Welcome To Bad Widow

Welcome to the Bad Widow website, your home for airing messy feelings, having bold conversations, selflessly prioritizing your own self-care and tackling painful, practical challenges you never imagined having to cope with. Prepare for irreverent humor, uncomfortable conversations and raw truth. Just remember, no matter what your circumstances, you are not broken. The only way out is through. I can show you the way.

As human beings, we ALL know loss intimately. Whether you lost a loved one, got a divorce or lost your business, career, health, money or home, loss is loss. Any transitional event is a loss. It’s the death of a future imagined or co-created which will never come to pass.

After my husband, David, died of pancreatic cancer in my arms in 2016, I was a widow, swamped in grief, afraid of my future alone, angry at my dead husband and barely able to function. To take back my life, I had to remember that, despite my loss, I was still whole, a resilient and resourceful person. Tapping into my internal fortitude enabled me to make better choices and take more effective action from that moment on.

I invite you to remember who you are at heart, no matter what your circumstances. It’s your turn to choose.


“Alison is able to take complex matters and break them down into tasty nuggets. Our work together has helped me achieve many of my professional and personal goals…”


Are you ready to reclaim your capacity to be resilient and resourceful again?

“Alison Pena has made an immeasurable impact on my life and career. Her insights and guidance have been instrumental in, not just coping, but thriving through personal, social and business challenges…”

George B.


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Bad Widow Blog
When Love Showed Up – a poem about love

When Love Showed Up – a poem about love

When Love Showed Up You met him on a retreat, his first and only one laughing, talking on a Delaware Water Gap dock with two brothers catching eel for their beloved grandmother’s breakfast He held the caught eel which wriggled, squirming his hand up almost to its...

Maine Moments – Maine poem 2

Maine Moments – Maine poem 2

Maine Moments Granite rocks, crashing waves tide pools and sweeps of sand craggy Maine landscapes concealed in frequent fog Crouched on the dock, flashlight spots millions of just-born lobsters smaller than a fingernail, phosphorus green seeking cover, building shells...

Swimming the Narrows – Maine poem 1

Swimming the Narrows – Maine poem 1

Swimming the Narrows Lifejackets on the dock until age 13 unless you swam the Leadbetter Narrows there and back, 40-degree water, strong tides small heads bobbing, pausing, swimming on and on imagining sand sharks, nibbling toes Ten cousins on a summer island boys vs....

Six Poems Since January 2017

Listening to Waves Listening to waves, the moon calls me and the blood of my womb answers, Although I no longer bleed. Emotions surge, drift, toss. Lifting small creatures from the sea floor, Snails, sea urchins, seaweed, sea slugs. No choice, taken, seized, only to...

The 2nd Year Still Sucks As I Move On

I had the idea that my life would be easier once I got through my 1st year without David. So I toughed it out through the summer where there were no specific landmark days but I couldn't go to Maine because there were a million memories of him painting, of laughing...

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