Throughout my career I have had many clients lose spouses — usually it’s the women who lose their husbands. Statistically, woman over 65 outlive their husbands by 15 years. Unfortunately, my husband and business partner, Herb Shapiro, recently passed away, and I have become part of the statistic.

WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE A WIDOW In the past when I had worked with widows, I had always tried to be compassionate and supportive but wondered how they were pulling it off. I often thought, “Could I be like them?” Could I sit in a financial planner’s office and discuss how much the funeral costs, sign the papers to transfer my husband’s retirement plan into my name or remove his name from our joint account, all while not bursting into tears? “I’m a softy,” I thought. My tears would be like the crumbs left behind by Hansel and Gretel. I now know how they pull it off — they steel themselves walking in the door and cry all the way home.

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