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I have found myself wanting to look into a new relationship. I want to think that I am ready but at the same time am unsure. I know that I eventually want to meet someone again and get into a serious relationship. How do you know you are truly ready to do this? This past 8 months has been the longest time that I have lived alone, of course I am not totally alone since I have my son, but you know what I mean. I want to be able to share life with someone again. I would like some input from those of you that have found someone again after your spouse died.

Love always

Derek

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Derek,

You will know you are ready when you start thinking about it. That is the first step...it is a gradual happening. Me, I didn't "look" for someone, but rather it just happened...he was a good friend of George's, had been for 20 years. We became close friends, helping each other through the hard stuff in life...I found myself looking forward to his phone calls more and more, I felt at ease with him. The other guys...no, I wasn't interested. But with John I found understanding, he was sweet. I have seen some people really rush into things...and get judged for it...I have seen others who have held back out of a sense of loyalty...and miss out because of it. I don't think there is a right or wrong way so much as we are all different and it's important to recognize and respect those differences. You shouldn't have a hard time finding someone at all, you are a very special person. It doesn't mean you'll click with the first person, but you will know when you do...just like you knew with Karen. I wish you the best. I too found it very difficult being so alone...I still am because John lives three plus hours from me, but at least we can see each other most weekends and talk on the phone every day, that means a lot to me. It doesn't mean I don't miss George, I do, he was very special, very unique, no one can fill his shoes...John is very different from him, I have come to appreciate all of his good qualities and when I miss those things about George that are not filled by anyone, I just consider that a tribute to him and his specialness. The main thing to remember when you begin this trek is, try very hard not to compare the two and not to expect the new person to be like Karen, because she won't be. But that doesn't mean she doesn't have something special to offer of her own. Go easy with Carson...don't introduce him to those you date...wait until it seems more of a sure thing. It's too hard for them to see people in and out of our lives. And I know you will be sure to continue spending special time with him so he doesn't feel slighted. My kids are grown but when I first started to see John, I could tell my son wasn't keen on it...my son loves George very much...I finally had to tell him that I didn't expect him to like John but I did ask him to respect my decisions, just as I've respected his. He thought for a while about that, and then he began to give John a chance, over time. This weekend they worked on vehicles and chopped wood together...that was neat to see. He knows, like I do, that John doesn't have the same personality that George did...yet he also realizes, as I do, that he doesn't have some of George's problems either. It's not about "replacing", that can't happen...it's about a new chapter or adventure in life. Good luck.

Edited by kayc
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Thank you Marty and Kay this helps put a little more light on the subject, I guess where I am is the "what is everyone else going to think?" phase. How long am I supposed to go before I start looking? I know that I cannot replace Karen, I would never intend to. I know that whoever I find will be totally different and that is how it should be. I figured that there isn't a set period of time before I start looking because like grief only we know when we are ready. I guess one of my fears is I will find someone and then just not be totally ready to go to the next stage.

Derek

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Derek,

While I cant give you any advice on the subject I can tell you I have been thinking of this as well. I am at 6 months and thought a year was sufficient that was before I had been through it. You feel lonely and hope there is someone that you can have a life with again. I ask Jason all the time to help me with this. I hope this goes well for you. Take care and God bless you and your son.

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I have also spent a considerable amount of time dwelling on this. I am 14mths out and don't want to replace Jeff, but I desperately want companionship, someone to talk through things with in a more intimate way, and then...I want more babies. So many of us here are so young and I am right now grieving the loss of the potential for more babies with Jeff and a traditional family life. I have spent the last several days so angry that Jeff isn't here to share things with, to spend a boring New Year's Eve with, to care as much as I do about every little thing Rory does, angry that Rory spent 30 hrs with my good friends because of work and he should have been home with his dad. They care so very much and so very well for him, but they aren't his dad.

Sorry to veer off course, but I think, Derek, it is natural for you to want to share yourself and your life with someone. I think I thought about it around 11 mths..but I think I am more ready now. BUT, I think what we all have to consider is that feeling might change with the first few people we meet...they might not be the right fit and, although we aren't seekign to replace our spouses, the level of companionship and intimacy we had with our spouses developed over time and won't be found right away. Or, you may find you really aren't ready or...find the second love of your life! I wish you luck on your journey and be gentle with yourself!

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Jenn,

I agree, I don't know if I am totally ready and probably won't know for the first couple of relationships. That is one thing I have told myself, that I am going to be totally open with whoever I meet. Let them know that I don't know if I am totally ready but lets see what happens. I know I cant replace Karen and also I am not looking for someone that is exactly the same. There are some things I want in my next relationship to be different than what Karen and I had.

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Derek,

Thanks for breaching the subject. Paul and I and Riley have vacationed at the same place in Florida for 12 years. On Christmas Day a good friend of mine who is 80 (I'm still in my 40s) called me. She has been in a second relationship with a man who is 86 for several years. They have always mantained seperate homes, summered together and traveled together. Their relationship is based on friendship, love and independence. I have been thinking lately that I hope to possibly find a relationship like that. While Riley is still living at home (15 years old) I don't forsee anyone being too full time in his life. He has already told me he would not like anyone I would date. Of course, that's irrational, but he idolized his father. Carson is younger...he might welcome a new female influence in his life.

Companionship is part of the human condition. I am reading a book right now called the "Spirituality of Imperfection" and it touches on the fact that everyone is a little broken in their own way, and that's OK. The theory is: I'm not OK and you're not OK and that's OK. The chapter I finished most recently deals with the fact that people want to hear their own story...to have a sense of community.

I have decided to seek out a widow support group and start there. When I mentioned it to a friend of mine she was very encouraging stating that my group of friends has tried to make things better but know they fall short because they simply haven't been there. I was touched by her honesty.

We deserve the happiness and closeness that a relationship of love and frindship can offer us. Good for you for getting in touch with that reality. you sound like a terrific person, whoever you choose would be a lucky person.

KarenH

P.S. How did Christmas go for Carson?

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lorikelly & Karen

I think that Carson will do fine with it, heck he was asking me on the way home from Florida if we were going to need to find a new mommy. Which I replied that not right now, you just can't go to the store and pick one out. Well I guess you could but you know what I mean.

Carson did real well for Christmas we were moved around to all of the relatives houses so we were busy the whole time. I want to say he mentioned Karen once but I really don't remember. I am just glad to have it behind me. I hope all is well with you all.

Love always

Derek

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Marty,

Thank you for sharing that article, I have to concur with what she said. I do find it sad that a person would limit themselves because of what others thought. It's not that I don't think what others think is important, what they think and say should be considered, but a person needs to make decisions that are right for them, decisions they will live with, not the others that are offering their free advice.

Derek,

I agree with the other things that were said here...you were brave to broach the subject, especially in this forum. It is a subject that often encounters opposition from other widowers, friends, and family members. I think you are strong enough to make your own decisions based on what you know to be right for you. I also think you are strong enough to build yourself another life, one you can more readily live with than the one of being alone. True, it may take time, but that's okay. I know that I have put great effort into my current relationship...but then I did into my relationship with George too. I in no way want to offend anyone by my having someone in my life, but neither will I stay alone and lonely the rest of my life just to please others. Everything we have gone through has been very tough and I am sorry any of us have had to go through it. I still love my husband and always will. I am glad I have someone in my life that understands that...and not only understands that but loves him too. It has made it much easier for me because John and I both miss George and grieve over him. Sometimes it's so hard to understand how he can just be gone.

I wish you the best in your continued journey...and to all of us here on this site going through this together. I wish you all a better New Year.

Edited by kayc
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Derek,

This is probably one of the most difficult issues faced by anyone who has lost their partner/spouse – especially if you have lost your loved one early in life so that the potential for another relationship is possible – if you want one. Some people have reached an age where - for whatever reason – they do not have this issue to deal with – and they do not seek – or have no desire to seek any further commitments in life.

For the rest of us – we seek to share our lives again with a new person in our lives. For me – even before Jack died - I knew I would not want to live my life alone. However alone – would be better than together with the wrong person. It always comes down to the right person. Jack and I had talked about this when we were both healthy – more or less in a kidding fashion – and never realizing that it would be something that one of us would actually have to face. I believe there was a shared feeling that each of us would not want the other to live their life alone. I know if I had died I would have wanted Jack to find true happiness again. And yet after Jack died I have found my self wanting to have someone close to share my life with – but unsure if I could ever have the same type of strong loving feeling as I had for Jack. As much as I believe I want to love again – I sometimes question if I am ready or able to make the commitment. Sometime I feel like I am looking though a “Crystal Clear Glass Window” – I can see exactly what it is I want – I can sense it – I can feel it – but when I reach out to touch it – there is that piece of glass between me and what I seem to want and desire. I can see it all – but am I capable of the emotions to make it real.?

I purposely surround myself with individuals that understand my grief – and all that it entails. I am honest and open to those who enter my life. And those who have lasted in my life are those – without exception – who are individuals that understand the intense conflicts and feelings that grief causes in ones hearts and mind. Any person who stays in my life - and any potential “new person” - will most certainly be someone who does not fear the love that I will always have for the man that was in my life for 27 years. And so the bar has been set high – and that is as it should be – at least it is for me. I feel I have enough love in me to maintain a lost love - and love again in the “hear and now”. I plan to never forget the love I had – but also to never forget that I want it again – in some fashion – repeated. The trick is in finding that special person that understands this entire – and complex voyage. And some of that trick is in finding that same special person that once existed in side myself – and allowing him to surface. And then to follow what I see so clearly through that “Crystal Clear Glass Window”.

I’m not sure what I am capable of emotionally – despite what my mind tells me. It is sometimes difficult for the mind to divorce the overwhelming feeling of the past. I believe it is a slow and evolving process that comes in bits and pieces – it’s much like grief itself – ebbing and flowing – forward and back. I believe the reality for me is that I no longer want to replace what was so special between Jack and I. Jack is simply irreplaceable to me – a mold broken and not to be replicated. But that does not mean I can’t have something as special – but different. Finding something different – but also special – is a difficult mission – but possible when the heart is ready to seek it. If it is anything like the last time – it will happen when it happens and – when it is least expected.

But I am also prepared to live my life – alone – if necessary – and surrounded by good friends and companions – as there would be nothing worse than attaching myself and my life to the wrong person. So I remain cautious – and at the same time optimistic – that life will unfold as it should – and if I am meant to experience the wonders of a loving relationship again – then the “Crystal Clean Glass Window” will vanish - and I will be able to touch – what I see so clearly in my mind.

These are my experiences – my hopes and my desires – for the future.

My best to you – and everyone on this web site – always.

John – Dusky is my handle on here

Love you Jack

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Alone is definitely always preferable than being with the wrong person. Anyone who ever enters a relationship with the grieving has to be very special indeed, someone understanding with a big heart, big enough to encompass the deceased as well. I remember reading from an author one time that talked about how she felt a little jealous of her husband's deceased wife. One day she was looking for some wrapping paper for a gift and she ran across a bunch of cards that this lady had purchased, and it totally changed her outlook...she began to notice things about her husband's dearly departed, she noticed that she had been a thoughtful caring person that clearly gave to others in her life. She decided to embrace her rather than be jealous of her.

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KayC,

What a beautiful story - and so relevant to the type of person we would all seek in finding a new love in our lives. These type of people exist - and I wish each of us that seeks new love - the ability to love again and to find one of these special people who understands our greiving heart.

Love to all.

John - Dusky is my handle on here

Love you Jack

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Marty

Thanks for those two articles. I found them both to be interesting as well as thought provoking. Although I have absolutely no interest in seeking another relationship, I am trying hard to not judge others who prefer to do so.

I cannot accept weak justifications as "natural skin hunger" as a reason for such relationships, but that is just how I am. I always was, for the past 42 years anyways, a one woman man. However, I realize that what is "right" for me is probably not right for others. Even though my Jeannie told me to carry on without her, I never was a good listener. :unsure:

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Good to see you WaltC! I guess I have to reply also, that the thought had not entered my mind about another relationship since Larry's death. After all its only been 13 months and I'm still reeling from the loss and trying to find my way thru this grief. I'm not critizing others choices, I'm just saying its not for me. Just as some have mentioned removing their wedding rings, again, I have never had that thought, and my ring brings comfort to me, but thats just the way I am. I know he is gone but my love for him remains and taking off my ring or entering a new relationship is just not possible for me at this time. Deborah

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Walt,

I agree with you partially, I don't think "natural skin hunger" as an excuse. However I do see the need for compainionship at the age of 37, I just can't see me being by myself for the next 50 years. You had 42 long and happy years, I had 11 very short years. Karen will be the love of my life forever, but I think there is room for another if I find the right one someday. I don't judge anyone for their opinions either on this subject, but I know there are a lot out there that wonder the same thing I have been wondering.

Love always

Derek

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Walt – perfectly stated for your time and place in life.

Derek – Also perfectly stated for your time and place in life.

Proof – once again that everything is relative to each individual’s personal circumstances. Certainly Walt’s view should be respected given his age and the longevity of his marriage – but that’s not to say that someone under exactly the same circumstances should be judged for finding love again in life – if that choice was made. And would it not be unrealistic for anyone to expect Derek to stop living and deprive himself of companionship - and a mother figure to Carson - at the age of 37?

The last thing any of our grieving hearts need would be for others to make arbitrary judgments of when - or if - we should love again. There are no rules to follow – only your heart. This is a personal matter to decide – with no right or wrong answer or direction – or time frame.

What a wonderful discussion – and what kind and thoughtful individuals each of you are. Bless you all – what a caring site this is for all of us.

John – Dusky is may handle on here

Love you Jack

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I wanted to make sure that no one felt judged or critized by my message earlier. I just wanted to express my experience and am in no way telling anyone here how to go on with their lives. I wish for all of us a peaceful and healing journey no matter which way it leads you. Deborah

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To Derek and Kayc and everyone else- I am new to this site. I have been reading all of the posts for quite some time but have only posted my thoughts once. I lost my husband of 31 years to a motorcycle accident on August 24, 2006. His accident was on July 12. He was in and out of coma, was paralyzed on his left side and eventually had two lobes of his brain removed. He suffered for six weeks before his body just couldn't take it any more. I, too, had a friend who both John and I had known for over 30 years. He was best man at our wedding and he was with me every moment of John's hospitalization. When John died, Ron was there for me all through the wake and funeral and for days after. Five days after I buried my husband, my mother died from kidney cancer. A week after that, my best friend's brother died. I didn't think I could go on living without these people in my life. Ron and I didn't mean to start a relationship but it felt so good just to have someone to sit on the couch with and watch TV. My marriage had been "over" for about 2 years before the accident due to alcoholism and we had separated a couple of times. But that didn't mean I didn't love him. It still hurts like hell not to have someone in the house with me or lying next to me in bed at night. After about 3 months or so, Ron filled that void in my heart, or so I thought. I realized that I was just looking for someone to replace John and that could never happen. I was at the cemetery a few days ago and had a strange experience. I had been talking to John and God, asking them to help me decide what to do with the rest of my life. A man in a pick-up truck pulled up next to me as I was getting in my car and said "It hurts, doesn't it". I said yes and then he said "you are too young and beautiful to spend the rest of your life alone. You will find love again, just not right now". That was exactly what I had been talking to my husband about. Then the man drove off and when I turned around, he was gone. That was when I made the decision to take a break from my relationship and go it alone for awhile. I have never been alone in my life and I don't know how I will handle it, but I have to try. I know how difficult it is to be alone and I pray for everyone on this site that whatever happens to them is meant to be. Some of you will find love again, others may not. But whatever comes your way, know that there are those of us who care and are going through the exact same emotions and trials. I have been to grief discussion meetings but find this forum more to my liking. I think I'll stay here and hopefully get to know some of you. The pain never goes away, but it does get better. I only cry every other day now. I have a teddy bear that John gave me and I put some of his cologne on it and sleep with that teddy bear every night. It helps. Ok, I have rambled on long enough and maybe some of this may not make sense but it helps just to put my feelings into words. Thanks to all of you for doing the same, it has helped me cope when I read some of your postings. I know we all feel the same. God Bless all of you - Mickey

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Derek,

I agree with you. I understand how some people can feel fulfilled and not have the urge to date or look for someone again. I am only 25 and I know I do not want to be alone for the rest of my life. My husband and I had this disscussion and we both agreed that if something should happen to either of us we wouldnt want the other to be alone.. I dont know if you feel this too but I feel guilty that my son doesnt have a father. That is not the reason I would start dating again but it does give me a little drive to do so. You sound like a smart and nice person and as my husband told me you deserve someone nice also.

Mickey- Welcome, You are right we can never replace our lost loved ones. I hope to someday when I am ready kind of start anew. I wish with all of my heart I could have my old life back. Well not exactly because that life didnt have my son in it, but I wish my life with my husband could be given back. After all my bargaining and begging and pleading I guess I have realized I cannot have that back. I hope things get easier for us all and if by chance we do find love again at least I know I dont want to take a single thing for granted. Take care

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Though I'm on the same page with those who've said they have no desire to even consider another relationship, I can also see where those who are younger would.

It's impossible to even consider the possibility that I could ever open myself up so completely to anyone else. We always said we'd raised each other to be just the way we wanted!

After spending 53 years with someone who I trusted without reservation; never once let me down, could practically read my mind, finish my thoughts for me, and even manage to overlook (or at least tolerate) my most annoying habits; no one else would ever measure up.

Naturally, at our age we'd talked about this subject many times. Both of us felt the same way. Even a completely different relationship could not possibly be as fulfilling as the life we'd shared together. In addition, as selfish as it may sound, at this point in my life I wouldn't want the additional burden of someone elses baggage or being held responsible for their happiness.

What I would be open to is just a simple platonic friendship. But based on past experiences of many of my friends--that possibility is about as rare as me being able to turn sixteen again. ;)

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Hi everyone. Derek, I am glad you brought up this topic; it seems alot of people have thoughts on this. I thought I'd add my perspective, although I am coming from a bit of different place. Those of you here may know my story; I lost an ex-boyfriend 10 months ago, he was 27 and I was 26 at the time. I loved him, still love him, but the relationship wasn't one that could sustain a marriage. The thought of dating wasn't on my radar but I happened to meet someone when I was at 6 months into the grieving process. We had an exceptional amount of things in common; someone on paper who looked just right for me. So we went on our first date. Two days later, his mom died. I just was there to be supportive during the first two months. Then less than three months after his mom died, his dad died and then a great aunt about a week later. Both into our grieving processes, we spent Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's together really just trying to avoid the holidays. I think we met each other at the right times in our lives. But during this time, we realized that we just are not emotionally compatible and decided to end things last week. It's so painful to have another relationship come to an end. It is bringing up the pain of losing Josh all over again. The last night I saw Josh was exactly a year ago to the day that things ended with this new guy.

I don't know if I was really "ready" or not to start dating. It just happened. I am glad though that it did happen. I am glad that our life paths came together for a few short months during a very difficult time for both of us. It definately made the holidays alot less worse than they would have been otherwise. I am glad to know that I can be interested in someone again. Since the minister at Josh's funeral told us to fill the void of Josh in our lives with hope, I have been looking for hope. Dating for a few months gave me the hope that some day I will find someone to share my life with and that it may be possible to love again. It is exceptionally hard not to compare my relationship with Josh and who he was as a person with someone new. It's a constant struggle; it's definately not easy. But through it all, I realized Josh will always, no matter what, have a special place in my heart and my life. Death cannot destroy love. Someone new would just be a very different part of my life and my heart.

So I can say that there is hope in finding new relationships if that's what we want in our lives. It's very hard but having the perspective of losing someone we loved is invaluable. We are stronger that we realize.

Many hugs to all,

Kelly

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