Being Widowed is Not Easy – Noreen Snyder

Could you introduce yourself?

Hello I am Noreen Snyder. I am a poet and a published author of five poetry books. My first one is no longer in print. The other four is co authored with my late husband, Garry Snyder. I founded The Poetry Club on Facebook in 2019 in late October.

What’s your nationality?

I am born here in Indiana, United States. If you meant my ancestry, it would be German and Switzerland.

What was growing up like?

I loved where I was growing up in Larwill, Indiana. It was a small town that if you blinked your eyes, you would miss it. That was in the 1950s and 1960s. Then we moved to Florida around 1967 or 1968.

It wasn’t easy at first because I was the new kid on the block. I got bullied a lot especially when we lived in Clair-Mel city part of Tampa. We lived there for a year then moved to Tampa.
I graduated in 1976 from Hillsborough High School.

How did you become interested in poetry?

I always loved poetry. I loved to read when I was real young. I remember when I started writing poetry that after I wrote it then I would crumple it up and put it in the trash until one day my friend’s sister came over while I was in the front yard writing poetry and told me don’t throw it away. She told me I had talent.

What has been your experience, so far?

My experience as a poet has been just awesome. I have been given so much encouragement. My mom told my sister that I would be a poet and an author. My mom personally told me that I am going somewhere with my poetry. That is an awesome feeling! My family has always been my supporters including my aunts and uncles and cousins. My Teddy Bear Darling, Garry , has been my number one fan and supporter of my poetry. Garry and I are called the Modern-Day Brownings in the poetry circle. And that is an honor.
I do once in a while struggle with if I have the talent to write poetry. Then someone will say we won’t let you quit or be silenced or you have made impressions on people. I don’t think I will have that struggle anymore, I just think what others have told me and I will be alright.

I know God gave me the talent to write and I thank God all the time for the talent.

I have been told I have the gift to put myself in someone’s shoes and write a poem about it and they were amazed.
My experiences as a poet are just awesome.

Given the everyday struggles, are people still interested in poetry?

Yes, even with the everyday struggles, I still believe that people are interested in poetry. Poetry tells the truth. Poetry helps with healing. It is a beautiful language and relaxing. It helps us cope with everyday life. Poetry is an expression of ourselves. Yes, poetry is still much alive and it is not a dying art far from it.

Tell us your happiest day

My happiest day was when I met Garry Snyder for the first time. We hit it off perfectly. We met at a Sports Bar (I rarely go there). He treated me with french fries. He bought me a bouquet of flowers right there. And the most impressive was when we danced all night and he even swept me off of my feet. We were told that we danced even when the music stopped and didn’t know it. That was on November 21, 1998.

And the next best happiest day was when we got married. We only had the money to get married at the Justice of Peace. We wanted our pictures taken but we both forgot to buy batteries for our camera. That was the happiest moment to be his wife- Mrs Noreen Snyder- for the rest of my life. Even though he has since passed away, he will always still be my husband.

What about your most embarrassing moment?

My most embarrassing moment that comes to mind right away was in 2016 at the rehab where Garry was. Garry and I couldn’t open our thermos of coffee so I went to get help and before I got there, I fell and did a split and holding on to the thermos. I was wearing my croc shoes that my sister got me. I don’t wear croc shoes any longer.

How have you been coping as a widow?

Being a widow is not an easy road to travel on. He passed away on January 18, 2019. I still grieve for him. I know that I won’t get over him and I don’t want to. I know he is here with me in his spirit. I also pray to God a lot and that sure helps tremendously.

I have photos of us on top of the computer desk, on my kitchen table, on the living room wall, on top of the entertainment cabinets, on my laptop background screen, on my cellphone background screen. That sure helps out a lot!

I started watching a show called “General Hospital” towards the end of 2019.
That sure helped too in my grieving process.

Everything that I do now is in the honor of him. I will keep on publishing poetry books, and writing poetry. In his honor, I founded The Poetry Club. I also host 100 Thousand Poets for Change 2021 with The Poetry Club. I signed up for ko-fi.com/garryandnoreen
I have a shop, membership tiers, and commissions on ko-fi. I have started creating greeting cards in Garry’s honor. You can buy my greeting cards through our ko-fi shop.

I have an official website with Garry and I. I started this before he passed away. I created a website in his honor.

What advise can you give widows and widowers out there?

My advice to all the widows and widowers out there is to know that it is okay to cry and grieve. Everyone is different when it comes to grieving. Try to stay busy. When you are ready, it is okay to move some things around or and replace it. Do things in your spouse’s honor. Create a website in your spouse’s honor. Remember don’t rush the grieving. Take your time and grieve. We all grieve differently. Make sure you take care of yourself.

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