Couple of weeks ago I was chatting with a widow friend of mine. She was in tears because her husband’s best friend had chastised her for dating again. She was also enraged because, her husband’s so called best friend, had not spoken to her since the funeral but felt the right to tell her she was a slut for dating so soon. Note, her husband died over a year ago.This is not the first time I have heard of this phenomenon . There is mandatory waiting period to start dating imposed on us who have lost a spouse. Also our friends seem to disappear after death. This is like a second loss. Personally, I have lost very few friends after Molly’s death. The ones who I have cared about not only have stuck around, they have been a major source of support for us and those who have avoided me, let’s just say….. good riddance and don’t let the door hit you in the ass.
Now going back to the widow dating taboo. Why is it that a person who has lost a spouse is not allowed to date again? Are we somehow cheating our dead spouse? Don’t we deserve to love again? Haven’t we suffered enough? My friend’s pain, forced me to conduct an unscientific survey so I started asking a few of my friends how they felt if I started dating.
To my surprise even though most supported the idea of me dating again, almost all felt it was too early, though none had a specific start date. Another huge surprise was that almost all were in favor of me dating multiple people than being in a serious relationship. When I spoke to my widowed friends all have had the similar experience when they started dating. Everyone of them was told it was too early, even two years after the death of their spouse.
This made no sense to me until I spoke to a professional grief counselor. It seems that this is part of the grieve process. I lost my wife, but they lost their friend. They are still grieving her loss, and dating seems like betrayal to them. The idea of serial dating is less threatening than a serious relationship.
Again, this is just my two cents. We will never forget our dead spouse. There are reminders of them everywhere. Hell I haven’t even been able to clean out Molly’s closet. I look at her daughters everyday, and more and more I see Molly in them. Those of you who haven’t watched cancer destroy your loved one, it’s painful. Worst, I have to live with the fact I couldn’t protect my children from seeing it. Image of Madison walking her mom to bed few days before she died is forever etched in my mind. I can never forget her, and have no intentions to do so.
Tomorrow is Valentines day, and this year while you are having a romantic dinner with your loved one, remember some don’t have their valentine anymore. If they are trying to take a chance on happiness again, don’t judge them. try to support them. They deserve to be happy again.