S4-EP15: Suzanne Carmichael on Reimagining Widowhood

Apr 22, 2022



Debbie talks to retired attorney, journalist, and activist Suzanne Carmichael about reimagining widowhood.



Debbie talks to Suzanne Carmichael about navigating a new phase of her life as a widow at age 78.

Becoming a widow is one of Debbie’s greatest fears. But it is a reality for many married women after age 65. She invited Suzanne, a new friend in coastal Maine, on the show to learn more about how she is handling the experience.

Suzanne’s husband Don passed away in August of 2020 after what she calls a 46-year love affair. The early stages of grief were awful, she tells us. But then she realized she still had a lot of energy and wanted to do something with it. Thus was born her blog, titled Aging Fearlessly.

Suzanne has also created a new nonprofit, Maine Widows in Action, to support and educate widows who want to be change agents in their communities and beyond. It’s a perfect match for her background as a retired public interest attorney.

This is a nuanced conversation about loneliness, pain, bravery, opportunity, and practicality.

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Thanks to our media partners

Encore.org, our newest media partner, is an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good. Founder and CEO Marc Freedman is an award-winning social entrepreneur and author, most recently, of How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations. Looking for a great gap-year transition program? Check out Encore Fellowships, which match skilled, seasoned professionals with social-sector organizations in high-impact, paid assignments.


Modern Elder Academy is a program dedicated to navigating mid-life transitions. MEA, based in Baja California, Mexico, provides the place and the tools to start reframing your lifetime of experience. Grow whole, not old. Founder Chip Conley is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning hospitality entrepreneur and a rock star of the mid-life transition movement. His newest book is Wisdom @ Work: the Making of a Modern Elder.


Next For Me is an important new resource for the 50+ crowd focused on rewriting life. Taking a gap year or timeout may be the best way to figure out "what's next" when you're in this stage of life. Founder Jeff Tidwell explains, Next For Me "connects and inspires our generation to evolve our post-50 lives through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution."