I have never gone back to the beginning to read my blog.  I alway moved forward to the next outfit and the next post.  I’ve decided to begin putting together a workshop to present to widows about grief and transformation, creativity and passionate aging.  It will be based on my story through my blog.

Today I started to review the posts which began on July 13, 2010, which was about nine months before Nelson died.  I use the word “died,” because it makes it seem more real.  And here I am again, writing exactly how I feel when I feel it.  I browsed through two pages of my blog history, and that’s about all that I can do at this time.

I found myself crying, tears running down my cheeks as though I had been deported back to the day that the post was written. Light-headed sadness and sobbing grief had been triggered. The words that I wrote are somehow dear to me, and I felt a sense of pride that I had documented my experiences and that I can now provide what I have learned in support to other grieving women.  It will combine my experiences in mental health and my journey through the wilderness of grief with my passion for style and writing. This is my current heart’s desire and it feels as though it fits like a beautiful vintage glove.

I am so grateful to those who have read and are now following Style Crone. Blogging is how I coped with a loss that I didn’t think that I could live through, were it not for my daughter Camille.  It has taken me over seven years to come to this decision and to feel as though I can emotionally tolerate going back to the beginning with this project in mind.

This past week I was asked to be on two panels for Denver Start Up Week. What I discovered was that I was comfortable speaking in front of a crowd without feeling anxious.  I didn’t have a script, which is key.  I was telling my story and it just flowed out of me without hesitation. I even found it to be fun. I now know that I can provide this workshop to those that are interested and I feel comfortable doing so.

Photo By Daniel

The other piece of this project is that it speaks to my values.  My career in health care was focused on taking care of those who were in the midst of emotional pain and trauma..  Even during the worst of times, it was my responsibility to somehow become centered enough to be of service. This has been missing for me now.  To be part of the Advanced Style Movement is a mission that I am committed to and to be spreading the word about the joy of headwear is a passionate endeavor. I will continue to be involved in both of these important and fulfilling areas of devoted interest.

But I need something more now. I need to somehow contribute to the greater good in an additional way. My vision is to merge my love of style and headwear with the skills that I developed over many years of working in health care.  I believe that the widows’ project will fulfill the intention that I have to give back and regain the satisfaction that I felt when I was able to soothe and calm the pain of someone in distress. The world needs more empathy and less fear. What am I waiting for?

I’m wearing the collage cloche named Denise created by the my friend, the gorgeous milliner, artist, and blogger Carol Markel and the duster that I discovered in Florence Italy a year ago.  Everything else was purchased at an estate sale or consignment shop.

Linking up with Patti’s Visible Monday HERE at Not Dead Yet Style, Catherine’s #iwillwearwhatilike HERE at Not Dressed As Lamb, and Cherie’s Shoe and Tell Fashion Link Up HERE at Style Nudge.

Workshop dates and locations are coming soon! Sign up for email updates.

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  1. More empathy, less fear – yes. Reaching out to others will certainly help them and create more of a community for everyone. I really enjoy your sensitive blogs and hope to go on reading them for a long time. Thank you, Judith.

  2. Looking forward to your blog. I am a divorcee and do not have the same experiences but I love sharing and hearing from my peers. Our experiences and what we do with them makes us who we are today
    PS love the hot pink Italian duster

  3. I love the way you listen to your heart! Your personal evolution is touching, inspiring and so very real. The new idea you have for widows is a walk into the raw past, and you sound ready for it. Thank you for allowing us the glimpses into your life… it’s working in ways you may not even know, all good. Carry on… I’ll be following.

  4. Judith, I think I know how you feel. My husband, James, died Christmas Day, 2010, five months after Nelson died. In addition to losing James, I lost his entire family that day because they crumbled from within. He was the glue that held us all together, and I have no children or family of my own. It’s been Hell, but like you, I’m reaching for life, new experiences and new friends… like you. Brava, dear lady! We keep on moving forward. xoxo, Brenda

  5. Your photos bring me joy. I love your style and can’t wait to see what your next creation will be.

  6. I began following you because your fashion is an inspiration to me. I stayed because you’re also inspiring to me as a human being, and I hope to be as strong and gracious as you are, in the face of both loss and gain. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  7. Judith, you are amazing. I think it’s wonderful that you’re using your experience and skills to help other women dealing with grief. I’m sure you will inspire them as much as you’ve inspired all of us over the years.

  8. Oh Dear Judith, The Widow’s Project is a perfect fit for you! Just as you have changed our perception of a “crone,” I think there is potential to do the same with the highly charged wood, “widow.” I know you more from our early years, I hardly recognize us as Fairview nursing students! Also, I am wondering how the fairly recent death of your mother might also be “playing in the shadows.” My own mom died 22 years ago and I am still trying to sort out our relationship. I wish it could have been better. I am also aware of a different perspective since she is no longer a living part of my life. I realize that in many ways death is really not the end of a relationship.

    So much to learn and explore,
    Love, Janet ( I am thinking since you are now “Judith,” perhaps I should be “Janet!”

  9. You look absolutely glorious!
    I’ve never read my old blog posts, I sometimes think I wasn’t the same person through both my parents’ deaths and I’m a bit afraid to discover the truth. xxx

  10. Judith,
    I so admire your ability to meld color and style with your private thoughts and communicate it all outward. For those of us who are dealing with some kind of loss, whether to death or dementia, you are an inspiration.
    Love, Carol
    P.S. I feel that I am contributing some through the joyful and passionate colors in my hats!

  11. Dear Judith,
    Always a favorite of you , Carol’s multi colored hat really suits you.
    Being a comfort to grievers by using your personal and professional experience
    will bring so much good into the world. Generosity was never so beautiful. Judy @fancified.ca

  12. Judith you are such inspiration both for your sense of style and as a human being. Your idea for a Widows Project is just wonderful and I love the fact that you have found a mission and a vocation. I know you will help so many in need. You are a generous and beautiful person

    Totally love that coat of yours and the hat, as ever, is divine.

  13. Thank you for sharing your story. It is a joy to read words that come straight out of someones heart. You have so much to offer the world! You have an amazing sense of style!

  14. Bravo on the project! It will comfort sp many people and it will satisfy your soul. Love to see how you keep on moving forward. Taking on new challenges. Keeps you young.
    The duster is something I would love to own. So gorgeous. But I am afraid it looks good on your slim figure and not on mine. Not that I am fat but my waist is definitely not my asset haha.

  15. You have so much to offer the world, and this sounds like the perfect project to feed your soul and help others recognize and process their own grief. I remember reading your blog when Nelson was being treated for cancer and thinking how brave you were to tell the story of the journey you and Nelson were on at that time in your life. You can beautifully articulate what is in your heart and soul which makes your blog so inspiring and meaningful.

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