men don't leave: weekend view from the couch

Men Don't Leave is a 1990 drama starring Jessica Lange as a widow and stay-at-home mom who must somehow support her two sons with no work experience and nothing but a high school diploma.  Without time to grieve, and with a bit of a chip on her shoulder, she drifts through a move to a new city, making tentative attempts to build a new life.

The story is realistic and is one of those few films that focuses on what a woman endures when blindsided by a life change she never prepared for.

If you're a fan of Joan Cusack, she has a great supporting role in this film, with her character developing in a way that you'd never expect.

Recommended "view from the couch" entertainment that may leave you feeling strangely uplifted when you get to the end of it.  It made me remember how the small kindnesses of a few strangers made such a difference as the dominos that once were my life fell in rapid succession, one after another.

Widow's take on the single life

I want to share a blog post by my writer and publicist Elaine Soloway on the recent death of her husband after her three years as a caregiver.  Very soon after recovery from her own hip-replacement surgery, she suddenly and unexpectedly lost her husband.  If you can relate, this is a must-read, as is her entire The Rookie Caregiver blog.

And, Elaine has just begun a blog for the next steps on her life journey, The Rookie Widow.

Mrs Palfrey at The Claremont

An addition to your contemplations-on-the-single-life film library, this is a wonderful, and non-sentimental, look at the last days of Sara Palfrey, a sensible middle-class widow played by wonderful British actress (and DBE) Joan Plowright.  She wasn't the last wife of Laurence Olivier for nothing.

A meditation on the kindness of strangers, this one gets you thinking about what is really important as you go through midlife and through the looking glass into the beyond:  the far vistas of old age.  A direction in which most of us are a little afraid to look.

Plowright plays a senior heroine who is a real, multi-dimensional person with a handle on her own destiny. Not just the garden-variety little old lady at the mercy of her children.  A good one for a crisp fall day.