What I got instead was an unlikely best friend who'd helped me look after George.My friend was a movie buff, belonging to several film societies. He'd stop by my house some evenings "to avoid rush hour." A few months after George's death, things between us became physical.I spoke on a general panel about loss to suicide and co-facilitated a break-out group for those who have lost partners/spouses. Wouldn’t tell someone to adopt a random older person to act as their parent. It was clear in the months after my late husband’s death – the questions about if I was ready for a set up or a profile. Of course boyfriends and girlfriends are totally replaceable…), it is expected that the pain ends when you replace the person you lost. People actually think your lost love can be replaced. Never once told me my late husband needs to be excised from my life. I relish the thought of being able to introduce his family to my children in person one day – not just through email and social media.
I'd been my husband George's caregiver as he'd succumbed to cancer. If you'd asked me then, I would have said that I'm fifty, I have 32 years of memories, I'm not interested in sex. I thought I might get a cat, once I was ready to take care of anything again.I spent a ton of time with my sister and her kids in the months after my loss. Plenty of guys would want to take you out.” Because being with the girl who cried at anything and everything, couldn’t hold down food and whose hair was falling out due to stress was such a hot ticket? It was because we made a decision that we wanted to walk this life together – not because we had to. The amazing, the heartbreaking, the highs and lows and everything in between. But so many people expect widows and widowers to forget. Not that I ever used it as an opening line but when people asked why I left Colorado, I was supposed to just make up a story? Because we didn’t have children together, people also just expect me to forget. I have no ties to him, so why should I care so much? So please don’t do that to me or any other widows and widowers.Something about being with her babies just made life seem worth living. Forget about the fact she lost the person she relied on and loved the most? It mainly hurt because to me, your partner/spouse is the person who represents the most intimate of relationships. Usually, and because as a third party reproductive attorney I know there are exceptions, but usually you don’t (and can’t) pick your parents. If we are lucky enough to find love again, it’s because our hearts are big enough for space to be shared.I would be a "good girl" again, finding someone I loved and who loved me back, getting into a proper relationship, and having sex only after an appropriate amount of time. (I still do.) But, I realized that whatever I did couldn't affect him. I owed it to myself and to him to be healthy and careful, but my private life was up to me. I was still seeing a few other guys, too, but I had started to feel different: I wanted to feel strongly about the person I was with.I was tired of having experiences for their own sake.
Within a week I'd stopped dating anyone but my boyfriend. My reawakening since my husband died really surprised me.