Monday, October 29, 2012

Second One


I keep thinking about the fact that before I met Dave, he was living his life thousands of miles away, day by day making his way toward me. Somehow, amongst all the humans I encountered, I found him. He found me. We were waiting for each other but didn't know it. He was mine and I was his and we didn't even know it.

I think about all the tiny, mundane and huge, crucial decisions I made and he made all those years that made it possible for us to be in the same hallway of the same building of the same university at the same moment, in order to meet each other. And somehow, in all the 15 years we got to be together, we didn't mess up. We stayed together despite the incredibly high divorce rate, the fact that we were together almost every single day, and the fact that we survived many difficult times together.
How is that possible? What are the odds?

Somehow, despite the odds of that happening to me a second time, I have hope that I will love again. I truly do.

I think about the things I want to say to that person who's out there, waiting for me too. I want to say... 

Don't give up hope. I'm here, waiting. I have so much love to give and now truly understand how love is really all we have. Those moments of joy experienced with our loved ones make the inevitable loss of life more bearable. I will be more centered, present and appreciative in our relationship than if I hadn't been widowed. It's not a liability. It's a gift to you.  Yes, my baggage has "widow" stamped on it, but you are the one who will help me carry that bag. You are the one who will want to stick around to help me bear that weight. I know that in searching for you, I will be looking not so much for a list of requirements in a partner, but in a feeling I get when I'm with you. No, not physical attraction. That might tell me that I want a second date with you, but not necessarily that you're the one. No, not the thrill of infatuation. That might make me pursue you, but it's not enough. That feeling I'm searching for? Safety. Safe to be myself. Safe to risk. Safe to tell you what I'm thinking, even if that feeling is emotionally tricky. I will feel as though my heart is safe with you, even when my heart isn't perfect. And then I'll know. I'll know it's you I was looking for all this time. It was you who was waiting for me, knowing you were looking for the same things. We'll recognize each other somehow. 

It seems impossible that we humans find each other in this big world. And yet we do. We do all the time. I think I have two choices. I can either have faith that I'll find it again or not. Neither option guarantees a thing, but at least if I pick the faith option, I won't be acting as if I don't think it will ever happen.

When I taught fourth grade, nothing was more frustrating to me than seeing a capable student give up on a new skill before he started. He believed he couldn't divide, so he didn't even attempt it. His classmates who had faith that they could divide, did. And the more they divided, the better they got. My little faithless student proved himself right. Those kids who had faith were right, too.

If I believe I can find that person, I'll put myself in situations that will make it possible to find him. This is my theory, anyway.

Even if my theory doesn't hold water, it is much more likely to help me expand my life, rather than restrict it and that is reason alone.


  1. Thank you for this post. It echos what I feel. I want to love someone in that wonderful way again and I want to have hope and faith that it could happen. I know it's not a guarantee, but I need to have faith that it's a possibility.

    I know everyone's grief is different, but it makes me sad when I read people's declarations that they will never love again and won't entertain the thought. It's definitely a self- fulfilling prophecy. If you have the chance to love and be loved, why not take it?

    Good luck!

    1. I have to agree. Grabbing on to every bit of happiness life can offer is my motto since Dave died because so much felt snatched away from me.

  2. Beautiful.

    I love the idea of an expanding life.
    I believe we are meant to find each other, we just have to face the world with open hearts and eyes.
    Love the last line. Yes - why not take it?!
    Love is what makes the rest of life bearable.
    Thanks Cassie.
    I love your posts.

    1. Thanks, Anon!
      Facing the world with open hearts and eyes. EXACTLY.

  3. Thank you Cassie, you put so clearly into words what my heart feels......if you are open to love again it just might happen....thank you for reinforcing that thought....without hope what is left?

    Thanks again,


  4. Cassie,
    This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing it. :)

  5. Thanks Cassie. I was feeling all that you wrote about here, and then the "it's almost a year" fog came back, and I'm back to focusing on making it through each day again. Reading your post reminds me of what I felt a few weeks ago and the hope that I will feel it again. Beautifully written as always!

  6. I think its a scary thing to hope for love and be open to it but not know if it is a possibility...

    although I am sure you could make this comment about any single person, us midlife widows outnumber widowers 3 to 1 and many midlife men are only single because they have deeply betrayed their families.

    I am sure that there are a few single and decent fellows out there...but in my dark moments I think Im more likely to be struck by lightening than develop a healthy relationship with a worthy suitor.

    I will be OK if God proves me wrong about this.

    I admire your optimism...thanks for sharing it

    1. Yup. I have thought all these things too. I don't know what my odds are and I don't want to consider them, to be honest. The odds of me finding Dave were crazy. The odds of him dying suddenly at 38 were bonkers. So, who's to say a second love of my life can't happen too, regardless of the odds?
      Anyway, I have stubborn hope despite the odds.

  7. Love, love LOVE. Cassie--I cannot thank you enough for this post gave me a great idea for future dating endeavors. I'll let ya know what it is after I see if it works out! Lol. Love ya!

  8. If I believe I had a unique, eternal love with my husband, can I imagine I could have the same kind of love with another man? If I have a grave waiting for me next to my husband (I would be buried in his casket if I could), where would I put the other guy? I want to believe that I will experience love and passion and the joy of being cherished again before I die, but when I imagine such feelings, the face I see is my husband's. This inability to imagine loving someone else seems partly terribly romantic, and partly scary and pathetic. I wonder if anyone else has felt this way, and still managed to find themselves in a new relationship that feels as powerful as the one they lost. If so, I certainly like to hear about it.

    1. I hear what your saying and that's one of the fears I have (add that to a million other ones about loving again).
      I think the reason I can imagine it again is because I feel like such a completely different person. Almost as if this is life number two. My soul mate in life number one was Dave, but this is a different life somehow.
      Also, I just don't like to imagine a life missing romantic love, period. It's not something I'm ready to give up on yet.
      I too like to collect evidence that it's possible and feel hope when I hear of others who feel it as powerfully as they did the first time around.

  9. Claire,

    I think that your singular devotion is sweet and very real for now and that is OK. We all evolve as time goes on and you feeling this all the way through to your bones now doesn't mean that you will not get to a different place later. The good thing is that you don't need to can wait until you are closer to the situation and see how it goes. As a really new widow, I keep falling into the false idea that I need to decide now if I want to find love again when in reality I dont need to decide anything.

    Very soon after my husbands funeral, my inlaws told me that they intend to someday be cremated and buried over my husband (I think they may have been looking for my permission but that didnt occur to me during the conversation). They asked if I might do the same. I very sheepishly asked what might change if I ever remarried and they very tenderly shared with me that almost all of their remarried widowed friends chose to be buried with their first spouses. Their willingness to accept so soon after thier sons death that my life would likely move on to all sorts of unexpected things was a real blessing.

    I can see myself enjoying a gentleman's companionship and perhaps even a serious relationship, but I am skeptical that I will have a need/want to actually remarry (with the combining of households, family and finances that normally comes with that). I loved my husband dearly, but I found marriage a great deal of work. Tell me again that I dont need to decide this now...I may have to write this on my mirror or something.

    1. I need that on my mirror, too.
      I agree with you that while marriage was great, it was work too. The thought of doing it again is a bit overwhelming to be honest. I don't think I'm in a rush, necessarily, it's just that I REALLY want to imagine getting a chance to love again. To be loved. Beyond that, I'm content right now to worry only about my own self.
      I agree with you also that we're always evolving and that we have NO idea what is coming our way or what we'll feel like or believe in the future. Hell, if we even GET a future. The crucial point for me to get here is that I don't have to do anything or decide anything RIGHT NOW. I can let things just BE.

  10. Let's not forget sex. This is something we don't talk much about, do we, but life without (committed, romantic, passionate, trusting - that's the problem, right?) sex SUCKS. The thought that I would be done with that forever is horrifying. But again, the person I want to have sex with is my husband, who became the object of my physical desire when I was sixteen years old. And that's not going to happen, I'm pretty clear about that. How do people deal with this, and how come we don't talk about it? (Unless, of course, only I am suffering from this problem).

    1. Claire, no, you are not the only one missing sex, physical touch was so much a part of my life for our 38 years together. And now, the lack of it is really another devastating part of being a widow. I miss the familiarity of being with that one person for all those years, knowing I cannot replace that with anyone else. But maybe, just maybe, someday there can be another to share that with again, only on a different level. I have hope.

    2. YES! Nobody talks about sex and widowhood; I've been to 4 support groups and never heard it spoken of there; I've read 24 books and only found one that even mentioned it; and I once reached out to a widow with an email saying that I wanted to talk about sex and never heard from her again....UGH.....So yes, living without sex/love making is awful, I miss it SO badly; we were so good together and only getting better after our 31 years! He was the only man I was ever with and ever wanted to be with, and now often I think my anger and frustration is due to lack of sex and physical relationship; I have turned into a "walking maniac" walking many miles a day to sublimate it. Hate this! And it's not exactly something you can bring up over lunch with married girlfriends.....and honestly, I am finding that most women and marriages do not have satisfying sex lives like I did, which makes this make even less sense! Thanks for listening.

  11. I am able to tell you that there are good men out there and they are prepared to share our lives with us. I have found a wonderful man who is happy to share my life with me in a way that suits us both. Neither of us feels the need for marriage, but the physical touch has become important for us both. It is devastating to not have the physical and mental closeness when we lose the person who meant the world to us and it takes time and courage to be able to be give our wounded hearts again.

    It is never the same as our previous relationship, it can't be the same as we are different people and are with different people, but it can be as strong and as fulfilling.

    In the time since the loss of my much loved husband of 27 years I have learned to live alone, to be a stronger person and loss has taught me so many other skills. It has also taught me that I was not supposed to be alone and that it is okay to move forward when the time is right, a false start or two taught me that although I am not infallible I can love again and it can be good.

    My hopes for you all are for happiness and fulfillment no matter what direction your lives take.

  12. I guess all I can say is never give up on loving again, it can happen again when you least expect it (usually does lol). I'm 22 months in (as a widower) and lost the lady I met when I was 17 years old after almost 30 years, I always considered her my soulmate and for a time after she passed believed that i never wanted to meet anyone else but to be truly honest was miserable, and then it happened, a couple of months ago I met a lady who is really incredible and I cant believe I've fallen in love. At first I was hesitant to let it happen but really i have only gained, this new lady has taught me that i can love again and has quite frankly given me a totally differnet outlook on life. So things look incredibly positive at this point and I think even worst case scenario if we were to crash and burn, I still win!

  13. Thank you so much for this post. I too, never thought I could love again, even though my husband of 31 years had had a random conversation about "if you die" many years before his sudden death; at that time he told me to marry again, though with a glint in his eye, also reminded me that it would be hard to find someone as great as him (TRUTH too!); but he went on to tell me that I had a lot of love in my heart and that someone would need that love; and then he paused and said, "besides you will miss the bedroom benefits of marriage to burn in temptation, so get married." AND HE WAS RIGHT!
    You give me hope. About 6 mos after he died, I realized that I thought I could love again. I long for sharing life. Love was meant to be shared. I miss the physical touch, I miss being a wife, I miss giving of myself, I miss random text messages and having "my person." I miss physical touch and making love.
    I think about this a lot. Could God line things up yet again for a wonderful relationship? And you bring to light so many things about how you met each other the first time....and yes, it could happen again!
    At the same time, I know that a new relationship will come with challenges of it's own, so am not fully sure I could take the leap, but I'd like to think I could, if that right person came along. Hoping and waiting. I really don't want to do life alone for the rest of my life. Thanks again.

  14. I was blessed to have someone come into my life who loves me unconditionally, baggage and all.
    Don't give up on love...and yes, your so right. The "widow" label makes me cherish the moments even more then ever. #1, will always be my #1. <3