I turned to writing after George, my partner of 32 years, died of cancer in April 2013, and I found myself living alone for the first time at age 50.
I needed to know I still existed after a year of being his caregiver, watching him disintegrate, feeling deep in my bones that somehow I was failing him. He was in denial so he thought he was going to recover even as his body abandoned him.
I couldn’t fix his illness, not could I jolt him into reality, nor get him to agree to palliative care, nor to involve his parents who were going to lose their only child. I thought I was crawling out of my skin. Through grief therapy, I found out I had post-traumatic stress disorder.
Over the next few years, I sort of got better, in dribs and drabs, but the loneliness enveloped me. For 32 years, George and I had eaten dinner together almost every night, then curled up in bed to wake up beside each other each morning. I still wonder, where does all that love go? Is it transmuted into protective energy or is it just gone?
I was a practicing attorney for over ten years which lends my writing an acrid tone of bitterness and irony. In an effort to work on that, I also earned an MFA in creative nonfiction from Saint Mary’s College of California in May of 2020.
My essays have been published in The New York Times’ “Modern Love” column, HuffPost, Woman’s Day, Good Housekeeping, Elle Decor, and Reader’s Digest, among other publications. My award-winning blog, debbieweissauthor.com dispenses empathy and advice on grief and dating after loss.
I’ve been in the California Bay Area since I was six, and currently live in Benicia, CA. I can usually be found walking by the water, on a hiking trail, in a yoga class, or discussing the virtues of cheese with my second life partner, Randal.