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justkaren2

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Hi everyone:

I wonder if any of you have started dating after the death of your loved ones.  My Richard died on May 3, 2007 of a massive heart attack.  He was only 48 years old.  I was with him for four years (the only man I dated after the end of my 20 year marraige), and we were planning on getting married ...just waiting for my daughter to graduate from high school since his business was too far away for him to live with me, and we didn't want to uproot her from school  It was one of those crazy, passionate fiery loves.  I simply could not get enough of him and it was apparent to anyone that saw us together how much we loved each other...people commented all the time.

When he died, I went a little crazy.  I was drunk for probably 8 days...trying to do anything to escape the pain.  Two days before his funeral, his ex-wife called to let me know that Richard was seeing someone else.  I couldn't believe it at first, but now I do.  You know...all of those little signs that you chalk up to something else?  I know why he was with her...I had broken up with him for a few months...but he told me that he really liked her, but did not love her and was not seeing her.  I believed him.  I never thought that man would lie to me.  But he did.  I know that things had changed the week before he died.  He asked me to become involved in the finances of his business (his baby) and I was to meet with his accountant the day after he died.  I know he loved me.  The last thing he did was to call me as he collapsed.

I was so hurt, so very very sad and then that evolved into anger.  So I went through about six weeks of crying every day, sometimes all day...lost a ton of weight and looked like a skeleton.  I just wanted to die.  My daughter loved him, too.  They loved each other and  I decided I had to pull it together and start living again for her sake.  I was so angry.  Why should I mourn for a man that cheated on me?  Well, because I loved him so very, very much...and despite everything, I know he loved me.  And, now, in retrospect...I really don't know anything about the relationship he had with this woman.  But I do know that he felt guilty (the signs I was telling you about) and that is enough for me to know that it wasn't a strictly platonic friendship.  So, I decided to start dating.  After all, I will never feel better about Richard's death.  I will always be sad.  I will always miss him.  It will never get better...so why wait?

I met a man two weeks later...David.  And he asked me to marry him.  I know you will probably think this is nuts, but I think Richard sent him to me.  David and I both believe that we would not have appreciated or recognized the rightness of each other just six months before we met.  My relationship with Richard taught me so much.  Despite what I've said here about Richard, he was a good man.  I did him wrong when I broke up with him (over money...what a fool I was) and he said he was having a hard time trusting me.  I think he had finally come around...thus asking me to become involved in his business.

Anyway, I'm rambling.  Has anyone gone on to have successful relationships even though they are still madly in love with their deceased mate?

I'm afraid.  Thinks feel so right with David, but I'm afraid.  Every time I try to analyze why...all of the reasons I am afraid, I come back to the conclusion that I am right to create a new life with him.  But still I remain troubled.

Any thoughts from anyone that has been there?

Thanks,

Karen

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I'm sorry.  I actually didn't mean to start a new topic.  But I do think it may be a worthy one.  The conflict that I feel...happy with plans with the new man, then floored with emotion because of the memory of the old. 

David was very supportive at first when I cried, then one day, he said he was having difficulty with my 'ongoing relationship with Richard'.  I cried in a movie when one of the characters died...they were viewing the body in the hospital...just like I did with Richard and David said "It's difficult for me to see my girlfriend pining away for another man"  And he's right.  I understand his feelings, so now I hide it from him. 

I don't think this sadness will ever go away, no matter how hard I try to continue 'living' after Richard died.  I really, in my heart of hearts, just want to be with him.  But I have to live, and if I have to live, I don't want to do it alone.

I am so confused.  Perhaps this is the wrong place to discuss this, but there must be some of you that are venturing into new relationships after the love of your life has died and find this board a safe place to discuss your feelings for your lost love.

Oh my, and here come the tears.  I miss you, Richard.

I'm sorry.  Perhaps this is the wrong place for this, but thanks for allowing me to post.

Peace out.

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I am engaged to a wonderful man.  My husband shot himself two years ago, and I feel like I have mourned enough.  I too felt that my husband "sent" this man to me at the right time.  He was an old friend I had not seen in 25 years, but yet we still "sparked" and knew right away we were suppossed to be together.  Now, I really did my grief work over the last 2 years.  I have no guilt or misgivings at all about loving this man.  I wrote him a letter about the hole in my heart that will always be with me.   I believe he understands how I will always love and miss my husband. Life goes on with us or without us, it is up to us to decide if we will participate.  My advice to you is to be sure you have grieved as much as you need to.  Only you know if you have.  Don't let anyone rush you.  Peace

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How do you know when you have grieved "as much as you need to?".  I will never be the same.  I will never be done grieving.  What is enough? 

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Well. to me, I felt like I had reached some sort of acceptance of my new life or new normal when I had more good days than bad.  The over whelming saddness and misery just wasn't happening as often.  Then finally, one day I felt like I used to before my husband died.  I felt like I was really alive, not just existing for my children.  I will never stop missing my husband.  He and I were together for 23 years, that is half of my life.  I know what it is to be happy and fulfilled in a loving relationship.  My fiance has not expierenced a true love relationship like my marriage was.  We have talked about it alot, and he is a bit jealous of me about my marriage.  I am thrilled that I get the opportunity in this second half of my life to share in another loving relationship.  Maybe saying you will never be done grieving is a sure sign that you are not.  I felt the same way and here I am today happier than I ever thought possible.  I know you are probably sick of hearing this, but it is true...time.  It takes time to heal all the pain.  Again, no one can tell you how long it will take for you.  We are all different in that respect.  Peace

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Hi girls, I too have started a new relationship. My husband died almost 2 years ago. I have known this man for several years - my husband and I were friends with he and his wife. He has been with me since Steve's death. We didn't start "dating" last Feb.  I don't feel like I am over Steve by any stretch but, I also don't ache for him on a daily basis. I miss him all of the time but it doesn't hurt so much anymore. I wanted to ask Sidvis how did you know that you wanted to marry your new man? My boyfriend talks about our future and he wants marriage and commitement and I honestly just don't feel like I need that. I am happy to be with him and I feel like I am committed but I don't need to be married again. He is STILL going through a really nasty divorce where she cheated on him for several years so I know that he has alot of issues surrounding that and I don't know if that is part of the reason that I am afraid to get married. I don't have any desire to be with anyone else or to look for anything else, I am content as we are. Any thoughts? Lisa

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He and I have a history, though brief, it made a lasting impression on me.  Why do I want a marriage with him?  I want companionship.   I want to be in a committed relationship.  My marriage was a good one. I know what that feels like and I miss it.  I will be 50 on my next birthday, and I am feeling that I am in the last half of my life.  This man makes me so happy in all the ways that I never thought I would be able to expierence happiness again after my husband died.  To be so devastated and yet to come back and be able to feel love again is such a miracle to me.  I believe so strongly that God had a hand in this, and so does my dear fiance.  I read a quote from another man who married a widow.  He said something like this, I can't quote it exactly, "Perhaps we have lived long enough to accept paradox.  Let us just say, we have lost.  Now we love,  and we are grateful."   Peace

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sidvis:  That is a beautiful quote (well, derivation of a quote...lol).  I echo your feelings about not wanting to be alone for the rest of our lives, nor do I believe that our deceased loves would want us to be. 

I'm not certain that the experience is the same for others, but my new love does not compete with my love for my Richard.  It is different.  In fact, loving Richard made me realize that being a couple is so much more enriching than being alone.  And loving Richard opened the doors for me to love David.  Hard to explain that one, but David's oddities, such as excessive cleanliness, are the same oddities that Richard had.  He's the opposite of Richard in so many ways, but many of the core values are the same.  You may think I'm crazy (haven't we all gone just a bit nuts by the experience of losing our partners?) but I believe that Richard sent this man to me.  He is a really, really good man, someone that Richard would approve of.  Yet, as my wedding day approaches (Feb 23), I find that I am fearful.  David and I talked about it.  I have my private time now to mourn Richard, and I still actively mourn him....what if I have not completed my 'grief work' before I marry David?  Then he will see me cry (as he did in the beginning..and it disturbed him so).  I just don't believe I will ever be done mourning, and fear that I cannot compartmentalize it to the times when I am not in David's presence.  Maybe I will get back into really good shape while I take those long, long walks to clear my head?

I've never done this.  I don't know how to do it.  I don't know what to expect.  I'm 52 years old and I am lost.

I, too, believe that God has a hand in this (but, dammit, why couldn't he have just sent Richard back to me and made it all easier!!??)  I'm just turning it over to him, for the first time in my life as an adult....perhaps because it is more than I can deal with.        Yet, still, I cry.  I thought I was doing well, but this week has been bad for me.  Well, cannot see the screen anymore because of the tears.  Thanks for listening, thanks for keeping the thread of the conversation going.  You cannot possibly know how much it means to be heard.

The one good thing from this?  I am not afraid to die because I believe that I will see Richard again.  I have love on earth and I will have welcoming arms when I die.  (I was raised a foster kid, so Richard is the first person really close to me that has passed)

Karen

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sidvis:

I feel like I read your previous response for the first time just now.  So you felt like your mourning would never be complete at one point in time?  And now, you feel like you are in a different place?  There really is an ending or, at least, a 'letting go' of the grief?  Because part of me feels like I hold on to it like a dear friend, like I am afraid to let it go because I am afraid of forgetting.  I don't want to forget.  I loved him so dearly, yet remembering is so painful.  So sometimes, I push the memories away because I cannot bear the pain...then, I pull them back and immerse myself in them for the comfort of those memories....then, the memories become so strong that I can smell him and I have to push them away again because I cannot bear it.

I think I've gone crazy.

Yikes@!

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Karen, there is an excellent essay on the board titled "coping with loss'" posted by Turquoise.  If you have not read it, do.  I really like it , and she describes the grief journey perfectly.  I think I will print it  out so I can read it all the time. 

I remember feeling like you do, a sort of fear that by not actively grieving I would forget my husband.  No way.  I think that is part of the acceptance thing.  You finally realize you will never forget and the memories are sweet and comforting, not gut-wrenchingly sad.

I don't want to over step, but  maybe you should see how you feel in Feb.  What is the rush?  I know my fiance and I are taking it very slow.  Of course, the main reason is that he lives in another state, so there are a lot of logistics to take care of, and he will have to move to where I live because my kids are still in school and are doing so well, I refuse to screw that up for them.  I feel that their father dying was enough of a trauma for their young lives.

I  will alway love my husband.  He is a part of who I am.  We accomplished some wonderful things together and I will always be grateful for what we had.  It is because of him that I know how to give love and receive love.  Now that was a gift!

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Sidvis:

You could never overstep your bounds.  There are no boundaries here.  I am looking for honest answers, and I am mature enough (I think...hah!) to evaluate what you say and form my own opinions.  It means so much that you take the time to respond...you are a veteran to me, and I can only learn from you...but it is up to me to make the ultimate decision.  We are in control of our own destinies. 

I share your opinions regarding the children.  That is why Richard and I did not marry...he lived and had a business 1-1/2 hours away...he could not move his business and I could not uproot my children.  David is in the same city as me, so that is not an issue here. Besides, my youngest is now a junior in high school...the other two are now grown. 

Long distance relationships can be so difficult...do you get to see him often?

Regarding the rush...David is not a patient man.  He wanted to marry right away and I delayed it to give me time.  He told me during the first month that he would not be single long, so I knew what I was getting into from the beginning.  I definitely will not go forward if I am not ready, because, if I do that, I am hurting him more than if I delayed.  I am not doing this because of my age and time running out, but because I know this is a really good man ... the type of man that I never thought would love me and I receive so much comfort and hope from this relationship.  My doubts have only emerged this past week as the grief has consumed me once again. 

Nobody understands. I have no friends that have experienced the death of their partner.  However, everyone...everyone...warns me that I am moving too fast.  So I worry that I am making the wrong decision.  When virtually everyone I know says that they see what I see in David, still I keep getting the warning.  So I wonder what they see.  They are all so sensitive, and treading on thin ice because they saw me go over the deep end when Richard died, that they just look at me with that concerned look and give me a gentle warning.  Just what are they perceiving?  I don't know, but I would appreciate the blunt truth. 

So do not tread on thin ice with me, please.  Bluntness is sometimes the only way to reach the truth.

By the way, thanks for the suggestion regarding the essay.  Now, if only I could figure out how to find it...lol...then I will read it.

And, yes, Richard taught me how to love.  I definitely get it when you talk about your husband in that light.  An incredible gift to receive and, as I see it now, the purpose of our relationship, even though he was taken from me so soon.  Definitely an evidence of God.  I do not understand why he was taken from me, but I do not intend to waste that gift.

Thank you so much for responding to me.  I do not think you can even realize how much it means to me.  We sometimes do not realize the impact we have on others, and I want you to know that I appreciate your kindness and you taking the time to respond means so much.  It makes me want to know more about you.  What is your first name?

Karen

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Karen, the forum is titled "coping with loss" and the topic is "grief taught me to celebrate life" started by turquoise.  You will have to scroll down to get to her essay. 

I hate to be so neurotic about this, but I really do enjoy the anonymity of these boards.  It just makes me feel safer to express anything without fear.  Just call me Sid.

So far, my fiance and I get to see each other once a month.  We talk on the phone 2  or 3 times a day.  Always first thing in the morning , and the last thing at night.  He will be here for a week at Thanksgiving.  He loves to cook and plans to put on a feast for my family, including my folks and my sister's family.  Her husband died 2 months before mine did.  He died from colon cancer.  She and I have come a very long way since 2 years ago.  I think the deaths of our husbands really took a toll on our parents.  They are 80 and 81 now.  It makes it all doubly wonderful to have my fiance here to bring a fresh perspective on life, as my family is excited to have him here.  We all can keep moving forward and really enjoy the life we have left.

My in-laws, on the other hand, seem to want me to stay stuck.  I just had a very hard conversation with my mother- in- law about the holidays.  I decided this was a good time for me to cut the ties with her.  I tried to let her know the boys would still be coming to her house for her Christmas gathering, just don't include me.  My sons are perfectly capable of doing this, as they are 18 and 14.  And, I discussed this with them in October about me not going, would they care?  They said they didn't.   So, change is hard, but , gee, My reason for having to put up with those people is gone.

I really have no real love for any of them and don't need to go into that here.  The worst part of me doing this, was my sister-in-law refused to hear me say no.  She called me and started in on alot of crap, and I just went ballistic.  I screamed at her, and yelled, "get it through your head, I am not married to your family anymore.  The vow says till death do us part, and hey, its over.  Get over it."  This all stems from them not saying one word to me about my engagement.  Nothing.  No comment on my ring, no comment on how happy they are for me, nothing.  THis happened the last time we were all together for Mother-in-law's 70 birthday  party.  Nothing.  That really made me realize they don't really care about me at all.  That is when I decided I didn't have to pretend anymore.  It was time to stop.  My mother-in-law said I could bring my fiance to her Christmas.  I said no way.  I am not starting that.  I am moving on.

I also told her she would always be the boys grandmother, nothing would ever change that.

Now, you certainly didn't need to  know all that, but I needed to get it out.

Thanks for listenting

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Sid:

I read the article and it was so great with such a positive outlook.  Thank you for suggesting it.

I'm so sorry that you are having trouble with the in-laws.  Perhaps they could say nothing about your engagement because they couldn't think of anything GOOD to say, so they said nothing at all?  They have to be feel so conflicted..with the loyalty to their son, brother, etc..superceding their loyalty to you.   Perhaps they are not ready to let go and your presence allows them to hold on?  And they view us moving on as some sort of betrayal to the memories of our partners.  How could we move on so soon?  (so soon being an arbitrary length of time based on their own grieving process).  Also, some people find it so difficult to deal with their unresolved grief (unresolved issues) that they find someone to blame..with the wife being the easiest target, especially if that relationship between you and the in-laws had turmoil while your husband was alive.  I know that I am dealing with some of the same issues with Richard's family.  His daughter said "You have your cozy little life with your new man, so how could you be grieving as you say?"

I don't know, but I do know that your love for your departed husband has no question and I'm surprised that they do not see that also. And he knows that, too. 

It is right to move on; however, be careful because that strife between you and your in-laws will impact your sons.  Perhaps you could send a thoughtful gift with your sons that honors their dad's memory? 

You know in your heart what was between you and your husband and that you can honor that memory in the context of your new relationship, so do not let your in-laws weaknesses impact you so greatly.  When I am hurt by what they say or do, I try to turn it around by feeling sorry for them and, if I can, by helping.  I want to say mean things back and I do in unsent letters, but I do not let them see that ugly, human side of me.  Richard would not want that.  And, ultimately, I do not want that.

Your new man sounds awesome.  Your Thanksgiving will be a new beginning to the rest of your life.  Always a little awkward because there will be new traditions, but this sounds like a very positive thing.

Sid, thank you for confiding.  As we said, "No rules"

Karen

 

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Hi. I am new to this message board. I dated my boyfriend Brock for two and a half years before he passed away in January 07. We were on a family trip with his family to Grand Targhee Skiing Resort. The first morning that we were there, Brock hit a tree and died instantly. He didn't suffer and I am so glad that he didn't. I read back on these posts and remember all of the feelings that I had in the very beginning. It seems like so long ago. It is getting closer to the anniversary and I am looking at that with dread. It is also ski season here in Idaho and everyone is talking about how they are so excited to go skiing. That kind of bothers me. Now to what this thread is really about.

After Brock died I knew that I needed to eventually end up with someone that could cope with and understand that I was going to have "bad" days and that I was going to always love him. I journaled about that actually. A few weeks later someone that I had known before came back to the mutual workplace. Over the summer we dated and hung out almost everyday. I went on a cruise in July and thought about were I was emotionally with Brock's death and my new relationship. At the end of the summer we got engaged and are planning a July wedding. I am one hundred percent positive that I am making the right decision in marrying Eric. He understands and feels for what I am going through because he knew Brock. I have had my first "bad" day since we have been together and he has proven to be wonderfully understanding(going through photos, going to the grave, etc.) I am so happy but dont understand why I feel like this today. Any input would be nice.

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kcm:

I'm not certain I understand ...you are having your first bad day in the context of your new relationship?  If that is what you are speaking of, I think that when we find a new love, it distracts us from the pain that we feel for awhile...but the pain is still there and still needs to be dealt with.  Personally, that happens to me all of the time.  I think the distraction that was my salvation at the time, sort of 'suspended' my grief for awhile.  But it is not finished.  I don't know when it will be, if ever.  Just because they are dead does not mean that we stop loving them.  Just because we love someone else does not diminish our love for them.  Our hearts have such huge capacity for love.  My view is that my Richard is in a beautiful place full of peace and he loved me so much that he would not want me to live in a lonely place.  We will meet again.  There is room for me and him and my new love in heaven. 

I'm rambling.  Sometimes, it is just so difficult to have a coherent thought. 

I wish things were different, but they are not.  I hope that today was a better day for you. 

Karen

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Hello.... I haven't been on this site in a very long time... But for some reason today I decided to see what had changed... I'm glad I did....

I also lost my love after only having been together for just under 2 years... Unfortunately, Rick's death wasn't instant and I watched him suffer for a month before he died in April of 2004... When he left, I felt as though my whole world had just crashed around me.... I didn't know what to do or think or say or even feel... Everything was so wrong!!  I also got into a relationship not too long after Rick had gone.... As it turned out, he was not the right one for me...He was very understanding and tried to help, when I would let him, but, in the long run, it just didn't work... When I looked back about a year or so later, I realized that I had grabbed on to him because I didn't know what else to do.... I wanted him for all the wrong reasons....He was filling a void that Ricks leaving had caused.... Now, I'm not saying that your feelings for this new man aren't sincere and I'm certainly not telling you what to do, but I think you should really make sure this is the right thing at the right time....It hasn't been very long since your love left this world... It takes a long time to really understand and accept and build your inner strength back up.... Does that make any sense?.... I truly hope that this new man IS what you need.  After such a tragic loss, I think you deserve some happiness...But, please, don't rush yourself into doing something you may really not be quite ready for emotionally.......

Take Care

just1tash

 

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Yes, I believe that it is the right timing. I have really thought about it and made sure that this is what i want. I know that I didn't fall in love with him just because it was someone to be with. As Karen said in the beginning of this Posting she went through a time where she found out who he really was and that he did things that were not necessarily right in the relationship. I have also found some of the same things out. I have found that he was with another girl and it explains a lot about the last few weeks of our relationship before his death. I really have good days most of the time and my new man really has been amazing in dealing with it as well. Brock, who passed away, knew my new man Eric. Brock's mom is having a celebration of life party on the 5th of January. Wish me luck, I'll need it!

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I lost my husband four years ago, and we were married nearly 23 years. He had been ill for a long time, and in the last four years, I felt more like a caretaker, than a wife. I was working 12 hr shifts, taking care of three small children and caring for him a night. I feel guilty because at that time, I nearly prayed for relief! After he died, I told myself I was done with relationships and would just be celibrete. But then I met Rickey and he has made my life wonderful. He loves my children and loves me so much. I almost feel guilty for loving him as much as I do, like I am cheating on Michael! But he has helped me and my children to move on, and it doesn't mean I still don't miss my husband, I sometimes do, as my children do. It just means life goes on and it will always be that way

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