Let’s Talk About The D-Word

October 18, 2017

Let’s talk about the “D” word. No…the other one.

Dating.

No, I’m not dating but the general topic has been on my mind lately. I’m guessing our thoughts and feelings about this are likely as different as our grief stories – as individual as our grief. There’s no right way, no wrong way, there’s what feels right for you.

Do you want to know how and why my thoughts turned to the D-word? It happened about a month ago when a producer for a major network morning show contacted me. She was working on a segment about widows and asked that I call her ASAP as she was on a tight deadline. After I Googled her name to make sure the email wasn’t SPAM, I freaked out and nearly fainted from excitement and nerves. I finally worked up the confidence and courage to call her back. She explained she was looking for a recent (less than two years) widow who had just begun dating. She wanted to hear about the joys, the struggles, and the complexities involved.

I have to admit, I was tempted to quickly download Tinder, Christian Mingle, Match or whatever people are using these days, just so I wouldn’t miss this amazing opportunity to talk about grief and grace to more people! But, that wouldn’t be honest. DARN IT!!! So instead I explained that I was nowhere near dating. I told her I wasn’t sure I’d ever be ready. I explained how I needed to first heal my heart and work through my grief before I’d ever be able to share my heart fully with another person. Because someone worthy of dating should be worthy of my whole heart, not just a broken piece of it, right?

I suggested a new angle, still hoping this might be the big break I’ve been praying for. I wanted the chance to be honest about grief to a larger audience. I really wanted the opportunity to get real about all of it with a national audience because how many more people might feel less alone if we could just talk about grief in a truthful way? I suggested it would be an interesting angle if they booked widows at different stages of their life. One, not even close to ready (ME!), one who had just begun dating, and perhaps one who had recently remarried. She seemed to like that angle and said they’d consider it.

But, I never heard back again. This was a major disappointment but I was also a little relieved because – AGH! The Today Show!

Ever since that day, dating has been on my mind. Not in the sense that I want to date (not even close), but just the concept of it. I think about how and when this transformation happens to the widowed. I wonder if I’ll ever be in that place or if I’ll just get more comfortable with being alone.

Recently I had a very vivid dream about dating. I was on ABC’s “The Bachelor” as my current self – an overweight, 45 year old widow. I was wearing yoga pants and a #momlife t-shirt (except this wasn’t funny in the dream). Despite my age and appearance, I was really connecting with the super hunky 30-something bachelor. Ashley O., a 24-year-old dental hygienist from Chicago who loves dolphins and Pilates kept doing the “can I steal him for a minute” to me and in the end, I didn’t get a rose. Well, that dream was ridiculous. But it was proof the whole dating thing was really swirling through my mind.

Being widowed at age 44 left me in a weird spot. Not young enough to have the bulk of my life ahead of me, but not old enough to just completely settle into living out the rest of my days alone either. I feel stuck in the middle. I still have young(ish) kids to raise and that certainly is my main focus, time and energy. But also, I’m not 100% certain I want to grow old alone. That sounds lonely and scary. I mean what if I get sick? There’s no one to care for me or love me through it anymore. And then there are just the normal parts of life – the simple joys. A beautiful sunset, something hilarious on TV – these are the simple things that make me miss doing life with someone who loves me. I wish I could still share life with my husband. But wishing really doesn’t help.

When I think about maybe sharing my life again, I don’t imagine it as romantic – just a companionship thing. Maybe once the kids are grown I’d be open to a nice friend who would just do regular things with me, like sit with me at church, go to movies, out to dinner, or maybe even vacations. Nothing physically intimate, just friendship – someone to enjoy life with but then he could just go on his merry way to his own home. That’s as far open as my mind and heart are at this time. And that’s ok.

I’m also reminded of the permissions I sometimes receive from people. Friends, family, even strangers like to weigh in sometimes. I’m told that I’m young and that I’ll probably remarry one day. I think it was their way of giving me their consent and support. I suppose that’s a nice gesture? Although it always feels odd and uncomfortable when people say things like this because frankly, it’s none of their business. It also feels a little bit like pressure or an expectation of sorts. Also, maybe it’s just me, but I’m trying to mourn my husband here, so maybe we should wait awhile before bringing up the idea of a second spouse? And by awhile I mean never. If it ever gets mentioned, it should probably be by me, dontchathink?

When I hear of other widows or widowers remarrying, sometimes soon after the death of their spouse, I am genuinely happy for them. I’m not judging their decisions or their timelines. I can appreciate and celebrate their new love and happiness without feeling like I need to follow suit. If you’ve remarried or started dating – good for you! I mean that. It’s just not where I’m at on my timeline.

All of this pondering of dating after loss makes me really miss my husband. I miss him holding my hand, putting an arm around my shoulder, or a quick kiss on the cheek. I miss talking to him about my day. I miss him worrying about me – calling to make sure I’m safe when I’m on the road or making sure my windshield wipers are in good shape and that there’s plenty of air in my tires. And I certainly miss sharing parenting with him. The joys, the frustrations – all of it! But for me, that’s not a good enough reason to pursue a new relationship. My heart is still his. I’m missing him too much to be fully present with someone else.

When I think about the possibility of eventual companionship, the thoughts aren’t sexual at all. What I miss is the loving human touch from the person that loved me. The person who knew what I looked like without makeup, but loved me anyway. I miss the comfort of loving a person that accepted all of my flaws, both the personality ones as well as the physical ones. A warm, secure hug on a really bad day or reassuring words to build me up or calm me down. Hearing someone say, “I love you.” These are the things that are so hard to live without.

But let’s continue this imaginary scenario. Let’s say I did start dating one day -what do I have to offer someone? I’m a middle-aged widow with a broken, barely healing heart, stretch marks, a C-section scar and some new gray hairs. A stressed out, overweight single mom who wears a bite guard at night and pines for her dead husband – sounds like an awesome dating profile! Ha. I’m sure that honest description would attract some real winners.

Even if I did meet someone wonderful, I think I’d be so afraid they’d get sick and die too. I feel like I’d have to witness a full blood panel, PET scan and MRIs to make sure it was safe. And that’s ridiculous, further proving I’m not in the right heart or head place to date.

Maybe someday I’ll feel ready for dating. Or maybe I won’t ever be in that place. Maybe someday The Today Show will call again. Or maybe they won’t. For now I’m just going to keep on working on the most important things in my life. I’ll continue trying to raise healthy, honest, compassionate and happy kids who grow up and are more than okay. I’ll continue writing and working to build this into a business to support my family and help others in the process. And I’ll keep working on me. That includes being in-tune with the work God is doing in me right now. Every time I study His word I can feel that He’s working on me. Preparing me for something, although I don’t know what yet.

I know He’s prepared a future for me. He has a plan for my life – and for yours too. He promises it’s a good plan!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

So I’m going to trust Him on that. I’m going to work on me, by focusing on Him. And if that means I never date, or if I someday date, I’m ok with that. If it means I never have the chance to take Extra Grace Required to a national morning show or am denied publishing a book– that will just have to be ok too.

I know you’re all in different places in your grief. I almost feel guilty even bringing up dating because I know some of you are raw with grief, but I also know there may be some who are exactly where I am. I suspect there are some of you with tons of grief experience too. You’ve already traveled through these emotions and can offer us the important further down the road perspective.

I’d love to hear from all of you. Whether you’ve dated, remarried, or if you’re in the same place I am – what’s it been like? What are your thoughts on the subject? Leave me a comment and let me know where you are with the D-word. I learn so much from each of you and read and love every single comment you leave. Thanks for being here, and for sharing your hearts with me. There’s so much comfort airing all the uncomfortable pieces of grief, don’t you think?

Extra grace,

Jodi

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30 Comments

  • Reply Tammy Sparks October 18, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Great post! I don’t have personal dating story, but my dad was a widower at 47, Mom fought cancer for 20 yrs, so his grief story is different. But he was ready and seemingly on the prowl months after my mom died, which angered me! Two-three yrs later he married again. But the great thing about their marriage is we talk freely about my mom with my “step-mom”. She’s very open to the fact that my dad was in a 25 yr loving relationship with my mom. They even use the same bed my parents used. (I questioned this to my dad….he just said Becky is mature enough to understand these type of things….and she is very logical and practical in her approach. In short, she probably doesn’t overthink it. Which I’d have a hard time with some of those things. I don’t think it boils down to maturity….it’s more perspective, I believe). It’s very freeing to be able to talk about my mom, her things that are still in the house, funny stories and memories, even my mom’s faults and crazy things she did. We just laugh and cry and Becky joins in…. I call her my bonus-mom.

    • Reply Extra Grace Required October 18, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      Thank you, Tammy. I appreciate hearing your experience – from a daughter’s perspective. The road is so very different for everyone, that’s for sure. I’m so glad your Dad found companionship w/Becky and that you have found joy in that relationship too while still remembering your Mom’s life. Thanks for being here.

  • Reply Heather Egstad October 18, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Hi sweetie, first off, I LOVE your articles, they are extremely helpful with a hint of comedy, that warms my heart. Secondly I started dating almost 4 years after the death of my husband. It was amazing. He was a classmate that I hadn’t seen in 23 years. We dated when we were 20 and it was amazing, but being young and dumb, he just disappeared without an explanation. Cut to 2016 he contacted me on Facebook and we picked up right where we left off. It felt like no time had passed. When we reconnected, I knew he had cancer but thought he’d be ok. He was taken from me 10 glorious months later, so here I am broken again. I loved and will continue to love these men with all my heart til the day I die. I can’t date anymore because I know my heart can’t take the pain. I am 44 and have a 14 year old daughter and a 12 year old son. It’s not fair to put them through that again. Luckily they only met my boyfriend 1x. He lived in Alaska, which I’ve been to several times, and we live in Minnesota. I never took them to Alaska to see him but he did come here on one occasion when he was feeling good. Its kind of a catch 22, there is always the chance something may happen but it may be a chance for chapter 2. It’s all in how you feel. Each person is different. Good luck ❤

    • Reply Extra Grace Required October 18, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Thank you, Heather! You’re so sweet. I’m so sorry you lost your husband. I appreciate that you shared your experience with us – it helps! I’m sorry that putting your heart out there caused more pain. I guess that’s always the risk when we love others. I’m so glad you’re here!!

  • Reply Sandra Bruce October 18, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Yesterday marked the 4 1/2 year since I began my journey. We were married for 32 years before Bill passed away. I am older than you but totally agree with what you have written. I will say no one has asked me if I will ever get married again. It would be nice to have someone just to go out with as you said as a friend…someone to sit with at church…or go to a movie with but no strings or expectations of any sort. That may come along some time and it may not. I look at the example of my grandmother who was a few years older than I was when she lost her husband. She lived almost 22 years by herself and never once considered remarriage.
    I really enjoy your blog. Though I am farther along in my journey, much of what you say is still true even at this point in my life.

    • Reply Extra Grace Required October 18, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      I’m so sorry you lost Bill. I am thankful you shared your story here. I guess none of us really know our future – regardless of our age or how long it’s been. We just have faith there IS indeed a plan and that God loves us. Thanks for commenting, Sandra!!

  • Reply Barbara McCarthy October 18, 2017 at 10:36 am

    AS ALWAYS A VERY THOUGHTFUL & INSIGHTFUL POST….I have been a widow for 15 years…have a beautiful home, wonderful kids (2 both adults) a great dog and a fabulous job…I started dating an old friend…the love of my life….18 months after my husband died…not everyone was pleased, but for me it helped me get over the hard parts of being alone…we were comfortable together since we had known each other for over 40 years…he was in the process of getting divorced…I knew his wife & children…they HATED me….which added another layer of drama & tension…we traveled, laughed,..went out to eat…and enjoyed each other…and THEN I found out he was cheating on me with another friend’s widow…she was retired and could pick up and go whenever he wanted to travel…with my job I just couldn’t…so NOW I am 67 years old…back in the grief process….my heart is broken….and I will NEVER date again….I know my heart cannot take anymore…I am beyond shattered…I have learned and grown and am going to keep moving forward with the intention of keeping my heart safe….I am so sorry if this is a Debby Downer post….

    • Reply Extra Grace Required October 18, 2017 at 2:32 pm

      Thank you, Barbara! I appreciate your comment so much! I know it must not have been easy sharing your story with us, but i’m so glad you did. It is so helpful to see all of the ups and downs we all go through. I’m so sorry your heart is broken again – it’s the risk we take when we love. You aren’t a Debby Downer – you’re being honest and I appreciate that so much. Thank you for reading, and for your brave comment.

  • Reply Kara Meech October 18, 2017 at 10:51 am

    I understand exactly where yr at its been a little over a yr I am also an overweight, 44 yr old mom, I haven’t even come close to dating,my thoughts learn towards no way, but have had friends and people tell me yr young yet,you don’t want to be alone the rest of yr life. I wish they would stop I know they mean well,but I wish they would stop,because I am not sure I will ever be ready

    • Reply Extra Grace Required October 18, 2017 at 2:34 pm

      Kara – thanks for sharing that with us! One day at a time, right? Maybe someday…maybe not But either way, there’s proof just in this thread that you’re not alone. I’m happy you’re here.

  • Reply JJ October 18, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Hi Jody! I’ve been following your story and for the first time, feel compelled to comment. Thank you for giving voice to so many emotions that I have had, though I am often unable to articulate them. I was widowed at the age of 46, left with children ages 16, 14, and 11. Though I am more than 8 years down the road, the pitfalls are still around and challenges are ever-present. Currently, working on winterizing my home for the inevitable. Dating is also on the list of challenges.. I’ve made some mistakes, in the interest of not having to be alone, and even though I would love to be able to go back and change some of them, I have learned from all of them and have to admit that I am more independent as a result. I’ve learned that dating has it’s own set of pitfalls, especially in a dot com world. I hope you are able to get the larger audience for “us.” that you seek. I often feel like we are in a very small group of pioneers.

    • Reply Extra Grace Required October 18, 2017 at 2:36 pm

      I’m so glad you DID comment! It let’s me know you guys better when you comment and it helps ME feel less alone too! Wouldn’t it be awesome if we had a network of EGR readers locally so we could meet up and help each other with the sucky tasks like winterizing? That would be a dream come true. Maybe someday if enough people gather here we can work on that. So many tasks that would be so much better with friends who “get it.” Thanks so much for commenting – I hope you’ll stick around and maybe comment again sometime.

  • Reply Danna Hope October 18, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Tears are rolling down my face as I write this right now. I cannot tell you how much your blocks have helped me in my grief Journey. I was also 44 when I unexpectedly lost my husband two cardiac arrest. I am now left raising a 10 year old girl and have a 19 year old daughter. I can so relate to hating the d word. I have read numerous grief books and when I get to that section I simply close the book because I cannot go there or even think of it it disgusts me. Thank you for being so honest and sharing your heart with other widows. I hope one day we can meet face-to-face and love on each other. God bless you.

    • Reply Extra Grace Required October 18, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      Danna – thank you for your comment. I loved it! i feel the same way – wish I could hug every one of you. Tell me what book has been your favorite grief book! i have a small collection going too.

  • Reply Libby Peay October 18, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Jodi, again, you have blessed me with your thoughts and words. If you ever get to the Today Show, you can take me as the “NO NO NEVER” widow as far as dating goes. I am 76 and lost my sweet hubby 8 months ago; but he was sick for several years. I sometimes think I “can’t do this”, but I know I have no choice. It is like living in a nightmare; but it is real. BUT I have a faithful God who I know will never forsake me and yes, Jeremiah 29: 11. That is where my strength and peace lie and I am so thankful. Also am thankful for you. Don’t stop sharing!! Love you!

    • Reply Extra Grace Required October 18, 2017 at 2:39 pm

      And I am thankful for YOU, Libby! YOU bless me. Thanks so much for commenting. If we all lived nearby we could go to church and movies together – problem solved. =-) I’m so glad to know you’re relying on the God who has it all in His hands. That doesn’t always mean it’s easy – but I can’t imagine tackling it without Him. Thanks for being here. Sending a hug and a prayer your way.

  • Reply Karen Drummond October 18, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    I am 4 1/2 years out from the dreadful day and have decided to date. I’m lonely. I miss being touched, kissed and just having someone to talk to. But the dating pool — not so good. I’m not a supermodel but don’t need a bag over my head either but I am over 60 and the men are looking for 45-55 women who look like Cindy Crawford. I have been scammed, lied to and hurt but like you — I believe God has a plan. What it is — not sure. He hasn’t shown me yet. But what I do know, I will live each day the best I can. And yes, I still have days that bring me to my knees, crying and sobbing for the one person who loved me — warts and all.

    • Reply Jo Ellen Towry October 19, 2017 at 7:59 pm

      I so understand..

  • Reply Sue McAulay October 18, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    Jodi, I love that you share your “life” with us. I’m older than you (60) but feel very much the same way about dating. I’m not ruling it out, but need someone to except me as I am. Wrinkles, a few gray hairs, a bite guard at night, glasses, etc…
    I think I would like someone for companionship-and maybe more at some point. (I don’t have children so that’s not a worry I have, about them accepting someone new and all.) I miss someone to laugh and joke with, the inside jokes my hubby and I had. Going out to dinner or a movie, or concert….etc. I don’t think I’d get married again, but I never say never. I’m in no hurry, it’s was just a year ago, (9/28/16) that I lost my husband to cancer. If I could meet a guy that has lost his spouse and understands all the mixed emotions-well, that would be great. But I guess when and if the time is right-it will happen.
    Thanks again and keep on blogging!

  • Reply Cathy October 18, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    It is all so new to us, It sounds like we are struggling with our singleness, because our soulmates were so important to us. Can I assume the deeper the love we had, the harder our grief journey is. We are missing love, affection, companionship and laughter and help with our homes, kids, etc. Wondering if we might find that joy again. I lean on scripture from James 1: 2-4

  • Reply Beth October 18, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    I so trust is God’s plan for me and my life and I am OK with that.
    I was widowed the first time at 49 years old with two daughters
    In high school. Then God blessed me with a most wonderful Godly
    and gentle man. I had six children who loved him dearly for who
    he became in our lives. I always felt it was a “second chance” at
    love in my life. He was 4 years older than I was and before our
    13th anniversary, God called him home. I have no regrets….so grateful
    God allowed them both to be in my life. Would I do it again? Only if
    it would be God’s plan!

  • Reply Linda Pryce October 18, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    My husband of 47 years died June 2016 and I still miss him so much. Some people have asked me why I still wear my rings(I still feel married) and have I thought about dating(not really, I still feel married). I think they are concerned about my “aloneness”. Like you I miss my husbands touch, his sweet comments about how nice I looked or concerns about my safety. I’m 67 and the thought of living the rest of my life alone is not appealing but I know I’m not ready to jump into dating just to fill that hole in my life. That would be a huge mistake. I may never be ready. I know God has a plan for me so I will be patient and see where He leads me. I’m so glad I found your website, it is a blessing to me.

  • Reply Debbie Rae Canavan October 19, 2017 at 12:00 am

    Hi Jodi. This was a thought-provoking post for me. I’m with you in feeling like being alone for the rest of my life feels awful, but so does the thought of starting all over again with someone new. I can’t imagine living life as I did with Steve, with someone else. For all of us who feel that way, though, we need to realize we’re saying that without a love in mind. There’s no one’s face we’re imagining as we say that…except, maybe, the face of the one we’ve loved and lost. Which makes the idea of dating and loving again all the more unimaginable! I know better than to say never but it is truly beyond what I can imagine right now, today, 17 months out.

    The fear of loving and losing again is very real also. Can’t imagine it. To those who have experienced it, you are so brave. So very very brave.

    And I’m very much with you on “you really shouldn’t bring up the subject of remarriage if I haven’t!” Honestly, so awkward! I think it’s said to be encouraging but it’s just not. The people who’ve said it say it in this very wise, all-knowing tone that, I’m sorry, just rubs me the wrong way! I don’t know why I find it so offensive but I do. Like, was the loss of this person so insignificant that I can just go out and replace him when I feel like it?!?!

    I’ve known widows who date and even remarry quickly. I don’t judge that if everyone’s in a healthy place. But it is concerning to me; it concerns me because it would be so easy to just want to feel something different than this awfulness that
    you go find a new love and just trade one set of intense feelings for another. And then have heartbreak. I can really see why grieving people might get involved in some really self-destructive behaviors—just in an effort to feel something different than THIS. I feel such tenderness for those who have gone down such a road, for all the extra there is to overcome now. But there is always grace…Extra Grace!!

    One of my favorite books so far, while not written from a faith perspective, is Happily Even After, by Carole Brody Fleet. I found her to be very relatable. And she really helped me get my head around the term “widow.”

    Keep truckin’ girl. And hey, that call from The Today Show was just practice. Your call is coming.

    If you haven’t seen my post from Monday, Rivers and Oceans, take a look when you get a chance (The Canavan Connection). I would be very interested in your take on it, on how our grief journeys are similar or different.

  • Reply Laynee October 19, 2017 at 1:24 am

    A dear friend who lost her husband suddenly in a tragic accident two years ago forwarded your blog to me. She has been reading it for some time now. I think you are right-on with your perceptions of life as a widow.

    Today is the tenth anniversary of my first husband’s death from cancer. We were married over 32 years. I was 54 when he died. Our three children were in their twenties when their dad died.

    I have tried to be a comfort and encourager to my friend, who was also injured in the accident that killed her husband. I attended Grief Share with her, thinking I was helping her. I found that the Grief Share I attended two years ago was extremely helpful for me, even eight years after my husband’s death. I highly recommend that anyone grieving take advantage of this wonderful free resource, usually offered by trained professionals at churches and community centers.

    I wish I had known to attend Grief Share ten years ago when I was floundering like a ship lost at sea with no anchor or support. After my husband died, I was so alone. The grief was overwhelming. I had no one to turn to for support. To make matters worse, we were expecting our second grandchild, a boy, who would be his late grandfather’s namesake. The baby was born too soon and died too. His ashes were scattered on the grassless soil of my husband’s grave eight months after we buried my husband.

    That death precipitated a negative downturn for my sanity and my faith. I turned my back on God. I no longer cared what happened to me. I started online dating which resulted in several relationships that only lasted a few months, each. I ended up married about two years after my first husband’s death. That marriage only lasted a couple years. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would ever be divorced. Also, during the marriage and divorce, my parents, my nephew and another baby grandson died. I was near the end of my rope.

    After the divorce, I felt like the prodigal daughter, crawling back to God, begging for forgiveness and relief from ALL the pain I had been through. I had reached the bottom of the barrel. I secluded myself away and cried and prayed daily for months.

    God’s arms were open wide, like the good Father that He is, waiting for me to enter into the rest and comfort only He can give. But, I was done with men.

    Then, a man I attended college with, whom I only knew by name, contacted me on an alumnae site. We wrote back and forth for several months, began talking on the phone, and met for lunch. We dated for nearly two years, then married. It’s not perfect, as no marriage is. But, for me, having a husband and companion to share life with has helped me find a place of contentment and peace.

    There will always be a sadness over the loss of my first husband and the other close family members I lost in a short period of time. But I can will myself to keep putting one foot in front of the other for the sake of those who are still with me on this earth. They need me, and I need them. And that love will sustain me until God calls me home.

  • Reply Kristin L Flanders October 19, 2017 at 8:04 am

    I am 5 months into my grief journey. My husband and I were together for 8+ years and married for just over 4. I would like to find love again at some point although I cringe at the thought of the “dating” part. Mike was a great example for me of moving forward and allowing your heart to be open to love. His first wife died in 2008. The three of us were friends and worked at the same place. I knew how very deeply he loved Melanie and how totally shattered he was when she died. As a friend, I stepped up to make sure he was taking care of himself and his daughter (13 at the time). Soon we were spending lots of time together and realized we really enjoyed each other’s company, etc. I am sure it started as a case of easing the loneliness but there came a point where the love between us began to blossom. We had our struggles and issues as neither of us were(are) perfect. We spoke of Melanie a lot the first couple of years but Mike NEVER made me feel like he was comparing me to her. He was able to allow his heart to be open and receive the love and give back. All the people in our small town know how very much he loved me when he died. And I am so thankful for the example he has set for me. BUT ~ I do know that if there should be another man come into my life, this time I want to be in God’;s will. I want him to love God first and foremost and share that spiritual journey with me. So I will work on myself and enjoy life until God sees fit (if he ever does) to bring the right man into my life. I have a lot of love left to give and would really like to share it with someone…but not at the expense of my peace with God.

  • Reply Cheryl October 19, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Jodi: I appreciate you bringing up this topic. My boyfriend died suddenly just over a year ago. We had been dating 8 years. I’m 63, overweight. With Leo gone, I find the loneliness overwhelming at times. I bought a 6 month subscription to Match.com 6 months after Leo’s death. I have met no one. Most men are looking for younger and slender. Even the widowers. For all that Match.com advertises, it’s difficult to interact with those “chosen” for me. So I have reassessed what I want, and I’d rather be alone than start anew with someone. And online dating sites don’t work for me. While I miss the affection, the conversations, the sharing of ideas and experiences, I will survive and forge a new way of life on my own. I wish you the opportunity to find your new way.

  • Reply Trisha October 19, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    I was widowed 2 months after I turned 39. I’m now in my 13th month of my grief journey. It has been one heck of an emotional roller coaster ride! I met my husband 3 days after my 18th birthday and moved in with him 2 weeks later and we lived happily ever after until his mc accident last year. He was the only love and life I ever knew. Our (only) daughter, whom just turned 20, gave me her blessing to date/re-marry on day 3 of our loss. I couldn’t even go there in my mind when she mentioned it, but it was nice to hear from her that she would be open to the idea in the future. I ended up finding some companionship with a male friend around month 5. As early as that sounds it does NOT mean I don’t love my husband, in fact I am still IN LOVE with him. Although I was up front and honest about my feelings, or the lack thereof for anyone other than my husband, our relationship became very complicated because of my grief. He has and remains to help me in so many ways as I continue on my journey. Just as we all have different personalities, we all grieve differently, and we all need something different to help us thru. I still can’t see myself remarried EVER – but that could change. I never saw myself dating either, especially that early on. I still wear my wedding ring on my finger and his ashes and wedding ring around my neck. I am glad to have found the companionship and friendship that I have – it has helped tremendously. I will say that I agree with your comment “Because someone worthy of dating should be worthy of my whole heart, not just a broken piece of it, right?” It truly isn’t fair that I cannot give him my heart as he would want, however, he is patient and understanding, and that’s all I can ask for. I believe it takes a certain special individual to partake in any type of relationship with a widow/widower at any stage of their grief journey. I do not have the answers, so all I can do is take this new life one day at a time. As I tell my friends, “I got this! I do, but I don’t; I don’t, but I do”. May you all find happiness again in your own way, in your own time, with or without another companion/friend.

  • Reply Shirley Shelbourn October 21, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    I am with you totally happy for someone who has remarried but not for me yet anyway. We are all so different in so many ways and certainly in widowhood also. It will be 6 years Monday when my husband died.

  • Reply Cathy October 24, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    The timing of your post could not have come at a better time. My sweet Don went home with Jesus 18 months ago. We had been married for 47 years and best friends even longer. Your words describe exactly how I feel.
    In the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about taking off my wedding rings and I’m not even sure why. Everything you wrote is exactly what has been running through my brain. “Everyone” tells me I’ll meet someone because I don’t look my age and I’m attractive but the thought of dating or even going out to dinner makes me nauseous. God has shown me several times in the last two weeks that He has a plan and He’s with me so I just don’t need to worry about if or when I take off my rings. I ‘m not alone. God is with me and I’ll wait and see what’s in store for me.
    Thank you for your blog. I’ve found great comfort in your words.

  • Reply Kerry McKim November 16, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    I love this post. 15 months out and I haven’t started dating yet but I have thought of the same fears about being a widow a second time. I am a little bit younger 39 (widowed at 37,) with a 3 year old. Not sure where dating could fit in.

    And don’t worry. You’re chance to be on TV will come! I know it.

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