A Widow Answers The Questions You’re Too Polite To Ask

I wipe my slick palms against the thigh of my jeans, gnawing nervously on my thumb’s shredded hang nail. I slide my laptop over and pace. Force myself to stop. Then pace some more. I check the time on the wall clock. I check the time on my watch. I check the time on my phone. I sit back down, slide my laptop over, hit refresh.

I am waiting for the proverbial poop to hit the fan.

Why?

I’ve just done something I never thought I’d do. Again.

I changed my relationship status on Facebook to “Engaged”.

In a world of social media and worldwide gossip, neighbours no longer need to walk three miles to gossip about the love life of the local widow. They can simply spy through the blinds across the street or stalk her house at all hours of the night pretending they were “just stopping by to say hi”. Or better yet, they sit in the comfort of their own home, surf the web, and hunt you through your status updates and Facebook photos you get tagged in.

In an effort to save everyone the trouble (not to mention the awkward moments when I bust you peering through my kitchen window at the back of my house), I’ve decided to put it all out there for everyone to see.

Yes, I am dating again.

Yes, he sleeps over.

Yes, that was us in the Dominican, frolicking on the beach.

Yes, he asked me to marry him.

While I’d like to believe the best in everyone, that they are merely looking out for me, I am not so naive. I do know, however, that the gossips will gossip and that while I am a grown woman who answers only to me, it is sometimes less work to be blunt.

So for all of you aching to know and just too socially conscious, respectful, kind, scared to ask, I will now attempt to answer all those taboo questions with as much honesty as I can muster.

What’s it like to date again after you are widowed?

Awkward. Super awkward. Like many widows out there, I was out of the dating game for a long, long time. And, to be frank, I had zero interest in ever being in it again. I met my late husband, Craig, when I was just 15. We’d been together our entire lives. I bypassed the entire “dating” phase of life and essentially went straight from high school to married so learning to cope with members of the opposite sex in a dating situation was beyond my comprehension at first. I fumbled, made some mistakes, and, yes, had some fun too. In the end, it took some time and some sexy new bras to get me enjoying it instead of dreading it.

Don’t you think it’s kind of soon to start dating?
This is probably the question every widow will hear some variation of at some point or another. Either that or “don’t you think it’s about time you started to date?” The point here is that everyone out there, especially those who don’t know what they are talking about, has an opinion on this. Ultimately, every widow is different and the only person whose opinion matters is her own. Some widows are comfortable dating as early as a month or two out, others wait years, and some never date again at all. This is a personal choice that each widow must make for herself. I did sweat a little over starting to date after only a couple months. Not because I didn’t feel ready, but because I was sick with worry over what others might think. In the end it was the right choice for me. A very wise widow once told me, “I fulfilled every marriage vow right until death do us part – can others say the same?” Whenever I got flack from outsiders, I would silently chant this to myself. Mostly to keep from yelling it at them.

Did your in-laws freak out about you dating?
Surprisingly, no, they did not. In fact, they were pretty cool about it. I was very up front with them and told them how I felt and what was going on. Of course I waited several months to make sure it was more of a serious relationship before I opened up to them. I also brought up the general topic of potentially dating and shared with them how I felt several times leading up to the big announcement. When I did tell them, I opted for a well thought out email rather than telling them in person so they could digest it without having to worry about me seeing how they reacted. They even made the time to meet the new boyfriend and have dinner with us. Every situation is different and I would emphasize that not all in-laws are the same. Having kids can add a whole other dimension to this one and since Craig and I didn’t have any, I can’t speak to that situation directly.

What did you do with all of your husband’s stuff?
At first, nothing. I left the pictures up all over the house, I kept his wedding ring in my jewellery box, I carried his love letters in my purse. To me, this was a part of my life and part of who I was (and still am). Why should I have to change that for someone else? For some reason, my boyfriend wasn’t too bothered and months later as things began to get more serious I began to phase some of my late husband’s things out of obvious display, more out of respect for my new boyfriend than anything else. My new boyfriend is now my new husband and I don’t keep pictures of Craig up in our new home except for one in my office, tucked beside my computer monitor where I do my writing. I still kept some of Craig’s clothes (now integrated into my own wardrobe) and several boxes of his awards, comic books, and other memorabilia. These live in my office closet where I can take them out and look at them whenever I feel the need.

Did you take your wedding rings off before you started dating?
No. Not quite. I took off my wedding rings many times over. Somehow they always ended up finding their way back onto my left hand. I loved them so much it was beyond painful to lock them away in a jewellery box where I’d never see them, never get to enjoy them for what they were – a beautiful gift from my loving husband. It took me months and months to remove them permanently and in the end I opted to have them remade into a custom ring I could wear on my right hand so I’d always have that little piece of who I was before to carry with me as who I am now.

Have you ever called him by your late husband’s name?
Only once, entirely by accident. And not for anything special – just asking him to bring the laundry upstairs. Hey, it happens. Fortunately he had a good sense of humour about it (and a short memory). This was always a big fear of mine, something I sweated about for weeks leading up to our wedding. I envisioned all sorts of horrible scenarios in front of a church full of people, melting into a gooey puddle of shame after blurting out the wrong name (instead I called myself by my new husband’s name… which was funny and only slightly less embarrassing). Sadly, the name switch up is just part of being widowed. You can’t love someone all your life, whispering their name out loud and in your thoughts a thousand times a day without inevitably letting it slip out. It happens. It did, however, make me more forgiving of my poor mother who was constantly trying to keep her five kids’ names straight.

Do you ever think about your husband when you are with him?
Not during very private moments, if that is what you are getting at. Before I started dating that was something I did worry about though. Sometimes my new husband says the odd thing that will remind me of Craig or I’ll hear a song on the radio while we are driving in the car that will make me tear up. Fact is, my new husband is my shoulder to cry on and the one I’ve vented to, talked to, and poured my heart out to through this whole ordeal so the subject of widowhood and my late husband is one we are both comfortable with. If he wasn’t ok with it, I doubt we’d have lasted long at all.

Do you now feel like everything happens for a reason?
No, and this is probably my least favorite question. It actually makes my skin crawl whenever somebody asks this one. It’s as though they are saying, maybe your husband died so that you could meet this new man and live happily ever after. Here’s the thing. And let me say this as carefully as possible. I was living happily ever after before. I loved Craig. We were going to spend the rest of our lives together, have babies, and eventually sit on our rockers on the front porch, muttering about the kids these days. Then he died. In a horrible, tragic, unlucky collision. Wrong place at just the wrong moment. I don’t believe it was for a reason or his time to go or any of those things. Then, in a terrible and miserable time of my life, I was lucky enough to find a wonderful man who made me laugh and listened patiently to all my crazy ranting. From this I have surmised that sometimes bad things just happen. For no reason. And there is nothing you can do about it. Just because something good eventually follows does not mean that one leads to the other. The line of thought that my first husband’s death was simply for the sake of my new relationship is a very dangerous line of thought – one that diminishes my first husband’s life and our relationship. Something I’d never be down with.

Did you pick someone who is like your husband?
Not really, although they both have a lot of facial hair. Is that a type? Perhaps that’s my type. They are both very different and that’s one of the things I like about each of them. They are each unique and special to me in different ways and I cherish both relationships and everything they have brought to my life.

How do you pick who gets which side of the bed?
Like all normal couples do – we fight like cats and dogs, battling it out by stealing blankets, racing to bed, and throwing pillows across the room until someone gets their way. Usually me. Okay, always me. It’s not so much that I prefer the left side or the right side. More like the side furthest from the door. In case of robbers and home invaders or aliens. Everyone knows the person on the furthest side is safe.

Oh and, yes, in case you were wondering, my darling husband reads everything I write, corrects my typos, laughs with me, lets me cry on his shoulder, and is the second chapter I never thought I’d be lucky enough to have. After a very scary and heartbreaking time in my life, one I thought would never end, I have finally managed to set myself back on my own two feet to walk hand-in-hand with a wonderful (and very attractive) new friend.

Our thanks to guest author Emily Clark for sharing her story here with us.  You can read more of Emily’s journey through young widowhood on her blog.

photo credit

131 Comments:

  1. Cora said on August 21, 2012 at 2:51 pm ... #

    Thank you for sharing this. It helps to learn societies catch phrases we learn growing up, need to change. Until you know somebody going through personal tradgedies that are honest, you never realize how vapid they sound!

  2. Amy said on August 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm ... #

    Thank you for those beautiful and honest thoughts. I started dating 4 months after my husband died. I was judged and lost “friends.” Thank you for reminding me that I fulfilled my promise “til death do us part.” I did have children, but I don’t think I could have been there for them if I didn’t have the love and sympathy of my boyfriend.

  3. Betty said on August 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm ... #

    I have really appreciated your honest words and thoughts, it has been four years and I still think of my late husband a lot. I have finally come to the place where I can be with another man physicaly but have trouble with the emotional side. one guy told me that I needed to get over it, I couldn’t handle that and have not spoken to him since. I loved Lyn with all my heart and can’t totaly forget him. not sure if I will find someone else but hope that that can happen, I hate being alone. betty

  4. Sonya said on August 21, 2012 at 8:24 pm ... #

    Erin I love this. I hope our conversation today didn’t stir up anything. We have told you we would not expect Bryan and little man to be alone and we don’t expect you to be alone. All we have ever wanted is for our kids (you are one of our kids)to be happy. I know you are not replacing Bryan and you do need to allow yourself Love and Happiness.You are a wonderful girl and have so much to offer the world.Don’t worry about others. You and little man have been handed a crappy deal. I know Bryan would be happy with everything you have done these last 35 months. You will always be our girl. Hope this makes sense I do NOT write like you. LOL Love you
    Love you Mom B

  5. LaShana douville said on August 21, 2012 at 9:10 pm ... #

    Thank you so much for this. After reading this I feel so much better about my decisions.

  6. michele linn said on September 5, 2012 at 1:13 am ... #

    could I use some of your questions and answers for my website about military widows? http://www.survivingspousesupportgroup.org

  7. Darshini said on September 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm ... #

    WOW! Amazingly well written. It is but natural, for all humans to judge this situation. But the truth is , your will really get to know who is your true friend and who isn’t.
    The people who care about you, will accept the fact eventually, and will be happy for you, that you have someone, who now is an important part of your life.
    Also please remember, by moving on and by living happily, DOES NOT mean that you lost respect for someone you have lost.It simply means that you are mature enough to move on and get over the grief quickly.
    Thank you everyone for sharing your views.

  8. Catsissie said on September 27, 2012 at 4:34 pm ... #

    Thank you. My marriage after the death of the love of my life is not so successful, and we are separated, staying that way so I can still use his health care due to issues that developed since. I can see now that, not only was I not ready, but we were not right for each other, either–it was like dancing the waltz to county music–not gonna happen! No, most people don’t get it, but then, they have to walk a mile–or a moment–in our shoes to know that we don’t all wear the same style. I wish you happiness, again, as anyone who has been where widows have (or widowers) deserves it in whatever way they find it. Thank you, again.

  9. Sara said on October 1, 2012 at 7:03 pm ... #

    My husband of almost 21 years died in March from suicide. I started to date someone I knew from grade school just 5 months after. It wasn’t something I planned, I wasn’t looking for it, it just happened. My 13 year old daughter is not liking it or my boyfriend. She was cutting herself after her fathers suicide and got help. She is thinking of it now and is sooo depressed because of my new realtionship.What do I do??? I am sooo happy with him, but I need to be there for her too.

  10. Anna said on October 20, 2012 at 8:01 pm ... #

    I am widowed and dating a widower. Both of our spouses died about two years ago. We have been dating for 7 months. Jay still has his wife’s message on his answering machine! This totally hurts me. He will listen to a call come in and listen to his wife’s message with me sitting next to him. He knows it hurts me. He said that he had a family meeting and that his grown children want it on, they will take it off in two months at the two year mark of his wife’s death. Does anyone else have this problem?

  11. Confused.. said on December 1, 2012 at 1:06 pm ... #

    A friend of mine recently lost his wife in a tragic accident. I like any good friend offered myself if he ever needed anything. He never quite opened up, it was always “I’m doing better, thanks” but i I saw he was in pain and I decided to step in. I told him he shouldn’t be ashamed I wasn’t going to judge him and so he did.. He would tell me how down he felt and I even went and got him some literature to help him… now here’s my dilemma… The whole time I was being a friend seeing that he was in need I began to fall for him.. It was never my intention, I just wanted to be a good friend but things happen. Now I’m confused as to wether I should say anything or just continue being a good friend.. Please any advice would help!

  12. Jeff said on December 27, 2012 at 12:28 am ... #

    Great letter, thanks for sharing. I lost my wife after 24 years of a great marriage and never thought I could move on but only a few months later I met an amazing women who turned my life around, we are madly in love. Your story is very similar in so many way… Again thanks for sharing!

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  15. Michele said on January 4, 2013 at 5:19 pm ... #

    This is helping me so much, I lost my husband 19 months ago. I have been dating a man for the past 8 months and it is great.
    I am having issues with telling my in-laws they are very old fashioned. So I like the point till death do you part. I was there till the end. I am really close with my in-laws and I think that shows a lot of what kind of person I am. But I am scared they are going to judge me. My stepson and 2 kids have met him and they like him. I just need to tell my late husbands parents.

  16. Titana said on January 16, 2013 at 2:44 pm ... #

    I understand people being lonely when their spouses pass but what about their children. My father just recently past away and within a day i found text in her phone confiding in a man I believe she had contact with before my father died. But even after a month how could anyone want to engage or talk to another man after being with a guy 10+ years?

  17. Beth said on January 26, 2013 at 5:28 pm ... #

    Your timing is impeccable! I was just feeling some of these confusing thoughts and talking to a friend last night about it. Thank you for feelings the same ways I do……

  18. grateful said on February 2, 2013 at 11:34 pm ... #

    I needed this. Thank you!

  19. Fire Widow said on February 13, 2013 at 11:43 pm ... #

    Thank you for this. I am going through a lot of these same feelings right now. My husband has been gone 14 months. I began dating 9 months after his death and have been judged by many.
    I have found a great guy that sounds a lot like this woman’s 2nd husband. He is kind, compassionate, and listens to me when I need an ear. I was so worried that I would be alone the rest of my life but now I see that I won’t be.
    Again, thank you for posting this

  20. Pam said on February 14, 2013 at 10:33 am ... #

    Thank-you for your answers. They were very helpful. My husband has been gone 5 yrs and I still feel married. He was my bestfriend. I just dread the thought of dating again. Right now, I think I am in the right place (alone)till my heart can heal.

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  22. Martyna said on February 21, 2013 at 4:35 pm ... #

    This sounds like me. You wrote this so beautifully and all the questions and answers are exactly in my thinking. I lost my 30 year old husband to a tragic accident and 6 months and two days later started seeing a close friend of both of ours. Out of respect for my inlaws whom I love I have not told them yet, but reading the above has given me hope that they might not take it as badly as expected. This new man loved my husband too, and he is the only one I currently can tell all my dark widow thoughts to who is ok with it and won’t tell me I need counseling or need to move on. I especially love your thoughts on the “everything happens for a reason” question. I used to think this until my husband died. We too had our happily ever after, wanted kids, in fact “Our” song was “I want to grow old with you” from the movie the Wedding Singer.

    Sorry this is so long. I just really want to say that I am happy (and sad) to hear that I am not the only one who thinks this way.

  23. Teresa said on February 26, 2013 at 5:30 pm ... #

    Thank You for sharing this, I really needed to read this now. I lost my husband in Jan 2012. I have recently met aother man, who has been great, and I think it may lead somewhere. So your story is very helpful. I wish you all the best.

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  26. maria thuroczy said on March 17, 2013 at 6:12 am ... #

    The only article that helped me after my husband’s death was “Dying Inside” by Deborah Schurman-Kauflin in Psychology Today.
    And she wrote another article:Killing the Disabled. My husband had a fall and suffered a traumatic brain injury and the insurance company refused to give him time to recover to his best ability. They did not pay for his rehab. Our family’s wish and suffering did not count. They dehumanized him, objectified him and eventually destroyed him because he was a liability in that condition. I know this is not related to dating. I am so traumatized I can not even think about anything but what kind of society I live. Hitler started with the disabled. And contimued with others. Where would he stopped? If you are on this site, you are suffering and you may want to read Deborah’s articles. She knows.

  27. jak said on March 21, 2013 at 2:11 pm ... #

    My husband of 18 yrs died from a accedental o.d. in’09. I then our house was foreclosed on and had to move in with my widowed mother whom i did not get along with-she died in 11 now i am alone. i have a job that just covers my bills and as dead end as they come.I met a man at work that i am dating but we at this point are just friends. the problem is is that i feel dead inside.He is a very nice man and treats me well but i din’t feel anything for him or even the thought of someone else.I feel hallow.

  28. yepcheck.com said on March 27, 2013 at 1:48 pm ... #

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  29. Jess said on March 31, 2013 at 12:54 am ... #

    It’s been 3 years and 5 months since my boyfriend passed away and I still have not dated anyone, I am not interested, have not looked for anything but also think no one is interested anyway. I still find it hard to imagine myself with a new man. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for your honest comments.

  30. pinky said on April 13, 2013 at 3:06 pm ... #

    been widowed for 6 months and now engaged,your blog enlightened me so well.. thanks for posting!

  31. Kim said on April 19, 2013 at 7:01 pm ... #

    Even after ten years of being a widow, your words are helpful. Your story sounds very much like mine!

    My biggest obstacle is the have you ever been married question on a first date. It forces me to give more information that I want to that soon. Any creative answers?

  32. atorih said on April 20, 2013 at 1:02 pm ... #

    These posts amaze me and I am happy for all who have been able to move on. I have been widowed 42 days and I am having a very hard time. My husband and I were married 28 years (our anniversary the month before he died)and we were together 31 years. I cannot see myself ever meeting another man or ever having another man in my life. But I admit, I will have to be prepared for whatever may come my way. I feel ugly and undesirable at 53 and do not expect that anyone would ever want me. Thanks for all your experiences.

  33. Kathy said on April 22, 2013 at 10:46 am ... #

    I May have made a mistake, but I don’t know. My husband of 17 years passed away on 3/06/13 and I wound up spending the night with a friend the other night. I didn’t plan it but I had sex with him. I’m so confused right now. Any advise right now would be welcome. I don’t know what to think or do.

  34. Kathy said on April 25, 2013 at 10:26 am ... #

    I read your post after seaching for some info. I’m a divorcee dating a widower. We have become serious after dating for six months. I sometimes get confused with things regarding his deceased wife. Reading your thoughts really helped, to know how it feels from the other side. I just want to understand; it helps me to be understanding. Thanks.

  35. atorih said on April 25, 2013 at 2:59 pm ... #

    Are the above two Kathys the same person or different people?

  36. Toni said on April 30, 2013 at 10:55 pm ... #

    Today is my birthday & I lost my darling husband of 45 years6 days ago. In my religion I am still observing the mourning period. I am not unattractive but feel like one of the other commentators – do not think anyone will be attracted to me like my husband was when he fell in love with me 46 years ago. Right now I am heartbtoken & want nobody else. On the other hand I am already terribly lonesome and dread spending the rest of my life alone. My husband and I did everything together. Problem is there are not many avaiable men who dont want 2 meet younger women. Thanks for listening.

  37. TeacherMom said on May 2, 2013 at 11:46 am ... #

    3 1/2 years ago I lost my husband and partner of 21 years. Like you, I was inexperienced and didn’t know what to do about dating. I didn’t even think about it until year 3. Then, even my in-laws were saying I should date. Somehow life sent me a wonderful man and a new start. It’s been six months, and my kids and friends are okay with it all. What I fear is the whole Facebook thing . . . yuck! Also, I found this article looking up what to do about the home pix. Keep them in the kids’ rooms mostly? He says he’s fine with it, but I think the phases out / paring down is a good idea. Thanks for putting this out there.

  38. Christina said on May 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm ... #

    I lost my Husband on 3-11-13 he drowned saving the life of our 8 year old son it has been so hard and paunful this article really helped me because I am so lonely I need a shoulder to cry my son is begging for a male figure u dont want to rush into anything but I would like to see how it feels to try to move forward I live in a small.town and everyone knows what happend to my Aj.. we was married when I was 19 we have 3 children im 27 and people are telling me it’s to soon im to young to know how hard it will be that I dont understand right now the impact this will have in my children for me to date so soon but I dont plan on introducing my children to anyone unless im serious about them im just so scared to make the step and do it..

  39. Angel said on May 6, 2013 at 12:46 am ... #

    Thank you for posting this. My husband died in a motorcycle accident 71 days ago. I have two beautiful girls, 10 and 7. My husband was my best friend and I miss being held when I need it. At this point I really just want a shoulder to cry on, but at the same time the idea of being held by anyone else but him doesn’t feel right. I don’t want to replace my husband and I have a best friend who is a girl, but it’s just not the same. I miss his strong arms wrapped around me and I don’t want just anyone holding me. Sometimes I get so frustrated looking at all of his stuff and then other times they bring good memories. I feel so conflicted sometimes.

  40. John in Florida said on May 9, 2013 at 8:39 am ... #

    Your post will help me move forward. I lost my wife of 48 years 6 months ago. We were together for 50+ years, she being 18 turning 19 and me at 19. We were married 2 days after my 21st birthday, no we did not HAVE to we WANTED to (Catholic). during the last 3 years, she was hospitalized 3 times. The third time, the doctor took me aside and said she would not survive the night, and therefore should be placed in a hospice. He said that she should have been dead 2 years ago and that someone was taking good care of her. I guess I did. Anyway out of curiosity I started dating online about 3 months after she passed. I have met a couple of fantastic women, but 10 of each combined cannot even begin to compare with Maryann. I guess I can settle for whoever might com in a close second. I have read that men who have good marriages start to date earlier because they enjoyed marriage. The guys who wait a long time either had a bad marriage, or were relieved to get out of whatever the did have.
    I use that fact to shut my critics up. I am grieving, but I do not feel guilty. I fulfilled EVERY marriage vow including ‘until death do you part’

  41. Kat said on May 10, 2013 at 12:44 pm ... #

    I love this. My fiance died 9 months ago and recently started going out. The first negative response was from my own mother who said it hasn’t even been a year. I’m 36 years old I want to get married and have kids. I was with my fiance for almost 7 years and I know what he would have wanted. I find it crazy that people feel they have the right to say anything. You know you get lonely, you get frustrated. All these people say they are there for you and guess what they are but they have their own lives. I needed to same things they had. Anyone who knew my fiance and I knew how much we loved each other. I don’t need to justify why I feel lonely and want companionship. Go through my journey then talk to me! I also like how people say to you you need to move on (hate that expression btw) but then when you do, they can’t deal with it. Grief truly is its own unique story and you have to be strong and do what feels right for you. After all isn’t that the biggest lesson from losing someone? You dont know what can happen so cherish your life.

  42. Vinny C said on May 20, 2013 at 10:29 am ... #

    Very helpful article, thank you. I was also an early dater. I don’t regret it but I now see it for what it was or more accurately, I can see now what I still had to go through. So I have met a woman, am engaged, and it’s a very good relationship. I love the woman. Widowhood is an emotional roller coaster at times. Perhaps a more accurate analogy is that it’s like walking through a mine field. You don’t know when or where something will go off that sends you reeling. I have progressed to the point where the wedding is planned to occur in about a month. The latest mine that I stepped on was meeting with the minister who would perform the service. She wanted to hear details about our relationship so she could write the vows. Well, the “vows” part got to me. Made me think about all the promises to “love forever”. It’s pretty difficult to speak promises about loving someone forever once you’ve already made them to someone who had to leave early. I suppose that “till death do us part” is where I need to focus. Anyway, the meeting with the minister went no where. I wasn’t going to talk about any of the things she wanted to discuss. And now the task at hand is to figure out wedding vows or a ceremony that doesn’t get too over the top with the “souls and forever” stuff. I can’t help but think then what is it I’m doing or really, not doing. Am I cheating my fiancée and future wife out of something she should expect? I’m leaning towards the answer being “no”. I’m just giving what I can give. A promise to marry “until death do us part”.

  43. ukay said on May 23, 2013 at 12:45 am ... #

    Thanks for sharing this.I’ve been a widow for 2years and now d new guy I started dating has suddenly told me dat he feels akward dating a widow because of how d society will frown at it. What do I do bcos I actually care for him

  44. Sue said on May 29, 2013 at 12:51 pm ... #

    I lost a very dear friend suddenly 8 months ago. I began helping out her widow, also a dear friend for many years, with their young girls. My ex and I had lived across the street from them for years and we all would hang out every weekend when I was married. Our children attended school, Halloween, birthday parties, dance class and recitals together… the best of friends since they were babies.

    Soon after her death, I began rotating babysitting with his mother due to his crazy work schedule and also spending quality “female” time with his girls who, in their words, think I’m awesome and love me like crazy. As you can imagine, during this time the widow and I became even closer since I have been divorced for a few years and eventually became intimate and now are madly in love and struggle with when we should come out and tell people we want to get married and be a family. We are pretty certain most close friends of ours and various family members suspect but haven’t come out and asked. They all seem ok with “assuming” it and I think it’s because we are being respectful of her memory and thinking of the children first in all aspects.

    The plan was to wait to tell our kids until summer to bypass anymore hiccups with school for his girls especially. But one night recently when he was alone with his oldest and felt the time was just right, he told her that he wanted to date me. She was upset at first because she has been generally afraid of a “stepmom” coming in like the movies and trying to replace her mom. He told her that he needed companionship and if it wasn’t me then it would be someone else… she got upset and said NO that it had to be me but she wanted to go with us on our first date. We are playing along because we have already past that milestone but it’s necessary for her. I have also promised her that no matter what, her mom would always be her mom and no one will ever replace her and that she was my friend too so I have no issues with pictures or talking about her and would never ask that she not be a part of our life.

    We plan to marry soon, as soon as we feel everyone else will be accepting… especially and most importantly, all of our children. This is a transition from being friends to family and also seeing me and the widow as being a couple and not just old friends so seeing and accepting any affection we show one another is the next hurdle. Our thoughts are to wait out of respect until early next year which is another 6 months. We would then have celebrated what would have been her 40th birthday, the oldest child’s first birthday without her mom, the anniversary of her death, and another holiday season.

    Now that I have rambled on, I want you to know that I really enjoyed reading your opinion on “did this happen for a reason” and your perspective is spot on for me because I feel guilty saying sometimes how happy I am. It doesn’t feel right to say my friend’s death was meant to happen so we could find each other and this happiness. I would give anything for my friend to be back and for those girls to have their mom, and even as much as I love him, for him to have his wife and life as it was. But we were 2 friends, who through tragedy turned to each other grieving over someone we both love and lost so suddenly.

    Thank you for sharing your experience and I wish you and your husband the best of luck for a long and happy life together.

  45. Annette Bowman said on June 6, 2013 at 1:48 am ... #

    I met a widowed man who had lost his wife of 33 years to cancer. He told his story to me of his grieving, that he was wild and premicouis and the life of the parties he attended. It was easier to drown, drink, party and be out than to sit home alone, think and cry over his pain. He said he wanted another mate, and that life was only temporary.
    We met 11 months after his wife passed, I had lost my job, having trouble with my rental, we met and in two weeks he wanted me to move in with him. He was lonely, sad, and so was I. Now 10 monhts later we’re still living together. It’s be tough, for both of us. I’ve been patient…but how long before he takes some pictures down off the wall. He says he doesn’t want to do that until he knows if I’m the one. This is hard to understand. I only want one show of thoughtfulness towards my feelings. ONe simple move forward on his part. Help?

  46. The Other Wife said on June 10, 2013 at 10:49 pm ... #

    I was divorced for 10 years, remarried and had it annulled before the year was out. I was done with men. Then I met my husband whose wife had been killed in a car accident three years prior. He had dated right away but I believe he realized that he wasn’t ready, it was just loneliness. We dated for 8 months and have been married for 2 years. I’m the one who had to clear her things out and I did so respectfully giving everything to her adult children. After going through her things I feel like I knew her and that we would have been good friends. I’m the new love of his life and she was the love of his life. There is nothing wrong with that. I knew from what others said that he’d be honest, true and faithful and that is what I needed. I’ve been told I’ve been a lot more graceful than others would be about his grieving. I can only hope as time passes he grieves less and enjoys life with me. Thank you for your article!

  47. The Next Chapter said on June 15, 2013 at 1:07 pm ... #

    This article really helped – I just married a man who was widowed almost three years ago. He came with a four year old daughter as well. I have had moments of struggle for sure but also feel a sort of gratitude to be able to have this beautiful family to love and take care of in her absence.

  48. JoAnne Bergeron said on June 17, 2013 at 11:12 pm ... #

    Thank you so much for your article. It’s the first thing I have read since my husband died that makes me think that maybe life does go on and I shouldn’t feel guilty about that.

  49. Fil said on June 19, 2013 at 12:26 am ... #

    Just wanted to say thank you for putting this together. I lost my partner of 5 years two days after are anniversary. It was a tragic accident at work and we both worked for the same company. So I was there. I ran to him held his hand begged him to come back to me and his daughter who is 2. I had to leave my house and had family fall outs afterwards it made me who I am today. Before I wouldn’t stand up for myself now I do.
    Its been 6 months and I started dating someone one of my partner friends. I never went looking for love. I never had any intention to love or date again it just happened. I’ve not told anyone I keep getting told its too soon and wait for few years. Do I stay single and sad for a few years or upset a few people by being happy and moving on?
    I’ll always love my partner and I always miss him and he will always be our daughters father no one will take that away from him.

  50. Jenny said on June 22, 2013 at 9:04 pm ... #

    Thank you for your post. I lost my mother in law 2 1/2 years ago and 6 months ago I gained a new step mother in law. My mother in law dies of cancer, that she battled for 25 years. When my father in law remarried I felt that as a wife I too were replaceable. He rid the house of all of my mother in laws things by giving them to goodwill. I am so conflicted. I feel the new woman is not a truly a nice person. Shortly after they started dating she moved in then she was able to retire because my in laws were more well off than her. I am glad they found happiness together but it makes me keep my distance. It is easier for me to stay away than be present and watch them exchange affections for each other. I missy mother in law dearly and this is hard for me.
    Recently, my father in law refers to his new wife as grandma to my children and that rubs me the wrong way. I don’t want to hold onto this negativity towards him and the new wife but having a hard time.
    Please help me understand. I think I need a new way to look at this situation.

  51. Marion foley said on July 14, 2013 at 4:06 pm ... #

    hi I lost my husband 5yr ago to cancer we were married for 35 yrs I loved him so much 2yrs ago I stared dating again a man who lost his wife as well I have 3 children one 40 one 36 and one 31 and I no they never will forgive me it is coming between my partner and me as he has 3 children and they are quite happy for him I love my kids so much and I don’t want to loose them what do I do I’m at my wits end please help

  52. T said on July 19, 2013 at 10:08 am ... #

    My husband is nearing the end of a long battle with cancer and I have asked myself many of these same questions. Thank you for your honest, clearly written responses.

  53. sonya judd said on July 28, 2013 at 3:57 am ... #

    THANK YOU!

  54. Nena Pace said on August 1, 2013 at 3:22 am ... #

    My mother-inlaw lost her husband today.while at a family planning meetong. My stepdaughter ask if she could have “dibs on his flat screen Tv. My mother in law was exshausted . And unable to answer. I piped in and said, pls give her sometime to think. But my step daughter persisted.and see got ithe TV for free. I was upset and felt it was not polite to ask for her husbands stuff. Just 10 hrs after he died. Please tell me how u feel about this. Thank you, Nena

  55. Lori said on August 7, 2013 at 1:47 pm ... #

    I lost my husband of 24 years 14 months ago. Recently a man from my church asked me out and I panicked for a minute, then accepted. He is wonderful and we have been dating a month now. It’s just friendship at this point but I feel I am falling in love with him. I feel a little guilty because of my husband but I know it’s ok to move on. I appreciate all the viewpoints from those who have been in my situation. My husband was older than me and used to tell me he wanted me to be happy if something happened to him. I feel overwhelmed and grateful for this second chance. My son, who is 22 and lives with me, is ok with this, but I know he misses his dad. So I am experiencing a huge wave of emotions right now, but the biggest one is intense gratitude and joy. Thank you for having this place where people like us can express our feelings and share with others in the same or similar situations.

  56. Lori said on August 7, 2013 at 1:50 pm ... #

    I loved my husband very much and will miss him forever, but I do believe that all things happen for a reason and that this might be a second chance for me to be happy. Life is too short to be alone and miserable.

  57. shawn said on August 21, 2013 at 2:24 am ... #

    my husband john was murdered 8 months ago. we dated for two years and was married for two years. I planned on being with him forever. I know i’m not the only person in the world who has gone through this (even though it feels like it), this article really helped as well as comments that others have shared, thank you all.

  58. Ann said on August 26, 2013 at 4:46 am ... #

    I lost my husband to suicide 11months ago. I met him just before turning 18,we married when I was 19 and were married 25 years. I don’t want to always be alone but do not feel I will ever meet anyone. I’m told I am attractive, I don’t feel it due to years of bullying. I loved my husband very much but also feel angry at what he has done. He had a wife and children who loved him.
    The nights and early mornings are when I feel loneliness. I would not know we’re to start to have a new relationship as I only dated my husband.

  59. Grace said on August 26, 2013 at 4:57 pm ... #

    Thanks for letting us see that you got on with your life. I so dread that my life is over. Lost my Husband on 4/4/

  60. Tom said on September 4, 2013 at 1:48 pm ... #

    I lost my wife January of this year. Our close friend has been there for me and my children since her passing. I have a toddler 14 mos a 16 yr old In High school and an 18 year old in the marines. Since being together and knowing her for years she’s been so awesome. She was my wife’s BFF and worked together. We recently had the talk of feelings for each other. It’s a different feeling now hanging out with her now. The question I have is how do we approach the subject with the kids. I know the youngest has no clue but the oldest ones are the ones I’m worried about how they would take it. Does anybody have any advise on this? I know I want to sit them down and discuss it but don’t know how to start.

  61. Joy said on September 15, 2013 at 10:18 pm ... #

    Thank you to Emily Clark and everyone else who has added to this post. I lost my husband to suicide just 6 weeks ago. I have a great support network of friends and family and everyone asks “if there’s anything you need…” and “what can I do”. It pains me to think the only thing I need is the one thing they can’t give me. People try to understand but until you’ve been in that role, it’s still completely foreign to the majority of the population. I’m 32 years old, was married 8 years, together for 14 years – almost half our lives. I don’t know if I want to love again the way he loved me. I don’t know if it’s possible. But these posts give me some hope, some solace in knowing that I am not alone and life can go on. In the meantime, I let the waves of emotion hit and try to ride the wave. Life will never be as it once was but I want to be hopeful that it may be something enjoyable again someday.

    We are all strong and find strength in one another. Thanks to everyone for opening up.

  62. Barbara B. said on September 16, 2013 at 5:35 pm ... #

    I was 18 and my husband 21 when we married 35 years ago. He and my son were killed in a car accident January 2012 on the anniversary of our first date. It has been an extremely difficult and lonely time. I do have a 30 year old daughter who thank god was still at home and is my best friend. We were always close but this tragedy has made us even closer. I loved my husband dearly and miss him and my son very much but I realize I don’t want to spend the rest of my life alone. After being married for so long, how do you meet someone that won’t run as soon as they hear something like my story. I realize through your story that I have a lot to offer someone else and hopefully I will meet another wonderful man like the one I lost.

  63. Rosina Kravatas said on September 27, 2013 at 2:06 pm ... #

    I lost my husband on 9/10/13 after dealing with Lung Cancer for a little over 3 years. We were together 7 years and married a little over a year ago after he found out it had spread to his brain. Our original plan was to get married this January 2013 on a cruise ship. But one he found out it had spread to his brain, he wanted to get married right away. The holidays are coming up so quick and I know I am going to have a very hard time dealing with him. Like some of the others who have added notes, he was not just my best freind but my soul mate. We lived a life time in the 7 years we were together. I am 56 years now and I know he would want me to go with my life and go on with it very quickly due to my age. But I just can’t even think of making that kind of step. Not yet as I am not ready at least not for a relationship, but maybe more like a friendship/companion relationship. Is there anything wrong in that especially since it’s only been a couple weeks. We never even got to consimate our marriage. My life has been on hold for a couple of years – not complaining at all. Because I would do it all over again in a heart beat. But once he started radiation treatments are lives changed drastically. I at this point can’t even see myself intimatly with another man. But I wonder if I was looked down on for going out with just a male friend to a movie or even just chatted with a male?? I just don’t want anyone to think that I did not love my husband with all my heart and soul just because I chatted with another male. For me, I know this will help me heal. This will help me to be able to move on. The night’s are the hardest. But if I can just keep my mind occupied, it will make the healing a little easier.

  64. Leonila N. Gomez said on September 29, 2013 at 3:26 pm ... #

    My husband died 5/15/2013 it’s more than 3 years ago. He died in a robbery hold-up. We’ve been married for 20 years. I love him so much to the point that dating again never cross to my mind. The thing that really bothers me is that i can’t no longer gives justice on his death. The 3 hold uppers are in jail now and hearing is still ongoing. But just after a month of their arrest, the police officer who investigated the case was killed and after 1 year of hearing the case my 2 witnesses was killed also. So right now I’m afraid if I’ll continue pursuing this case to give justice to his death, we have 2 daughters and 1 grandson who might be in their next list. I love my husband so much that I want to give him justice but i love my kids also. So i want to consider not to show up on our next hearing which is on Oct. 17, 2013 hoping that this action would save the life of my kids and my grandson. But thinking of not to show up in the court makes me feel guilty. It’s been 3 years but the pain of losing him is still there and this situation really worsen the pain and this time pain and fear again of losing someone that you love. Pls help me what to do I almost give up and cant no longer bear this kind of trouble I am in.

  65. George said on September 30, 2013 at 6:31 pm ... #

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, it resonates very clearly for myself. My wife passed away about a month ago after a long arduous 3 year battle with cancer. We were married 8 years but started dating when I was 15 years old! We have 2 little girls together and they are the world to me now of course.
    However it’s very hard to explain to those that have not gone through this type of loss but I do want to start dating and feel I’ll be ready sooner than most would approve of. While my wife died about a month ago I felt like I lost her long before that. Unfortunately, because of the disease it became a matter of when and not if. If I’m being totally honest our relationship was never the same after her original diagnosis over 3 years ago.

    I’m only 34 years old and I have had thoughts of the possibility of growing my family further. If there’s one thing I learned from losing my wife it’s not to wait, live life to the fullest as you never know what the future may hold.

    I have become fairly close with a friend of my wife, she’s helped our family tremendously over the past few months. She’s single and now I’m finding myself having very strong feelings for her, something that hasn’t happened in almost 20 years. It’s confusing and I don’t know if she would be ready to attempt a relationship with me. She’s great with my daughters and they absolutely adore her.

    For the first time in 3 years I’m excited about what the future will bring for myself and my girls. Like Emily stated in her story, my biggest concern right now is what everyone else will think once I do decide I’m ready to start dating!

    Thank you all for sharing, it’s been very helpful.

  66. L Petal said on October 3, 2013 at 10:22 am ... #

    Well stated! I liked “sometimes it’s less work just to be blunt”!

    great one liner and alot of the other stuff you said xxoo

  67. marge said on October 7, 2013 at 11:29 pm ... #

    I am in a relationship with a widow like myself. We just got engaged to be married after 1 month. He is in a rush to marry and begin our new life. We are arranging for a spring wedding in 2014. I have only one problem as He is pushy about moving into my home and comparing us to his former marriage. This relationship and marriage will be so different for both of us. I learned from this series of questions and postings that my concerns are normal. Time will tell if this is right for both of us. I do smile more and laugh and enjoy his company. counseling for newly engaged will set us on the right track

  68. TB said on October 9, 2013 at 5:08 pm ... #

    I lost my husband of 15 years last year after a nearly 7 year fight with brain cancer. It was horrible and I Have been through some fairly challenging life circumstances prior. Brain cancer changes people. It is like watching a person fade slowly. Having said that, being a widow is not something I wanted and I would have done nearly anything to live the life with him that we had planned.

    I started seeing someone 5 months after his death. He was a transition relationship. I was too deep in grief and all of its stages to even know who I was without my late husband. It did not last.

    I am now in a committed relationship with a friend of my late husband. Most people are very accepting of this. My family and true friends are happy for us. They know how very similar we are. Then there are the gossips who love to tear people down or the women (yes they are women) who have agendas. They say it is weird, strange or whatever. I was, at first, shocked at the lack of compassion from those types. Now that I have been here for awhile, I am no longer surprised by people’s judgment. But I no longer accept it either.

    To me, it makes sense. We were all friends because we were like minded and similar enough to love each other as friends. Being our friend, this man that I am with now, understands. He is not threatened by my often sad moments. He misses him too. It is a wonderful relationship and I am grateful for him and the chance to perhaps find love, different from the love I had with my late husband, again.

    You are the one who lost someone. Whether your marriage was long, short, happy, not happy, it does not matter. You are who you are. You will do this the way you need to do it. Be honest with yourself and never let people keep you from what makes you happy. They are not the ones who lost, you are. Once I chose to not allow these people to have any right to decide my happiness, I became much happier. Like the author mentioned, I fulfilled my marriage vows. I saw someone I loved deeply, to the other side. I know things they do not. They assume they know how they would behave in my shoes. They cannot possibly know.

    Stop asking yourself questions that are tinged with what others think. Too soon? Is it for YOU? A friend of the late spouse, weird? No, not really. Be good to you and understand that life is very short, even if one gets 80 years. Live it. Love the one you lost but move on. Because life is a gift which is something everyone should know, but certainly we widows and widowers know that.

  69. rachel said on October 13, 2013 at 4:21 pm ... #

    Thank you for your words. My husband of just 15 months died 2.5 months ago of brain cancer, in our early thirties we had our lives ahead of us. I have had thoughts of moving on, and not, it is very reassuring to know others think this way too, and gives me great hope.

  70. Monica said on October 16, 2013 at 1:32 pm ... #

    Your thoughts are reasurring and comforting to read. I lost my husband (at age 38) of 15 years to cancer almost 2 years ago. I reconnected with my high school sweetheart, 6 months after my husband passed, but we did not start dating until well after a year after my husband passed. Having the history between us it did not take long to realize we wanted to get married.

    My husband and I have 4 children and they are finding the situation awkward but are dealing with it. As my new beau and I are. I continue to struggle with the notions of my family and in-laws thinking I am moving too fast.

    I look forward to my new life with our families and pray my husband knows we are taken care of. This was his greatest fear when we received the termianl diagnosis: making sure we are taken care of…we are babe! We are!

  71. Carrie said on October 19, 2013 at 9:35 pm ... #

    Thank you so much for writing this. My husband of only 6 and 1/2 years, passed away a month ago after 2 year long battle with a rare form of liver cancer. I began my grieving process while he was still with us on earth. Now, although it has only been a month, I am at peace with it. I have accepted the fact that I am only 27 years old and I cannot live alone with my two young children (ages 3 and 5). I want that companionship. No, I’m not going to go and get married in 6 months or anything but i’m not saying some people shouldn’t do that if that is the way they feel. My biggest fear is other peoples reactions to a “status change” if it’s “too soon”. For so long, I was the one that was the saint and was such a wonderful loving caring wife that would do anything for her sick husband. I took on all responsibilities with the house, finances, and the kids. I don’t want that reputation to be ruined because it’s “too soon” but then again I can’t not be happy because of someone elses opinion. I guess your post really helped me realize that there are people out there that ask themselves the same questions I ask myself all the time about certain situations. So, thank you. Congratulations on finding your new love and may you be blessed with many many years of love, joy and happiness.

  72. Jessica said on October 21, 2013 at 1:40 pm ... #

    I lost my husband one month ago. I am in a unique situation in that, we were seperated at the time of his death. I should make it clear that I was still deeply in love with him but there were outside issues and made seperation the best choice for us. When he was killed in an accident, I was at a complete loss. Some of my friends understood that I loved him and missed him and others said things like “you were seperated anyway so who cares”. These varied reactions made me very unsure of how I should be reacting and what was expected of me. Then just recently a friend, of both myself and my husband, came to me and confessed his feelings for me. I agreed to dinner and a movie this Friday night and had been feeling very guilty about my choice. Reading this helped me realize that it’s ok. Thank you. This helped me in a way that nothing else has been able to and I appreciate that you shared so much.

  73. Kittrick said on October 22, 2013 at 9:46 pm ... #

    I have been a widow for a little over 2 yrs and have lost my husband in a very horrific diving accident…I have met someone who is near and dear to my heart just a couple months ago…It was strange at first but am so happy…I haven’t felt this feeling since the first day I met my late husband.
    Your answers to the questions asked are so helpful for me to cope and not feel guilty for one reason or another…
    I too am now engaged and will be moving soon to be with my fiancé (smiling). I am blessed that he found me when I thought that I would never want any man and was never looking for a relationship. I am so happy that I was open to accept this fine gentleman into my life…
    Thank you…

  74. Kim said on October 26, 2013 at 5:50 pm ... #

    I want to meet an attractive Christian widower who has young kids and has healthy conflict resolution and knows both he and his children want to share their life experiences and love to build a happy family life with a wonderful woman like me…

  75. michele said on October 27, 2013 at 4:17 pm ... #

    My fiance died unexpectedly from a heart attack almost 2 years ago. I am just now trying to date, but I have not felt any chemistry with the men I have met so far. Also, once they find out I am a widow they don’t know what to say and won’t talk about that part of my past. This article helped me because I am not lowering my standards or being with somebody who won’t even try to understand. If I don’t meet someone that loves me as much as my deceased loved me and they don’t want to hear anything about him I know that is not who I will be with. If I never meet anyone, so be it, but I plan on enjoying the rest of my life.

  76. Shirley said on November 10, 2013 at 8:23 pm ... #

    This string of comments has helped me out tremendously. I lost my husband just 4 months ago from a 14 month battle with cancer. And I did love him *till death do us part*. I was at his side the entire time he was on treatment and was with him in hospice when he passed. He was the love of my life. A stranger walked into my life a month ago and I’m finding myself growing closer and closer to him. I wasn’t looking for what I’ve found and felt very guilty. He admitted today that he is falling for me (I have not spoken those words to him but I think it’s evident) and I truly feel happy and peaceful. I do know my dear late husband would want me to find another love and I find comfort in that. My concern is my family and in-laws. Thanks again for your words of encouragement.

  77. Cris said on November 13, 2013 at 5:56 pm ... #

    I’m glad there are people who are honest about this sort of thing. Being a young widower (26) is difficult, but seeing other people who have gone through it makes me hopeful. I lost my fiancé to cancer. We put off the wedding until she was in remission, unfortunately she didn’t survive her battle with cancer to make it to remission.

    I appreciate how candid your post blog post was.

  78. Willams said on November 14, 2013 at 11:58 pm ... #

    I fell in love with victoria when we were sixteen, but after High School we lost contact and this really affected my metal health. After all this time, I couldn’t get him off of my mind cos he was very lively whenever i am around him. I tried 3 online spell which i saw on topic but they stole my money. I was introduce to Dr. osin by a colleague i meant at a seminar in the capital city. I contacted him through email but i was afraid of losing my money again after all the other 3 spell casters done to me, i tried him and it surprisingly worked.victor searched for me on Facebook and called me. I was shocked because Dr. osin told me that it will only take 3 days for victor to call and it all happened as he said. i gave him my house address and he really came. We both are happy together as lovers. I know that someone out there needs his help. Send him an email through loverrelationshipspell@gmail.com and tell him that Williams directed you to his temple.

  79. Jane said on November 17, 2013 at 3:28 pm ... #

    I am not a widow, but I am in love with a man who’s wife died in 2002. For many years, I have raised my two children,with hostility from my ex husband and the father of my daughter, two divorces.
    Two months ago, I met the man who fell in love with me in high school. Over 30 years ago. We are both both raising our childrenn, and we spend our weekends together because we both work. We are both 50 and truly enjoying each others company. Last night he cried, there was a seen in the movie where the mother, wife died from cancer. I wiped his tears, He later said, everyone surrounded his wife when she was in the hospital before her death. We are so Blessed to be able to share the joys and pains with each other now. I am very grateful because I am with my mother who is 78 and his mom has come to live with him. Everything is just beautiful and we are enjoying each day. We must be open to love and friendships, life is to be shared.

  80. Kelly said on November 22, 2013 at 7:33 am ... #

    What you have written has helped me so much. I lost my husband almost 5 months ago. I have recently met someone who is an amazing person. Our relationship began as a friendship. He was the only one who would let me cry and I mean really cry. He didn’t say a word just held me while the tears flowed. Things blossomed from there. I have been feeling so much guilt and worrying so much about what people will think of me. You have helped me to understand this and not worry about what others think. My late husband and I do have children and this man completely understands that things need to go slow especially when it comes to them. Thank you so much for writing this…you have done wonders for me.

  81. hemant kumar said on December 4, 2013 at 11:43 am ... #

    I read all the comments and I feel that many a times the relationship or intimacy with the either sex does not click when the spouse from the either side is no more .Recently my dear wife passed away in a gruesome accident and in split second my whole world changed once for all .She was a brilliant woman and worked as a Pathologist with many paper publications to her credit and I being a Pediatrician got so well in our married life ,I am totally shattered and the sweet memories haunt me and I am unable to over come .I just want some good and reasonable suggestions

  82. Karen said on December 8, 2013 at 6:59 pm ... #

    I met someone 2 years ago that just lost his wife to cancer we have really clicked and I was ready to move on with my life. Had no idea what would happen. He asked me to marry him and I have “never” felt the way I do about him. I love him & have been very patient, but now two times he has walked wanting space to make sure Im the one. First time he tried to date again..nightmare and tore me apart. I am trying to be understanding and he still has pictures up. Im fine with that I respect her but just want him to want me. Maybe he never will? Ive lost loved ones, my Dad, Sister, Grandma who was close & tried to support him. ???

  83. denise said on December 20, 2013 at 5:39 pm ... #

    thank you , im not ready to date yet but the question is still there , when is it ok how are the kids going to feel , my husband just passed , i still havent signed the death certificate , cant just yet , but i keep being told oh your young you’ll date again , and we fought hard to get him a transplant but his body just couldnt keep on and he passed on the 9th day at 11:10 of the 12th month of the 13th yr , always like him to make a bold move and , im ok with dating but not getting serious , because would any one live up to the man he was , and will any one be ok knowing i still love him even if he is gone , plus my kids are still young , school age i had a 5 yr plan to focus on them but when they are off with their friends or doing there thing where will that leave me and my friends are married , and i now find myself being single not wanting to go out to eat alone .16 yrs just didnt seem enough

  84. Jaqueline+Freidberg said on December 25, 2013 at 7:50 pm ... #

    It is our point of reference in how we conduct our actions frequently changes how we see things. Sometimes this alteration is good and sometimes this alteration is bad but it is our paradigm that controls over what we see.
    Jaqueline+Freidberg http://jacquelinefriedberg.wordpress.com/tag/jacqueline-friedberg/

  85. Nancy said on December 26, 2013 at 1:16 am ... #

    Thank you for sharing this. This is my 3rd Christmas without my husband and has been extremely hard on my daughter and I both. But I am glad you noted that everyone is different, grieves differently and ready (or not) to move on at their own pace. Thank you for sharing that moving on does not mean forgetting or denying life. Who knows if I will ever date again. Only time will tell…..

  86. Lydia said on December 30, 2013 at 9:21 am ... #

    Hi
    Thank you for all your comments it really helps to know that Iam not alone.My husband passed on January 2013 and iam still not OK as i also lost the house we were living in.He left me with 3 young kids.i don’t even think of dating as my youngest is four months but reading this gave me all the answers i was looking for>

  87. Anie said on January 5, 2014 at 11:05 pm ... #

    I lost my husband 6/18/13. He had malignant melanoma and it went all over his body and brain. We didn’t know it until it was already on stage 4. He was diagnosed on march 2013 and died July 2013 couple days before our 10th year wedding anniversary. We have 3 children 10, 8, and 2 yrs old. It’s been very hard for me, I was there holding his hands until his last breath. I’m only 34 yrs old and I don’t want to be alone. Talking with an opposite sex really help me not to think too much about him. So I started chatting online and met this guy who is really really nice to me and my children. He makes me happy but I’m so worried to move on becuase of what other people might say. I’m also worried what my in laws going to say and feel if they know about it. But like what everyone said “I fulfilled my marriage vows” and I don’t think I’m doing anything wrong. But it’s very hard because I don’t want people to think I don’t love my husband but on the other had I don’t want to be lonely.

  88. Dawn said on January 6, 2014 at 5:50 pm ... #

    Hi my husband committed suicide in 2011′ the decision to move on is upon me and I am confused! worried and frightened I am letting my husbands memory down. I know I have to make this jump, and will try to do so, but how do I do so without the sence I am doing wrong!
    My grown up son, is happy for me to move on, and family are encouraging, but I can’t get this nagging thought out of my head.

    Any advice.

  89. Debbie said on January 19, 2014 at 12:29 pm ... #

    My son is getting married to a girl he has known for many years. She is a young widow of 28 yrs old and has a 4 yr old daughter by the deceased husband who was 9 months old at the time of the death. Her husband has been dead for almost 3 years. My question is: Her and her old mother-in-law are still super crazy about each other. She had to make sure the mother-in-law was ok with her choice of a new man in her life and get acceptance from his family before agreeing to marry my son….NOTE I SAID HIS FAMILY NOT HERs—-hers was fine with it….. The old mother-in-law has got her finger stuck in my son and my new daughter-in-laws life so much that there is no room for me. They couldn’t come to my house on Christmas cause they went to her ex-mother-in-laws house all day so the grandchild could be around the granny. The old mother-in-law was invited to the bridal shower and she came and kept talking about and bringing up her dead son a lot and then I find out she is going with all of us out of town to the bachelorette party as well. I told my son that my soon to be daughter-in-law seems to not have enough room for me since she is still so involved with the old mother-in-law. I feel disrespected. I feel that when she is invited to do things with MY SON’S wedding she should gracefully decline but instead accepts and is trying to take my place. I want to say something to her but my son says that my new daughter in law has to make that decision to back off the old mother in law and that will take time. She has been a widow for about 3 years now and she’s had a couple of other boyfriends before my son. Shouldn’t she have already backed off with the relationship from the old mother-in-law or am I totally misunderstanding what is going on. My son is uncomfortable with the situation but does not want to say anythig for fear of upsetting his fiance’ meanwhile I am extremely upset and I’m being pushed out of the way of MY SON’S LIFE and events and being replaced with the old-mother-laws closeness. My son doesn’t lie what is going on but doesn’t want to cause any waves……..he’s very passive. Who do I confront? What do I say? How do I act? What should I do? Nothing as my son suggested so I don’t upset the old mother-in-law and my future daughter-in-law relationship? Should I throw in the towel and say well if you want her that bad then you can have her and I won’t try to be your new mother-in-law? I need your advice on this subject and anyone else who wants to tell me their opinion.

  90. Debbie said on January 19, 2014 at 12:37 pm ... #

    I am asking for yalls advice since I have not lost a child nor am I widow. I don’t know just where the lines should be drawn. The entry above has both cases in it…..a grieving mother and a young widow. I think that both of these women need some counseling to move on with their life…….am I wrong to see that they both hold on to each other and the only common ground is the man that died. The old mother-in-law is married and has other grown children and grandkids as well. It’s not like she is by herself and trying to cope. If I am wrong to feel this way please tell me.

  91. Dee said on January 24, 2014 at 11:27 pm ... #

    I am a widow and am very close to my in laws. I say I have 2 sets of parents. I could not have made the journey God put before me without the their help. My mother in law is the one who stayed with me for a week after her son died. My husband and I were married just short of 8 years and I had 2 step children. We lost our son – I was not his mother but I was his Mom. I still have my daughter. I enjoy her every chance I see her. She has a good relationship with her mother and also me. Relationships take time. Be patient. I never had children. My husband gave me 2. I have one on this earth to treasure. His parents – another set. I am sure they truly only want the young lady to be happy. There is a grandchild to consider. Just like I did. They will start to understand. My husband was an only child. I am grateful your son found a nice girl. Make friends with her, maybe she needs one. I am sure it will work out.

  92. claudia colmer said on January 26, 2014 at 1:49 pm ... #

    I lost my husband of 32 years several days ago, coming home from work, found him on the sofa. Called 911 and was told he was dead for several hours.

    The most painful thing was seeing his face in agony, at least I wish I had been home when the heart attack happen. I saw this coming since he had started smoking again a few months ago and had a heart condition. I just wish I could have said goodbye.

  93. sample anc said on January 29, 2014 at 4:05 am ... #

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  94. Ellen said on January 31, 2014 at 10:55 am ... #

    What a wonderful blog for folks like me,
    widows who are struggling with grief and
    somehow finding a way to LIVE life again .
    My beloved husband / friend died suddenly
    a few weeks ago. I have been consumed
    with grief . And being told by friends how
    I should live my life. After reading this
    blog I now realize some feelings of
    intense loss are universal. Also that
    somehow life goes on . I am
    trying to commit to living life and
    move at some point beyond the
    misery and loss that this event brings.
    Thank you very much for everyone
    who shared their stories.

  95. Ann Hall said on February 2, 2014 at 10:09 am ... #

    I met my Husband he at 18 I had only dated one other for 6 weeks. We had been married for 46 yrs
    and had a good marriage. He took ill suddenly within hours they found Multiple brain tumours, he lived 11 weeks I never left his side. To my own surprise I started dating again 6 months later,I was so lonely as the children I had always supported both emotionally and financially did not support me as I had them. Fourteen months after his death I met a lovely man I had a lot in common with it grew through friendship and 3 years later we got engaged. Then my adult children kicked off! My son drove me to a point of suicide, forgetting that his first wife sited him for verbal abuse! However we overcame that eventually married and moved to a beautiful part of the country. However my Son has turned my whole family and circle of friends away from me. What they don’t consider I was faithful to their Father for 50 yrs and I realise that meeting at 16 I still needed to experience life. I have tried writing, sending occasion cards etc but they have been so cruel. So anyone wanting to judge should walk in that persons shoes.

  96. Brenda said on February 3, 2014 at 9:31 am ... #

    Thank you so much for this article! I lost my husband of just under 10 years of a sudden heart attack 4 years ago today. I remarried one year ago, after never thinking I would find love again, and certainly wasn’t looking for it, but we have been together 3 years. We began dating just about a year after Allen passed away . Before I began dating, I was encouraged to date (even before I was ready) even by my late husbands mother! But once we ( my now husband and I) I was basically shunned and cut out of the lives of so-called friends, and especially my late husbands family, despite their desire and encouragement to date. I never expected to love again, let alone marry, but I know Allen ( my late husband) wouldn’t have wanted me to be alone, and I feel certain he would approve of Robbie (my current husband) Sadly though, Allen’s family now has nothing to do with me, which I take as their problem, not mine, but the problem is, in cutting me out of their lives, they have also seemed to have forgotten the children Allen loved so dearly. We have 3 sons. Twins now age 18 and another who is 16. All boys. They love their father, but the love my new husband as well, and in can’t come to terms with Allen’s parents basically treating their grandchildren as if they don’t exists because I remarried. Has anyone else been in this situation? I am hurt and confused by it all. The same thing has happened with most of our friends. It seems once Allen was gone, we were all but forgotten by everyone. I love my new husband very much and of course have new friends, but it saddens me that people I trusted and considered real friends act as if I don’t exist. I’m sure they can’t imagine moving on, let alone remarring and I am afraid they have the impression that I am somehow “cheating” or not ” honoring Allen’s memory. These things cause so much anxiety some days I can’t get out of bed. If anyone has any advice, I would welcome it. Sorry for babbling on, but on the 4th anniversary of Allen’s death it is really on my mind. Please only constructive criticism and advice. Thank you. Brenda

  97. Ann said on February 3, 2014 at 12:58 pm ... #

    Bless you Brenda I could cry for you,but it helps us all to know we are not alone. I know just how you are feeling, I had to have counselling in the end. It helped quite a lot, I used to wake up sobbing feeling that bringing up my children had all been a waste of time. But I was made to see, it is they who have the problem not you.Please look upon it that these so called friends may be in your situation one day and expect you to support them. My take on this is, because you had such a good relationship with Allen you have been able to move on. As a friend of mine who lost his Wife and found another lady he is 82 she is 90 said “We are here they are not ,it’s up to us to make the best of the life we were given” Like my husband I am sure Allen would hate to think of you being lonely. You are certainly not cheating on him, in fact it is a great compliment to him that you feel you can do it again. Please keep your head up, think of Robbie. As my Mother said on her deathbed, get on with your life it’s for the living not the dead. Just support each other and when these people see you are happy and hopefully they will come round. If not just be happy. My husband told me to find someone else as it would worry him that I was on my own. Good luck and take care. Remember by doing this you have also helped me. Kindest regards Ann

  98. Brenda said on February 4, 2014 at 12:11 pm ... #

    Thank you so much for replying. What you said makes sense. It’s sad when people can’t see past their own feelings, and I think that’s got a lot to do with my situation. Thank you again. You helped more than you know!
    Best wishes, Brenda

  99. Cindy said on February 5, 2014 at 3:43 pm ... #

    This is a fantastic writing which brought me to tears. Thank you so much for writing it. I especially liked what you said about how sometimes bad things just happen for no reason. And that there is nothing you can do about it. That is so true. Thank you.

  100. Ann said on February 7, 2014 at 7:14 am ... #

    Hi again Brenda, I am so glad I could be of some help. But then I have walked in your shoes, that’s the difference. I have decided that Leo and I will get on and enjoy our lives with all of our new friends who never judge us. It has taken over three years to come from a point of suicide to where I am now and that is a good place. These people are not worth the worry { and mine are the children I nurtured and loved unconditionally.] Please be happy lots of luck.

  101. Maryam said on February 10, 2014 at 6:06 pm ... #

    Hey, I’m 19 years old and my husband passed away a month ago due to sudden cardiac arrest. We have been married for one year. What should I expect from my future? As in is it much more easier for me to move on as compared to other widows cause I’m too young plus I have no kids and I’m already studying. Can I fall in love with somebody more than I did with my late husband? My husband was my life and I always used to think that I cannot live without him but now that this has happened to me so I was just wondering if moving on is possible? Do we feel good to date somebody after our husbands have died? Do we have the same emotions towards all this dating thing? My husband was the first person I had ever talked(Plus it was an arranged marriage so I haven’t experienced affairs n all) to so I don’t have much information about dating and all.

  102. ashh said on February 16, 2014 at 9:40 pm ... #

    My heart goes to everyone and anyone that has experienced a loss. About a yr ago I got divorced (he cheated) the same time a guy I use to date from middle school and high school his wife passed away. We reconnected 8 months ago but just started dating 2 months ago. Both our kids are the same age so together we have 4. On the other end I’m confused on how I should feel or what he’s thinking. I have questions about her but Im scared he doesn’t want to talk about it. Our feelings from the past are making it feel like we have known and been together forever. We were both married for 10 yrs. Its just crazy!
    What has me really thinking is for valentines day I decided to make heart shaped pizzas and the next morning to make heart shaped pancakes w my kids.
    He told me (and he doesn’t speak of her much) but he said for the past 10 yrs hes gotten heart shaped pancakes. I was like….wow! Bc I’ve never made them nor have I ever thought of making them. (I felt bad) bc that night he stayed the night n had to get up at 5am for work and I didnt make him any. Until I woke w my kids later. Sorta freaking me out and I’m not sure how I should feel.

  103. rose grey said on February 17, 2014 at 3:42 pm ... #

    I lost my husband of 38 yrs of marriage 8 years ago, and remained alone for 4 yrs., I become lonely and started avoiding my friends with husbands or partners..than I met a man,in a separation and 6 adult children with their own families. We have been living together for almost 4 yrs and I left my own family to be with him, I have 1 adult married daughter and 4 grown children, 2 are married and the other 2 in relationships, I have 7 great-grandchildren that I miss so much.
    I have done my best, even buying gifts for Xmas and birthdays for his grandchildren and he has not done for mine. Recently he was informed about birthday party for one of his grandchildren was for family only and his ex-wife would be there, needless to say I was very hurt is putting it mildly.
    Now, each time another birthday comes up I will find something else to do as I do not want to be left in the cold again.
    My question is, Am I wasting my time with him, I feel his children will never accept me for whatever reasons and perhaps just end this even if it breaks my heart.
    I am already planning to leave so I have answered my own question, but this is painful and I never knew them before nor have I been the cause of him and his ex-wife break up.
    Not sure how to feel, I do feel like a fool!!

  104. Paul said on February 20, 2014 at 8:12 pm ... #

    Lost my wife of 46yrs,in jan2009.1 month later I
    was told by a friend,that he wanted me to meet
    a woman who lost her husband,2 days before my wife.A month later [st valentine],I called her,
    and talked for a week on the phone.
    I explained that I would only be interested in
    having a friend.
    We celebrated our 5yrs anniversary at st valentine’s day this yr.Everything is going
    super well…U have to do what works for u.
    Had a great relationship with my wife and she
    also had super one.Thanks for all the help.

  105. TT said on February 25, 2014 at 8:44 pm ... #

    Hello, I am 25, I lost my fiancé 8 months ago and I am so glad I found this site. Your story is amazing and thank you for sharing with us. I recently met someone that I really like and we live in a small town. My biggest concern is what people will think about me dating again. My family is very protective over me and I don’t think they will approve. I wish people will be more supportive with me moving on. Most people don’t understand how losing someone effects your life and also your outlook on dating. I feel like I am hiding when I go out with my the guy I like. I know I should just ignore what people think or say but it’s the most awkward thing ever. I haven’t felt this happy in a long time, I guess that’s all that matters though. Thanks again for the post and I love reading everyone’s personal story because it gives me inspiration to keep going.

  106. Mary Potts said on February 27, 2014 at 11:33 pm ... #

    I am so happy I found this site,I lost my husband 14 months ago after 30 yrs of marriage he was my best friend,I miss him more and more everyday.I loved him more then life itself he was17 year older then me.i don’t know if I can ever love like that again.I am affair to love or share what I had with my husband.the story you told was so beautiful I pray that happens to me again.I love how you said thing don’t happen for a reason!!!!!i I never want to forget my husband.i do the same thing with my wedding bands. Thank you so much Mary

  107. Sheila said on March 2, 2014 at 4:20 pm ... #

    My husband of 38 years committed suicide. I started dating one week after he died. I felt suicidal myself and this was just a method to cope. I met someone after 4 weeks and we have been together now for 6 months. I’m sure I shocked some of my friends and family but they all supported me. I am 75 and haven’t got time to wait. My new friend has been with me through all the tears and grieving and has saved my life.

  108. katie said on March 2, 2014 at 9:11 pm ... #

    I extremely confused I’m extremely broke bit would do anything to know whether the Man whom feel in love with me don’t know his real name even although he knows everything about me but he said he left this time last year as I had some issues to sort out I would never want to hurt this man like I hurt my 1st love whom hhada high impact on my life. I also couldn’t never deal work the fact that his introduction to my family wasa high disgrace and an embarrassment to me and us what gag an impact on my son’s life physically, so with fear I my heart I thought this would be the end of us, I made alot of mistakes which eventually I did learn from but lost the love of my life through the process. When the second man whom really loved me came along he knew everything about me how et I know nothing about him but he told me he was going to leave me last year whch I believe he did i now don’t know if he is waiting for me out am i living a wishful situation and in the past. Now iv been given the chance to have a child which I gave up the dream of years ago with my ex as he food not want them (twins) so I did the right thing by him i believe and although I’m against abortion I aborted the babies for the sake of all the things my ex had done and a friendship he gave me thankfully throughout the process of my battle with alot of abuse issues so I now extremely confused and if my ex is giving mea child/children back then does that mean that I have lost both men and like I said they knew everything about me biti only have insight to my first real love, which I do wish well and thought he’d moved on with his life and got Someone else which I’m extremely I’m very for four himof thats the case but if it’s not I’m very confused as to whom I gong to meet, please could you help me too try to make a set of this or to give me any insight into this situation I seem to have as a kanundrum! Much appreciated Kate

  109. momma said on March 5, 2014 at 9:02 pm ... #

    So so true what you wrote !! I lost my husband of almost 20 years suddenly Memorial day 2010 . I met a great guy in May 2011 have been together since. People in town talk but they have never been me and guess what he did not have to come and be a great guy to the kids as well as me. He has kids as well and I can only say I am very blessed .

  110. tammy bessey said on March 6, 2014 at 1:16 am ... #

    I LOST MY HUSBAND APRIL 2ND 2013. I STILL FIND IT HARD TO EVEN GET OUT OF BED. TO READ ALL THESE MESSAGES ABOUT HOW EVERYONBE HAS GONE ON WITH THEIR LIVES IS AMAZING BUT HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT DOING THAT. BECAUSE MY HUSBAND WAS MY SOULMATE AND I CANT IMAGINE BEING WITH ANYONE ELSE. HOWEVER I AM VERY LONELY AND WOULD LIKE TO BE ABLE TO TALK TO SOMEONE ELSE JUST FOR COMPANIONSHIP.MY HUSBAND WAS MY WHOLE WORLD AND NOW THAT HE IS NOT HERE. I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF.I AM COMPLETELY LOST WITHOUT HIM.. I AM 47 AND AND WAS WITH HIM FOR OVER 18 YEARS. SO NOW WHAT. WHERE DO YOU GO FROM HERE.

  111. Kathryn said on April 27, 2014 at 12:11 pm ... #

    Thank you so much. Your words have helped me. My husband died 7 months ago and I’ve started to date a really wonderful guy but I worried about what others would think of me dating so soon. For me it has helped me to heal. I will never stop loving my husband but that doesn’t mean I can’t love someone else as well. My husband would have been the first person to tell me that life goes on and not to spend it alone grieving so I am moving ahead with life.

  112. therry said on May 14, 2014 at 2:35 am ... #

    hi im 32 years old, my husband comment suicide january 2014, we have been married 5 years and 6 days then he cooment suicide. I never think that the age of 32 im a widow. I never think that I can survive when he left me, I never think about my future because my future is my husband. he left a nice house every thing he give whatever I want. oneday when I came home I saw him his hanging himself inside our house so bad verry bad that time. I never look other men. every day I will visit always in the cemetery I never think that oneday I will always come that place because of him. im always speak with him every minute hours. im so down. my mind its mixing what I need to do, my family always beside me.
    after 3 months I asked my late husband to help me to survive, im always thinking that I nevr find other men like my husband.. if God will to give my other-half it will happen,, we cannot beg someone to stay on us forever ,we have to accept that LOVE doesn’t give us the license to own a person ”
    when I enter the dating site I know so early. I registered in dating site im not serious. I never know that someone who like to meet me in person true email and we never speak and even true skype nothing we show each other only picture. how the people can trust to anyone specilay a widow women. this month he sent me email he give me a tracking number. diamond engagement ring, gold necklace, perume, apple laptop, apple I phone 4s, a a bundle of red rose, 9500 pounds dont believe in beggining but its arrived..

    im guilty my self I asked my self if im ready to move on? I dont know the answer. why why and why… and now he has a plan to visit me her in my country. but this men I told everything I never lie and never hide a secret that im a wedow the age of 32 and no kids.

    please help me what can I do for me so earlt to enter in a new relationship, but why in this situation so fast the people trust to me.

    I like only to shared my saddest story in my real life
    thank you and God bless

  113. KN said on May 14, 2014 at 2:16 pm ... #

    My husband of 4 years died in December of 2011. He had a heart condition from the day we met, but I didn’t care. He knew my diabetes would probably mean I could never conceive but he didn’t care. We were madly in love until 2010 when I caught him cheating by sending nasty text messages to another woman. I know its cheating so I don’t want to hear otherwise. Our relationship went way downhill after this and he started abusing me in order to deal with the fact that I was falling out of love with him. At first he just abused me emotionally, but eventually he abused me sexually and physically. He started seeking counseling and we were working through it but he continued to throw me into walls and even threw me down a flight of stairs in our home. I was lucky to only have bumps and bruises from this and no broken bones. I was out of love but I took my vows seriously and did not ever cheat. When I awoke that December day to find his lifeless body I screamed, I called 911 and started CPR. I didn’t want to be with him, but I certainly didn’t want him to die. I wanted him to get help or grant me a divorce….not just die! He was pronounced dead two days later in the hospital of a heart attack. I was crushed. I wanted closure. I wanted him to get help, not to just die. I was lonely and having trouble making ends meet so I searched the ads on craigslist. I found someone who was like me in all the ways that matter. I said we’d just be friends. I moved in less than a month later, I fell madly in love with him. He was so compassionate through all of my grief and listened tome as long as I needed to talk. It made our relationship so hard that I was getting over the death of my husband while starting a new relationship with him, but it turned out ok. It turned out ok because we just kept fighting for each other. He’s never laid a hand on me and I’m confident he never will. We got married last December and now I am 35 weeks pregnant with his child. I am so happy that he didn’t give up on me. Grief is like quicksand. You just keep treading it and getting sucked back in. My current husband offered me a lifeline. Yes I still miss my late husband. No his death wasn’t easier to get over just because he was abusive. I still love him now. I love both he and the man who helped me through the darkness of death. I really don’t care what anyone has to say about me meeting my second husband on craigslist just 3 months after my first died. They don’t know my journey or my struggles. These choices are mine. I fulfilled my vow, “till death parts us.” Anyone else who has an opinion about it can kiss my @ss. I live my life for me and now for my expanding family.

  114. Susan said on May 27, 2014 at 11:16 am ... #

    My husband of 18 1/2 years died on December 3rd, 2013 after being diagnosed with cancer in July. I was at his side throughout the entire battle right up to the moment he drew his last breath. I was heartbroken and even slept with his urn. On my birthday in February, exactly 2 months after he died, he came to me in a dream and told me to please get on with my life as I was too young to stay alone. I did some soul searching and decided to try online dating. I met a few frogs before I met my prince. I met a man and started dating the end of February. We hit it off so well and he was so respectful of my feelings for my dead husband; he actually encouraged me to talk about him.
    Well fast forward 3 months and he has asked me to marry him! I never thought I could love as deeply as I do again… at times I do feel guilty but remind myself of a few things. 1- I am entitled to happiness and have not disrespected my husband in any way.
    2- I held up my end of the “until death us do part” agreement to the very end and then some.
    3- the new man in my life is NOT a replacement for my husband! I love him for who HE IS, and appreciate that he lets me grieve still when I need to. He makes sure I honor my husband by keeping reminders of him around.
    4- my son adores my new man and is okay with our plans to move forward with OUR new life.
    5- Quite simply….I have fallen in love again, surprised actually that I was lucky enough to find a SECOND love of my life.
    Maybe the fact that I WAS so happily married influenced my current happiness.
    Yes, my new love is eerily similar in many ways to my husband….they seem to have values that are the same…which is probably why he and I get along so well! Makes sense!
    Anyway, to each his own…follow your own bliss. I don’t really care what other people say or think…like everyone says I held up my end of the bargain with my husband.. I honor him every day and will NEVER forget him or not love him. He is a part of my life and always will be. But my new man is my future. We will build OUR life together.
    Most of all…I DESERVE happiness!

  115. Cheryl said on June 16, 2014 at 8:17 pm ... #

    Just over a year ago my husband of 30 years had a ‘widow maker’ heart attack. As everyone, I was destroyed. I went to counseling & grief support groups and read books on grief. I think of him everyday, but began to feel closure at the one year mark. A person I dated briefly before my husband has been calling and we had our first date. It seemed so natural and he says he has always regretted that we didn’t work out before. I had a great time but am worried about what the adult kids will say. I know they would like him and are probably worried about me getting hurt again. I am also scared of getting hurt, but this felt right. How do I discuss it with them? Part of me is so excited that I want to share that hey I’m happy for the first time in a year, but the rest of me wants to keep it a secret and not tell them. Advice please…

  116. Heather said on June 19, 2014 at 1:30 am ... #

    Thank you so much for this encouraging article! My situation was a little different in that my partner and I were not married. We had been together for only a year, he was tragically killed the day after our anniversary, but we had been living together for over six months and were both very committed to a long term relationship. He was killed at the beginning of April and in late May I began talking again to an old friend I’ve known for over four years off and on. I’ve fought the guilt and fear of what our friends and his family would say if they knew I was talking to someone. I’ve only told a very small group of my closest friends about the friendship. I just recently went to visit this friend and as he lives a great distance from me this was the first time to see him in four years. I found myself falling in love with him and at the same time struggling with feelings of self doubt and guilt. I don’t know if this is real or am I just trying to emotionally replace my partner? Because of our distance and him knowing what I’ve been through my friend wants to give us time before we place any labels on us and while he cares deeply he is not in love yet. Is this unusual or has anyone else experienced falling in love so quickly with someone from your past who you’ve cared deeply for in the past?

  117. Carla said on July 4, 2014 at 2:07 am ... #

    My husband of 12 years passed away on April 30, 2014. He was the love of my life and I miss him very much. He had a heart attack in the middle of the night and I am the one who found him. I never thought I would be considering dating again in just 2 months, but I have met a man who makes me feel alive again. I know my husband would want me to be happy, but I know his family will have something to say about me dating someone so soon. I will always love my husband, I completed our wedding vows and wish he was still here, but he is gone. I don’t plan on getting remarried anytime soon, but I am willing to open my heart to the right man.

  118. Karen said on July 25, 2014 at 9:23 pm ... #

    Thank your for your words of wisdom and encouragement to be true to ourselves. No matter how long you’ve been together, whether you were married or not, the pain and grief of losing someone you love is still the same. I was married 35 years this past July 21, my husband died November 13, 2013 a week after he was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer. To say it was a shock is an under statement. The one blessing I see in all of this is that he didn’t suffer for months or years. Me and our 3 children were with him when he died and it was quick. He is very much missed but I am getting lonely and am by myself most of the time. I feel it is a personal decision as to when you feel comfortable dating. I think I am mentally getting myself ready to venture out in the world again and writing this down helps me accept it. Thanks to all who posted, it validated some of my feelings.

  119. Judy hobbs said on July 27, 2014 at 10:22 pm ... #

    Mt husband died on 12-26-2009 we were married for 26 years. His death was sudden and on top of it day the day after Christmas. So every year after thanksgiving it starts to roll back in my thoughts. I try not to but it does and trying to not dwell on it the day after Christmas is impossible. I have not dated or even thought About it until recently. It all scares me to death. Everything has changed in the dating world since 1985. I see other widows and widowers moving forward but I don’t seem to be able to. I ask how do you do it. Not judging just don’t know where to start or how it feels, how do you make that first step. Everyone says it’s different. I don’t feel like I’m getting straight answers. I need insight from others who have been there. Please!

  120. Vicky said on August 10, 2014 at 1:09 pm ... #

    Thank you. Your story gave me a lot of hope, xx

  121. Bill said on August 19, 2014 at 5:40 am ... #

    I just lost my wife of 16 yrs on July 05 2014!

    No way am I ready to see or date anyone, I’m greiving my heart out!!!

    How can anyone have a spouse die and in just a few months be with someone else? I don’t understand that!!

    I am depressed and cry most days over my sweet baby that died with cancer!!
    I clicked on this page looking for a support group, but I don’t think I’ll get it here….. ya’ll must have been waiting for hubby to go or finding someone wouldn’t be so easy …. hummmm was he already a friend?????

    I miss my love and cry every day, do you think I’m looking for someone else? No one can replace her!!!!!!

  122. Cica said on September 23, 2014 at 9:31 pm ... #

    You bring me hope.

  123. mike said on September 27, 2014 at 9:28 pm ... #

    Just lost the greatest wife a man could ever ask for cancer is a terrible disease I find myself lost just thinking well she will be back in a little bit probably just went to the store or something then it hits me again she’s not coming home anymore we were married for 15 years lost her fight Aug 3 2014 I’m 46 years old she told me earlier that if and when she passed she wanted me to move on with my life I know it’s only been a couple of months but I just can’t imagine how I will ever find a women that will ever hold a candle to my wonderful wife! Wish there were more support groups out there I had a lot of people tell me if u need anything you just call me well them people seem to be moving on which I understand but I’m just getting left behind but I know she is in heaven watching over me and I think she will give me some tips I love you donna!!!

  124. coral said on October 16, 2014 at 10:56 am ... #

    After losing my husband 6 years ago I have been lucky to meet someone one and been dating for 9 months. I am lucky the time was right for me and my two sons. So you words have helped as I queried how could I love someone else after over 25 years of marriage. Your comments on keeping your marriage vows whilst he lived is true for me and made me think. Thank you for putting a lot of my uncertainties to rest. Coral

  125. Kate said on November 1, 2014 at 6:15 am ... #

    I just happened to click on this article….so glad I did! I have been a widow for 5 months. My husband died after a 2 year battle with brain cancer. I knew (as a nurse), he would never win this battle. The goal was to fight as long as possible. He was given 15 months and lasted 27 months. His last conversation with me was, I’m afraid you won’t move on. I feel after caring for him and knowing what was to come, I started grieving him 2 yrs ago. The cancer changed him and he wasn’t the same. I surely did not love him less. I gave him everything I had and more.I will never look to replace him. That is impossible! I am 49 yrs. old. I do want someone in my life. Curling up in a ball will not bring him back. If roles were reversed, I want him not to be alone. We have a Son and it will be difficult to introduce someone when the time is right. When that someone is special enough to do that. Bill, don’t judge other widows…there is no right or wrong here. If someone never chooses to date again, fine….that is them. Society already judges everyone on everything! Walk a mile in my shoes….this is a personal choice and no one is wrong or loves their partner less for dating again. You will find not everyone is ready to date a widow either.You will find people that don’t have the courage to come up against a ghost that you never stopped loving. Best of luck to everyone here.

  126. Nicks Widow said on November 2, 2014 at 3:17 am ... #

    I can’t believe I found this article today. It would have been mine and my late husband’s 12th Wedding Anniversary. He has been gone for 8 years now, and I am engaged with a 2 year old to my new fiancé. I will never forget my first husband and our beautiful wedding, even though I am in the process of organising my wedding to my fiance. There is a piece of my heart the lat remains locked away, belonging to my Nick. The rest is devoted to my fiancé and my children xxx

  127. Terry said on November 13, 2014 at 12:30 am ... #

    I lose my husband almost 3 years now. Nov 26 2011. We were together for 47 years. It’s hard. It was a few days after Thanksgiving We have four daughters. They are all out of the house. Yes I feel left out and along sometimes. I don’t feel like dating right now. I have issues with trust. It’s difficult to talk about this. With God’s help I know I will survive. He was a loving fathers and hus band I think my children will have a problem if I choose to move on. I think I would have that problem also.How do I start over again? I think I’m too old now to put a lot of energy into a relationship .Sometimes I ask myself where do I go from here

  128. Karina said on December 3, 2014 at 9:04 am ... #

    I lost my boyfriend of almost 5 years 3 and 1/2 months ago. We were living together during the last 2 years and were very happy (we were even trying to have a baby!). He died of a heart attack while jogging. Now at 31 years old I feel like a widow.

    Think my situation is particularly difficult because my boyfriend worked at the same place where I work, and most of the people that I know here are related to work (moved here because of it). I don’t want to feel judged in my workplace but, although I’m still sad for my boyfriend’s death, I would like to continue with my life. I would like to have a new relationship, to become in love again, to have children. Thus, I’m not sure about what to do!

  129. Scott said on December 3, 2014 at 6:46 pm ... #

    Question perhaps from a different angle. Dating a widow. 3 plus,years now. She has two young children and did take her deceased husbands name. Now when we are talking about marriage she refuses to take my name?

    Thoughts?

  130. Robyn said on December 3, 2014 at 7:15 pm ... #

    I lost my husband four months ago almost. Im 32 we have two small children. I loved John very much and his death was an accident. He was fishing late drinking fell hit his head and landed in the water, he drowned. That being said im a cna and i have i guess dealt with his passong rather well. Ill never move on but im ready to move forward. Im terrified to let my children meet the guy im seeing and yes i know its soon but this is someone who could be in my life for a long tome. I dont want to be judged by others though they will no matter what. I wish i knew what the right thing to do was.. Do i let this person meet my kids or am i dishonoring John by doing so? Sad and confused ready to live again.

  131. michelle said on December 10, 2014 at 11:30 pm ... #

    My husband died November 4th 2014. We spent 24 hour a day together. We were soul mates. We worked together and he was my world. We were married 21 years. I cry everyday for him. I can tell you I will never get over the lose of him. The people that were our friends when he was alive tell me to call if you need anything. I can see that it is uncomfortable for them and know they are hoping I don’t call. My “John” was a strong and sensitive man. He loved to cook. He was French Canadian. I miss laying next to him with my ear pressed against his back and listening to his heart beat, His smile in the morning and him making our coffee and ready for a brand new day. There is a movie that touched him and I when we watched it. Years ago. We both cried at the end. The name of the movie {“what dreams may come”} A part of me hopes and prays that the end of the movie is true. I miss my beautiful Husband. I am still in love with him. I will love you forever and ever. “Your loving wife”.

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