Norma Dantes: Surviving widowhood


“Ye shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child (Exodus 22:22).”


She would wake up each morning with someone familiar and loved by her side.  Workday or weekend, good or bad day, the day would always be spent with the intimate knowledge that when it’s once more time to bid the day goodbye, that familiar and loved someone would be lying beside her.  It was routine for her, an expectation from her changing but orderly world.

That “morning after” must have been devastating for Norma Dantes when she woke up to the full realization that her husband is gone, the routine broken and the expectation a cherished thing of the past. 

The death of a spouse has far-reaching efffects on the surviving spouse who must cope not only with emotional loss but also with a myriad of changes in daily routine and future plans.  Nothing can really prepare a wife for the shock and grief of widowhood.  Years may pass but the widow may still experience excruciating moments of depression, loneliness, emptiness, and recurring memories of happy times.  Feelings of loneliness and emptiness may be exacerbated on special occasions, anniversaries and even holidays.  All these can take a heavy toll on the body and mind of the widow.

While the loss of a spouse can be one of the most traumatic events in an adult’s life, the surviving spouse, in most cases, recovers in time and bounces back to earlier conditions of physical and psychological health. It often requires working through the process of overcoming grief and eventually it gets better when the widow/widower recognizes grief but is no longer paralyzed by it.  Spiritual people gradually accept their loss as a part of divine’s plan or some greater purpose.  Those who actively engage in living empower themselves to continue to grow in their varied pursuits in life.

However the grieving process is lived out, widows (and widowers) can make a successful transition from the loss of a spouse to a fulfilling life by accepting their loss and addressing their emotions, taking practical steps to secure their physical and financial health, and empowering themselves for the challenges of the future.

The news that Norma has resumed her social life and touring days can only be good.  I missed her vacation in the Philippines with her daughter Carol last February, but it’s good to know that she’s getting on with her life.  She has recently returned from a 3-week tour of Europe with relatives and friends and that, too, must have done her some good.  And with Carol and her family’s constant presence and care, the ordeal gets lighter and less painful for Norma to bear.

May God give her strength to pick up where she and Edmund left off and carry on with the rest of her journey.

(N.B.: The second death anniversary of the late Edmund Dantes will be observed by relatives and friends in Canada, U.S.A. and the Philippines on October 22, 2010.)
Author:  Rene “RC” Catacutan
Published 18 October 2010

Some photos of Norma Dantes

 Norma and Edmund at the view deck of Josephine Restaurant, Tagaytay City, with Taal lake and volcano in the background.


 Lunch with Norma & Edmund at Eastwood, Libis, Quezon City.

Norma & Edmund with family friend Elsie Fajardo at the historic Barasoain church in Malolos City, Bulacan.


Norma & Edmund with family friend Elsie Fajardo at the back garden of Josephine Restaurant in Tagaytay City.


Norma and her granddaughter Cristina


Norma and her granddaughter Cristina at Josephine Restaurant, Tagaytay City.


Norma (left) with her friend Elsie Fajardo at a party in Ontario, Canada.

Norma (left) with her friend Elsie Fajardo at a party in Ontario, Canada.

The widow Norma (3rd from right) having dinner with her family friends.

The widow Norma vacationing in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija.

The widow Norma vacationing in Palawan.

The widow Norma (right) vacationing in Palawan with her daughter Carol.


The widow Norma (left) joining a group tour of Europe with relatives and friends.


The widow Norma (left) with her sister-in-law Evelyn Dantes on a group tour of Europe. 


The widow Norma (left) on a group tour of Europe with relatives and friends.




The widow Norma (2nd from right) with family friends on a tour of Europe.

Norma and her family at the grave of Edmund in Ontario, Canada.

Norma (2nd from left) at the grave of her husband Edmund.                  


Some famous widows in history (in alpabethical order)

Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma (photo credit:  Marianne de Pierres-Burn Light) 

Corazon Aquino of the Philippines (photo credit:  Geotayo Philippines)


Eleanor Roosevelt of the USA (photo credit: Time Magazine)

Ethel Kennedy of the USA (photo credit: Kakorama)

Jacqueline Kennedy of the USA (photo credit: The National First Ladies’ Library)


Nancy Reagan of the USA (photo credit:

Yoko Ono Lennon of the USA (photo credit: Beatles.Blog)