Parallel Lives

Six years after my beloved husband's sudden death,

I finally found love again. 

I am deeply, madly, passionately, in love. 

It is wonderful. 

It is terrifying. 

It is crazy weird. 

Being in love with two men. 

 

Im not into bigamy. 

Im not even into threesomes. 

But really, truly ....

that's what this is. 

A threesome. 

But not the kinky kind. 

Not the sex kind that youre thinking of.

 

Its a new kind of threesome. 

One that widowed people invented. 

One that makes little sense to the outside world.

One that gets easily judged,

and ridiculed,

by those who don't understand.

It's a new kind of threesome,

And it goes something like this .... 

You're standing in your kitchen and your dad and your new love are having a conversation. You are a bystander, a witness. They are talking about cars and mechanics and other boring "guy" type things, when suddenly you are silently consumed with a feeling of terror and deep confusion, as if you dont know whats going on or where you are or who this man is that is talking with your dad. He isn't your husband. He looks nothing like your husband. Suddenly your mind switches back to the times when your husband and your dad had similar conversations about cars and mechanics and man things, and now youre sweating and panicking because this man in your kitchen is not your husband, and your husband is still dead, forever. And somehow you are just realizing this and knowing this, for the very first time, even though you have realized that he is dead, about ten billion times before. Right now, in this moment, it feels like the first time again. You have to slow down the breathing inside yourself and just pretend that everything is normal, because telling your new love that for a second, in your mind, he turned into your dead husband in a flashback type scenario - doesn't seem like the best idea. 

 

You are on the phone sobbing with your new love, and when he asks you what's wrong, you say you don't really know, and that you just got really sad for no reason. You tell your new love how much you miss your love who is dead, and in the same sentence - you also tell him that your missing of the love who is dead, takes away nothing at all from how deeply you love HIM right now, today. He says: "I know that," and continues to comfort you. You wonder how on earth he could possibly know that, or be that amazingly empathetic, considering he is not widowed himself. You sigh deeply as you realize again how incredible this man is who lays beside you today. You tell him that even though you know it makes no sense, that you wish like hell that he and your love who is dead, could know each other and be friends. He says that he wishes he had met your dead love too, which also makes no sense logically, but makes perfect sense in your world. 

 

You lie in your bed and cuddle with your new love, and then roll over and silently say goodnight to your dead love, whose remaining ashes sit inside a christmas tin, which has a Yankees ornament on the lid, because your husband was a huge fan and would like that. Next to the ornament, you have added the meditation rocks that your new love gave you, spread across the top of the cover. Its all blended together, and when you say goodnight to your dead husband, you smile and cry a little all at once. Life and death are merging, and the beauty of it overwhelms you. 

You make a joke that your dead love would have found hilarious, and your new love doesnt really laugh. It's okay. You know logically that they are very different people, and that their reactions to things you do and say, will be very different. You are not comparing them, but the lack of laughter from your new love, in that moment, makes you suddenly think about your dead love's huge laugh that took over his whole body and made him shake, and you miss it. 

 

Your new love says something or does something that your dead love used to do or say. Or he tilts his head a certain way, and reminds you of him for a second. You feel as if they are somehow connected, though you dont know how that could be possible. Something inside you knows it is true, and you decide to believe it, because it means that your dead husband knows of and approves of your new love, and he is thrilled for your joy. 

 

Your new love kisses you or hugs you or brings you flowers, and you feel a love so intense and so like nothing you have ever felt before. You feel giddy and happy and filled with brightness. And then you feel a tinge of guilt. Not because you are happy. But because maybe you are MORE happy than you were with your dead love. Then you feel even more guilt for even thinking such a thing, and then you realize that the person you are today, has been forever changed by death - so comparing one joy to another is futile, and you need to stop. You realize that the joy you feel now is not better than any past joy - it just feels that way because it has taken so long for you to feel ANY joy at all. You realize that your dead husband brought you an insane amount of joy, and that your new love doe the same, but in HIS own unique and wonderful way. It feels new and exciting, and it feels like the first time you ever felt joy. Then you get a headache from overthinking all your damn joy. 

The threesome is ongoing. It is emotional. It is a lot of adjusting. 

Learning the quirks and habits and details of the new love,

while holding the quirks of the forever love in your heart. 

 

Feeling sad and thankful and curious

and happy and melancholy,

all in the same second. 

Knowing that your emotions are normal,

but feeling anything but. 

 

Learning and growing and evolving, 

using all the love you collected,

from your forever dead husband, 

and blending it with all the love 

you are receiving, 

from your beautiful new soulmate. 

 

Knowing that your heart

keeps expanding,

as it creates a nest

big enough for three. 

 

 

 

 

 


Showing 11 reactions

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  • commented 2017-08-28 22:43:02 -0700
    Thank you. This gives me hope for a future love. And I am so happy for YOU!
  • commented 2017-08-28 17:55:41 -0700
    Kelly,
    First I am truly happy that you have opened yourself up to new love.
    Your entry really reflects what it’s like for those of us who are walking this new part of our lives after the loss of our beloved husbands. My late Ronnie is a part of my everyday and not forgotten one bit, however; like you stated, the heart has expanded to allow another love to enter and grow.
  • commented 2017-08-27 16:30:58 -0700
    I must apologies Kelley, I’ve re-read your post and realized that you have managed to navigate yourself through your pain and found the one common goal that we all miss and long for, love.
    You wrote things that are above my understanding at this point, but I must thank you for sharing.
    I do wish the best for you….
  • commented 2017-08-27 13:21:50 -0700
    Tomorrow will make the 2 month mark of my wife passing. And in that short span I’ve tried to imagined a future, hard as it is to do, it still crosses my mind. But I can’t even comprehend bringing my past love into another relationship. It personally would feel like I was asking for a huge favor from a possible new love. Sure, another Widow would understand but who wants to limit their self? I imagine trying to be a viable candidate, experienced at love to any viable woman. No baggage, just relevant experience. Can I see myself achieving that? Actually no!
    I can’t even fathom not loving my wife! I can’t imagine not celebrating my 25th anniversary that we were so looking forward to!
    How do you turn off the very best thing you ever had ?!

    If the day ever comes that I find love again, that new love deserves, hands down, 100% !

    As I read back over this message, I wonder if I’m setting myself up to fail ?
  • commented 2017-08-27 09:25:38 -0700
    A threesome of people, but a potpourri (orgy sounded weird) of emotions: joy, guilt, confusion, sorrow, love1, love2, …… Happy for you!
  • commented 2017-08-27 07:33:28 -0700
    Thank you everyone. Thank you Don, that means a LOT coming from you, since I know you arent at all in a place currently where “new love” is a thing, so for you to be genuinely happy for someone else is HUGE. Just know that. Ive been there. THank you soooo much to you all … LInda, juli, jacque, cynthia….
  • commented 2017-08-26 09:47:32 -0700
    You don’t know how happy I am for you right now. I think you are showing real courage, and I think you know how seriously I take that “C” word. I use it very very sparingly. God bless you.
  • commented 2017-08-25 20:13:09 -0700
    Kelley… you just described exactly what I have felt yet could never express in writing or verbally… thank you so very much.
    It is thrilling to hear about you falling in love…..
  • commented 2017-08-25 16:09:53 -0700
    so happy that you have found this wonderful man. there is no comparable feeling to being in love.
  • commented 2017-08-25 14:04:59 -0700
    Oh Kelley I am so happy for you I have tears from reading this. Love is everything❤️
  • commented 2017-08-25 12:08:05 -0700
    This is incredible and deeply helpful! Thank you for sharing so intimately Kelley!!

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