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All of the above, and then some. Making some small progress. My 19 year old has gotten a full time job at a bank as a customer service rep, even though she is majoring in culinary arts in college. She loves it, and I sense a change in major coming to some sort of financial/business focus. The 17 year old is a real couch potato, but finally agreed to take over laundry after I cut off support for paying for any kind of hair appointments. My son is probably the high spot with regard to helping "pitch in", as he has been doing all of his own laundry for about 2 months now, has continued vacuuming the few carpeted areas we have, and will regularly just happen to "notice" that the dishwasher needs to be either emptied of clean dishes, or filled up with the stuff piled in the sink.

Hi Ralph, my heartfelt condolences for your loss of your best friend and more.

First let me say that Rosie hit it right on with her post. Children that have not done a lot of "help" tend not to take it up as teenagers. With my two daughters, one in college at the time of my loss, I thought it was not worth the aggravation and just kept their doors closed. It's great that your son is pitching in. You know, if you only do your own laundry, they will either be wearing dirty clothes or start taking up the task for themselves. I wonder how long a teenager will sleep on the same sheets, not washing them?

Hopefully, the culinary student is doing a lot of delicious cooking for you. I assume you are paying her tuition? Heh heh. Oh Dear! I became a mean old lady when the single life hit me. As for cleaning help, I do use Merry Maids, but I live alone now with my dogs so it's not too much to clean up. You should have someone come at least once a week.

At this point my 5 acres, house, dogs and small buisness keeps me out of trouble. I think that after the first years of grieving, the thing I miss most is not having my buddy along on trips and vacations and having another great mind to help make big decisions.

It is interesting that you have kind of separated us widowed folks into hers and his. I believe there are differences. Most men are the breadwinners and do not have the intial fright of poverty because finances cannot be managed. Men also are not usually taken advantage of by service/repair people. A single women learns to deal with these issues early on, but a widowed woman may have counted on her husband to deal with finances, car repairs, etc. Women however, know how to cook, clean, do laundry. Many men are lost when it comes to housekeeping. Many men remarry quite quickly because they need a caretaker, to put it bluntly. Many women, if finances allow, find that being single can be a satisfying way of life.

I hope I have written this so no one takes offense; I certainly do not mean any. I have been widowed since 1987; have a few friends that have become recently widowed and these are things I have observed over the years.

Birgit who comes out of the woods when she sees posts on lightly attended boards.

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