all that matters.


Aadoria July 8, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I have been following you for a while now and never commented… I just sit in awe of this amazing honesty and realism you put into your blog.
I felt I needed to comment now, because this post really hit me in so many ways.
Thank you for putting your entire self out there, and never second guess your healing process, for it is truly an individual road to travel.
xoxoxo Jessica


Miss Pink July 8, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Everyone takes death differently.
We all agree on this.

I agree on your stance, and it is how I deal with my own grief. The dead? Even if they do feel like some believe, there is no way of you knowing what they're feeling. So why assume? Why live your life doing "what he would have wanted" because really…it's what you presume he would want and it may not be the actual case.

I've said it to you many times, and it still applies here. You do what you need to help you right here and right now.
If sex helps with the pain, even for 10minutes, who is anyone to judge you for your escape?


Fox in the City July 8, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I am certain that you are not the only person in the world that has turned to sex in an effort to feel something, anything, after a death.

Certainly no judgement here . . . only a deep respect for your total honesty.


Mich July 8, 2011 at 1:34 pm

you are only human after all.


Zoe Paige July 8, 2011 at 1:03 pm

you just need to do whatever it is that will help you get through this. No one has the right to judge you! Fuck the haters, Lori. You're spectacular. You're being honest, which is better than not saying anything and pretending everything is okay. Xx


KellyMellyBoBellyBananaFanna July 8, 2011 at 12:58 pm

the last sentence, really. self preservation, you know?


Stinky July 8, 2011 at 12:43 pm

nope, no judgment here. Like you say, whatever gets you through. Loving your writing


Ebony July 8, 2011 at 12:41 pm

In complete agreement with Katy Xx


Watercolor July 8, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Totally understand. Hugs.


Kimmie July 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Until someone has walked in your shoes Lori they have no right to judge.

We smugly think we know exactly how we would feel and react in situations we have never faced but methinks in reality we have no idea.


Adrienne July 8, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Never. I would never judge. Grief is a giant hulking asshole and your grief is…well…more. Not exactly more.

Maybe you know what I mean.

And you're surviving, even though surviving is sometimes an asshole, too.


Jen at Semantically driven July 8, 2011 at 12:26 pm

You probably will get people who judge you on this one, but I agreer with Katy. Whatever gets/got you through so long as it isn't harming anyone.


Katy July 8, 2011 at 12:24 pm

I'm a big believer in whatever gets you through the night. Your honesty is beautiful x


Crystal Cheverie July 8, 2011 at 9:38 pm

All I can say is I'm very glad you chose sex rather than cutting yourself. You needed to do something to feel better, to feel alive. It makes perfect sense to me, as odd as that might sound. Anyways, no judgement here, hun.


Mrs Woog July 8, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Wonderful post. Read it twice. Goosebumps. x


Good Golly Miss Holly! July 8, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Your honesty is divine, Lori. There is no right, wrong, should or supposed to here – You just need to surrender to the primal instincts that get you through the darkness x


Tara @ Our Whirlwind Adventures July 8, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Until someone has lived your life, they cannot judge.
If they do – then they can FUCK OFF xoxoxox


Toni July 8, 2011 at 1:04 pm

"SAFE" is the only part of that that 'matters' — and only because in a weird I-read-your-blog-and-feel-I-know-you kind of way, I feel very protective of you.
Sex-after-death is certainly not uncommon, and if it gave you even a few minutes of peace, we'll call it good enough.
I love your honesty. XX


Mary July 8, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Exactly exactly what Katy said.


Ames July 8, 2011 at 12:29 pm

What Katy said.


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