Strange New World

Thursday was my third wedding anniversary.  This one felt slightly different to the previous two, however it was still as sad. 

The night before, I stayed at my boyfriend's place and when we went to bed it all caught up with me. I couldn't believe that this time three years ago I was spending the night with my bridesmaids, getting ready to marry Dan in the morning... and now, he's gone and I'm lying in the arms of another man.

He was great about it, very understanding and sweet and just let me cry while he held me. It's such a wonderful but strange dynamic, loving in the 'after'. I'd heard these stories about widows finding these incredible, thoughtful, sensitive men who accepted that their grief was part of them but almost thought it was an illusive myth or only happened to the very lucky few.

When I apologised for getting upset in front of him he said it was fine, he was here for me and that he thinks I'm an incredible person and that the tragedy and adversity I'd faced had just made me a more compassionate, stronger and beautiful woman. He said he feels lucky to be in my life and thanked me for letting him in and being open with him. 

That all just makes me head spin... I can't really process how my new boyfriend can comfort me when I'm crying about my dead husband.  I mean, how does that even work?!  It's like my two universes collide.

It's such a relief to realize they don't have to be mutually exclusive though. What a learning curve. This man, who knew nothing about grief or suicide or what it meant to lose a spouse (before I met him) is teaching me so much about love and life. 

The anniversary was tough. I was very teary at work and felt so much sadness for Dan - for what we'd lost, for all that he's missed out on and for what should have been.  

I felt angry that this happened to us.  No young woman should have to bury her husband six weeks after their wedding. I felt totally ripped off and yet, I also felt 'happy' and glad I met this new man.

It's such a totally bizarre place to be in but like so many elements of life after loss... What can you do but roll with it?

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  • Sharon Wall
    commented 2016-06-12 23:59:52 -0700
    It truly is crazy. I recently spent the second anniversary of my husband’s death in Hawaii with a man who has become very special to me. At the same time I was reliving Brian’s last moments I was both enjoying time with this new man in my life and grieving the loss of my husband. There is no language adequate to describe the contradictions of loss and new love. Thank you for putting words to my rather surreal experience.
  • Linda Tevebaugh Keeling
    commented 2016-06-12 07:50:25 -0700
    Rebecca……I hear you….. I have been where you are…. Except I am now married to my man and just recently… And he is a widower … So we both get it!!!
    It is as you say… our 2 universes collide and how crazy is that!!!
    Yet it is amazing to be in this new life!!!
    Thanks for putting all this hard stuff into words.