Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Love is Not ....

.... a cure-all.
For grief.
Or for anything that goes along with grief .... like an aching heart, feeling lonely, wanting your spouse back, or feeling misunderstood.

Finding love again is wonderful in so many ways.  Ultimately it makes you feel like a woman again, rather than a widow (or, I imagine, like a man, rather than a widower).
But it doesn't cure grief.
Sometimes, in spite of the wonderfulness of love, it makes the grief worse.

Jim and I were together for over 27 years.
We understood each other.
We knew each other .... inside and out.
We grew up with each other .... we had a history.
We knew what the other was thinking about certain topics.
We knew what made each other happy .... and what made each other mad.

When you fall in love again ..... you start from scratch.
Sometimes it's easy.
Other times it's hard.
Very, very hard.

I can't read his mind .... I don't know his thoughts.
And once in a while ..... we mis-communicate.
And then feelings get hurt .... and sometimes things escalate.

It's those times when I get angry and think, "Damnit Jim!  YOU should be here.  I shouldn't have to be starting over with someone who doesn't know everything about me!  This should not be where I am."

It would seem that after grieving so long and so hard, and overcoming so much over the past 2 and a half years, SOMETHING should be easy.
Love should be easy.
Should be.

Don't get me wrong .... it is mostly wonderful, in a very different way than falling in love with Jim was.
But there are times when I wonder if I have the energy ..... or if I'm honest .... the desire, to make this work.
Sometimes I feel like I can't measure up.
To what or to whom .... I'm not sure.

There are children and their feelings to be considered.
There are expectations and desires that long to be filled .... but sometimes cannot.
There are two different households and several different schedules to be considered.
There are thoughts and feelings that cannot be communicated effectively.

And so there is work.
A lot of work.
I don't remember having to work at falling in love with Jim.
We just ...... well, we just fell.

Now, if I fall, there are many things in my path that I tend to hit on the way down.
Falling in love this time is not what it was the first time.
But the benefits are so good that the work has to be worth it .... right?

I wish I could give an unequivocal "yes" to that question.
But the jury's still out.
I guess time will tell.

Love is wonderful.
It has the power to heal.
Many things.
But .... unfortunately .... not grief.
Time doesn't heal all things, either.
But it does make us stronger.
And our strength helps us deal with our grief.
And maybe .... our love.

We'll see ....


  1. Thank you for posting this! I wonder all the time how I will ever fall in love with someone else and love them in a way that I loved Dan. I know I never can love someone that way but to just be in love sounds bizarre to me! I have loved Dan for so long that is just doesn't seem fair to love someone else. I always wonder what he would do??? Would he love someone or would he want to be alone???

  2. Thanks for the honest post. Although I am not in a relationship yet, it is good to know what to expect when I do.

  3. Were it not for love, I don't think I would be in the same place right now in terms of how I feel about having been widowed. I wouldn't be as content and my definition of happiness would be different.

    I know that we are supposed to say "love doesn't fix grief or make it go away" because that's the "party line" of remarried widows, but I feel hypocritical about it because love really did make a difference. Meeting my second husband, falling in love, remarrying helped me. It was just what I needed.

    And I always knew I could fall in love again. There was never a question. I knew too that my late husband wanted that for me - perhaps that made it easier.

    Falling in love - if that's a goal out there for anyone - is not any different really from the first time. The learning curve and expectations might have changed because we are older and wiser? but the process is the same. Angst, I think, comes from the unknown of it and probably how willing a person is to let go of the "might/should have beens". I held onto nothing and I never think that life should be different than what it is.

  4. Thank you for the post. I could never imagine another man in my life. My husband was everything to me and no other man could ever fill his shoes. I am satisfied and was blessed to have the one great love of my life. I have often wondered how, why, others do remarry if there first husband was so special in their life. Thank you for the prospective and honesty it gives me a much better understanding.

  5. This post was 'bang on' for me - I could have written it myself.
    Thank you for your honesty. It is always nice to know that 'you are not the only one'.

  6. Reading this was like looking at my brain on paper....with my husband we just fell in love, head over heals within moments of meeting and got married 5 years I have a toddler and I met someone but as you said it I don't know if I want it to work or not....lonliness says yes...grief says you're not my husband you're not my sons father and that is so hard to figure out...I know that nobody can be my husband but I feel lost without him....navigating my life after the plans got ripped apart is not what I imagined in my 20's