She’s Gone and I Ask Myself, “Was I Half the Man When She Was Alive as I am Becoming Now?”

The question is both deeply uncomfortable and, as I’ve recently come to understand, very common for new widowers.

Joel Eisenberg
6 min readJun 1, 2024


My late wife, Lorie Girsh-Eisenberg


Several nights ago, I became deeply engaged in what had been — until then— a rather mundane phone conversation with another recent widower when he asked me, “If you ever marry again, do you think you’ll be a better man the second time around than the first?”

I was, in truth, flustered by the question as I thought there was additional meaning behind it.

I responded after an extended pause: “Are you asking if I’d be a better husband the second time around?”

“That’s exactly what I’m asking.”

Though it had been over six months since I unexpectedly lost my wife, Lorie, to the bursting of an undetected brain aneurysm, my mind had yet to consider such a forward question as I was still adjusting to my relatively new circumstance.

“Let me ask you first,” I said.

He replied without the slightest hesitation: “In my bereavement group yesterday, our moderator asked the same question after some of us raised our hands about…



Joel Eisenberg

Joel Eisenberg is an award-winning author, screenwriter, and producer. The Oscar in the profile pic isn’t his but he’s scheming. WGA and Pen America member.