Friday, July 25, 2008

Dear Lisa,

I thought I'd answer a letter I recently received...

I lost my wife of 21 years to lung cancer in November, 2007. I’ve been getting pretty lonely lately and even though the kids are always here for me. It’s not the same. As I’m sure you realized. I met a woman online who lives about 50 miles south of me and we attempted to meet a few times, but I got in the car and got half way and thought "what am I doing?" I feel like I'm being disloyal to my wife. How can I ever expect to carry on any relationship if I cry every time I think of her?


Well Lonely, I'm so sorry for your loss, but honestly, your wife died not too long ago and your body and mind are telling you you're not ready for a relationship yet. Everybody moves at their own pace -- one widow I know dated right away after her husband died, while another one took several years. Me? I'm a snail's pace. I date occasionally, but nothing major. As for the crying, that's normal right now and over time will start to get a little better. When the time comes that you are ready for that first date with someone new, you should know that you're not being disloyal to your wife. She would want you to be happy. Maybe (if this is what you believe) she's sending you someone to take care of that. You had such a great relationship (that was described in a part of the letter that I removed from the blog) that I know she would not want you to be alone for the rest of your life. She would want to take care of you and make sure you had companionship in your life.

My suggestion, if you decide to meet someone, is not to think of it as the start of a relationship, but as 'meeting a friend.' I think by putting the word "relationship" in it, it puts a lot of pressure on you. Instead, go out, have coffee, join a group where you meet other like-minded people. Make friends. The pressure is off and if a relationship is going to happen, it will happen. When YOU are ready.

As for me, I'll never forget Jeff even if I am in a serious relationship with someone. Honestly, he's a part of my life, my history and my being that I'll never forget. I used to think it stunk that I had to date again and be in this situation. Now I try to keep the 'friends' thing in mind and just get out in the world. Everything else falls into place.


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