Are you watching Grey’s Anatomy?


Meredith Grey“You’re no longer a widow.” Dr. Meredith Grey’s therapist said to her a few episodes ago on the popular TV show, Grey’s Anatomy. “You’re married to a dead man.”

Is Shonda Rhimes reading my book? I have a chapter called, “Married to a Dead Man.”

I must admit I was not impressed with the way Rhimes handled the first few episodes of the show after Dr. Derek Shepherd, (McDreamy) died suddenly leaving Meredith a young widow.

The character, played by Ellen Pompeo, grabbed up her children and ran away for a year coming back ‘totally fine’ and with the new baby that no one knew she was pregnant with when Derrick died.

We’d all like to have run away for a year and come back home totally “over it,” wouldn’t we?

Once back at Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital, Meredith acted as if it was work as usual. She surrounded herself with all the other doctors and interns. She began leading the interns at the hospital and became the totally-in-control, matriarch of the group of co-workers, several of whom had moved in with her. Stoic, cool, calm and collected. Unscathed by the sudden death of the love of her life.

I didn’t buy it. Despite her character being one who always reigns in her emotions, takes care of herself and handles whatever comes her way.

This season there have been few tiny glimpses that she wasn’t holding it all together.

Until tonight. Tonight she had her first date. Well, sort of third date. Everyone said she was ready. He asked. She said, “Yes.” Then she said “no.”

She’d had a bad day. He gave her a ride home. They stopped for food. They talked. They laughed. When he dropped her off at the door she said she wasn’t ready. He took a few steps to go. She called him back to tell her good night. He joked that the meeting, ride home, stopping for fast food, eating in the car made it actually about the third date. She invited him in.

Next scene she’s screaming at him to leave. He exits her room half-dressed—much to the surprise to the roommates who didn’t know he was there. She locked the door and hid in her room. When Meredith finally comes out hours later, her shocked and concerned roommates watched as she went into a cleaning frenzy. She ignored their questions. They joined her in cleaning. Scrubbing the stovetop. Scrubbing the oven. Dusting the furniture. Putting together a new carpet cleaner to remove a stain in the carpet. Never acknowledging their questions. They joined in and all scrubbed together. Some people clean when they’re upset, I guess.

Eventually, with a sparkling clean house, Meredith began to calm down. When the new guy dropped by to see how she was and apologize for whatever he’d done, she told him he’d done nothing wrong. He was great. She just wasn’t ready.

Did you have anything like that? (With or without the cleaning frenzy?)

When I thought I was ready to date I set up an online profile. Shopping for men online, looking at photos and reading profiles was sort of fun. Until one actually asked me out. I realized that I couldn’t bear the thought of being with another man. I would feel like I was cheating on Phil. Yep, I was still married to a dead man.

I told the guy that I’d thought I was ready to date but realized that I really wasn’t. I closed my online profile and waited.

I had to come to terms with no longer being married before I could date. I look forward to watching Meredith find her way to no longer being married to a dead man.

Did you feel like you were cheating the first time you dated?

How did you come to terms with being with someone else?

Or have you?

Let me know your thoughts.


My memoir, Building A Life You Love After Losing the Love of Your Life is available on or by sending an email to
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2 Responses to “Are you watching Grey’s Anatomy?”

  1. I’m at 2 years, 7 months and I haven’t. For me it’s a case of not wanting to risk my heart. I just haven’t been ready. But I’m slowly starting to understand that I can’t live the rest of my days as I am now either.

  2. Widow Strong,

    Thanks for your comment!
    It takes a while and you’ll know when you’re ready. I understand not wanting to risk your heart. When I go on dates I don’t look at whether he’s someone to spend my life with; I just ask myself if he’s someone I’d be happy to share another date with. I don’t know that I’ll ever find anyone I’m willing to risk my heart with but I’m open to the possibility. One date at a time!

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