The Birth of Super Widow

My name is Jhene Erwin and this is the story of how I became…Super Widow.

On February 17, 2012 my darling, beloved husband, Roger died of brain cancer at the age of 46. I was devastated.

In the five and a half months since I took him into the ER with the worst headache of his life, I had seen things I never thought I’d see and done things I never thought I would have to do. It was a living nightmare.

Grief is a beast. A ruthless, thriving, monstrous beast with which you wrestle every moment of every day. Its pressure on the spirit is relentless. One gasps for air while in its unyielding grip. If you run it chases you, biting at your ankles until exhaustion forces you to succumb to its terror. If I was going to survive I needed to meet the beast head on. And so,

I bought a hat. A rather fabulous black mourners pill hat. When I put it on I could feel the beast pausing in shear confusion. Next, my skills from eighth grade home ec helped me sew a glorious black satin cape. As my costume came together I realized OMG I was actually having a wee bit of fun. My grief beast was stupefied! Like it had been struck by that very popular Harry Potter spell. “STUPIFY!”

I wore the costume around the house. I started a blog. And most recently I went out into the streets and handed out fliers that said, ‘You Are Stronger Than You Think.’ I talked to total strangers about things that they didn’t think they had the strength to endure. My feelings of awkwardness quickly disappeared. People were sweet and open and wanted to share their stories. It felt amazing.

When I returned home, I had a two-hour reprieve from the beast. And it occurred to me that because of Roger’s devastating illness and death, I will continue to see things that I have never seen. I will do things that never I thought I’d do but maybe, just maybe it might be okay if some of those things were just a little bit cool.

I am Super Widow. Get ready. Be prepared. I am coming …to hand out fliers with words of encouragement and maybe – even – talk to you.

For more on Super Widow including her first webisode visit

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