I have avoided dating a widow because it comes with a lot of feelings and emotions. To anyone who has gone through it – my heart goes out to you. Watching my mom navigate the loss of my dad was exhausting and I wasn’t a significant other; yet the pain and trauma was a lot to watch.
I avoided it Until I didn’t. In the past few years I have had a few friends lose their significant others and the process no matter how young or old is horrific. Many times – life just isn’t fair. So, perhaps it is just me protecting myself but typically I don’t enter into these possibilities….
Until you do..
One day out of the blue, I get a text message from a friend who asks me if I am interested in grabbing dinner and said “as a date”. To be honest, I was surprised – I have known this person over half my life and never actually gave it a thought. We have been friends; operate in the same friend group but what do you do?
As friends, I know the story; I know the details and I also know the real story; the story not everyone knows. Anytime someone unexpectedly dies, it affects everyone. It destroys the world you knew. Being a friend I was privy to information that was going on for years and the rest of the world does not know.
All relationships have elements of the good, the bad and the ugly. The world seems to paint everyone who has passed in the best possible light and there is nothing wrong with that until it interferes in a new relationship. Let me explain.
It started with a text message about grabbing dinner and I reluctantly went. I was reluctant because I knew of some of the red flags to watch out for. His wife has been gone 5 years and no matter what – it was an unexpected death… a suicide. To the outside world it wasn’t what was expected and they had been trying to have kids and this happened. They never had kids together and he basically said she had a medical condition and none of that was really true. The truth would have been better but I guess it really isn’t anyone’s business.
Okay, I go on the date for dinner and have a great time -reminiscing of our 20s and what happened to everyone. There was a fondness, a happy place of the memories and nostalgia. There was also a few red flags. Let me begin.
I suspected this friend – Will didn’t want to start a new chapter; rather fix it and/ or slide me in to the existing life.
I suspected that he probably had not really dealt with the things in the house. I am not heartless – please know that, but I had some things I wondered about … clothes, pictures, holidays, family time, her family… at this time I left it alone.
I figured he was confused about priorities. Like do the words match the actions. I also feel like you may to navigate situations with the dead spouse’s family… and hidden land mines as well as sacred cows.
I cannot fathom the loss of a loved one. I also think you have to be ready to move forward with your life and not be focused on the rear view mirror.
As we had dinner, there were a lot of unanswered questions and to be honest I was more guarded than anytime in my life. My heart is a protected place and I have had enough in my life that has made it seem like it’s had 9 lives.
I also was concerned about competing with a ghost. This sounds weird but as I mentioned in the beginning – i was concerned and I was acutely aware that I may not be cut out for this – I clearly think a lot and not sure this is the best investment in my life at this time…:
After dinner, it was followed with time sitting on a park bench and talking about some of these things. The elevator speech was on point – ready to move forward but really?
We all can appreciate that out of the blue call or text that you have been on my mind – with that really, why are you here?
So as we sat on the bench, I really thought about all possibilities .. good.. bad… indifferent with a lot of uncertainty on which path do I choose?
In some ways I know if I go this way, I am going to have to share part of his heart.. if I go this way, will I always be second? So many things to think about.
Next episode The Widow Part 2 (next episode will be more entertaining I promise 😉)