No Two People Are Alike…and They Shouldn’t Be

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This coming December will be 6 years since my beloved Rob has been gone.  Yes, I still call him my beloved Rob.  It is incredible how my love for Rob still remains true and strong even though I have been with Steve for almost 4 years, and I love and adore him too.

There are a couple of things, that after coming to terms with,  I am going to admit.  After being in a loving relationship with a man who had wonderful qualities, you do tend to look for those qualities in a new partner. At first I expected Steve to be a lot like Rob.  I actually wanted Steve to be a lot like Rob.  I can admit now that I even tried to change Steve to behave like Rob.  In hind sight that was a very bad idea because it comes with disappointment, and it was unfair to both me and Steve.

Here I was thinking I was so together, so with the program. I was the one who knew exactly what to expect from a new relationship.  I was the widow who would not make the typical mistakes of looking for my deceased husband in another man.  I kept telling myself that I understood that Rob was gone, and that I didn’t want anyone like him.  I wanted someone different.  I even mentioned that in a previous post.  Man, I just fooling myself.  It became quite clear to me that I, like probably many other widows, was looking for my beloved Rob in another man, and it had taken me over a year into my relationship with Steve to realize that.

I had to put things into perspective.  I had to look at Steve, and Steve only.  It then dawned on me that Steve was a lot like Rob.  He has a kind heart, he is good natured, he is loving and very giving.  These are the traits that I would look for in any man, and both Rob and Steve had them.  The major differences were temperments.  Rob was easy going and soft spoken, and he didn’t have a temper.  Steve isn’t as easy going, but he laughs easily and often.  Steve does have a temper that sometimes flairs up when he becomes frustrated, but it goes away just as quickly.  It took me a while to understand that if I wanted to pursue and continue my relationship with Steve, I had no business comparing him to Rob, even though I continued to tell myself that I wasn’t.  It took me a year to finally admit to myself that I was.  I had to want this relationship as Darlene and Steve, not as Darlene and Rob.

It felt like a bumpy road off and on for me during the first two years, because I was still getting to know the new me, with a new man, in a new relationship. It was scary and exciting all at the same time.  It also came with highs and lows, but the bottom line is, it all paid off.

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Coming Out Of The Darkness, A Widow’s Story

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Coming out of the darkness, is the best way to describe the feelings we have when we realize that we are ready for a new life once again.  At least that is how I felt.

When I lost my beloved husband Rob, I felt like I was plunged into a dark hole with no way out.  No matter where I looked, I couldn’t find any happiness.  I couldn’t see any light, all I wanted was Rob back.  Nothing else mattered.  No even my kids could fill the gap, or bring light back into my life, even though they tried.  I was lost in the dark.  You know it is a scary feeling thinking that you will never feel happy again.  I know that I was very scared. How could I live a life of such despair and total unhappiness?  Well unhappiness and despair wasn’t in the cards for me. I started to realize that as the months turned into a year, and the year turned into a year and a half.

For me the change started just after the one year mark of Rob’s death.

Just to divert for a second, don’t ever let anybody tell you when you should feel better after the loss of a loved one.  There are NO time limits. Everyone is different.  There is no right or wrong for grieving.

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It’s Been A Year Already!

 

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It’s so hard to believe that I have been with Steve for one year.  What is so remarkable is that I still love Rob too.  I look at it like this; some of us have more than one child, and we love them all.  There is room in our heart to accommodate everyone.  We may love each child differently, but with the same intensity.  That is how it is with widowhood.  You continue to love your deceased partner, that will never change, but there is room in your heart for your new partner, and you realize that you can love him too.

Being me, I had to wonder; am I still considered a widow now that I am in a new relationship?  After much pondering, I answered my own question by saying, “yes I am”.  I am not married to my new partner, so I don’t have the title of “wife”, but even if I did, I am still the widow of my deceased husband.  How does this whole thing work?  Does it even make a difference?  Is it really that important?  No it’s not.  The most important thing is, is that I was able to start a new life, with a new love, and feel happy once again.  That is what my beloved Rob would have wanted for me.

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The New Book Of My Life Is Underway

Happy again

Remember I said that I will not be starting a new chapter in my life, but rather, a new book?  Well my new book is finally getting it’s first chapter.

Just when you think you’ve got the hang of it.  Just when you think you have conquered widowhood, along comes a jolt to once again mix things up.

Here I was thinking that this dating thing is ridiculous.  There is nobody out there for me, and I might as well resign myself to the fact that I am, and always will be a widow.  Then one day along comes a wonderful person.  Well he didn’t just come walking down the street and find me, I actually found him, (and not in the street either), but I had no idea that we were going to actually connect.  I guess those dating sites really work.  The crazy thing is, I truly believe that my beloved Rob had something to do with it.  I think Rob brought this incredible person into my life.

When I first met Steve, I felt an immediate connection, he claims that he did too.  He also told me that he had no explanation for this deep and meaningful connection.  I, of course being me, felt that I needed to consult with a higher power.  I woke up one morning feeling desperate to have some answers.  Is this too soon?  Isn’t there a time line that must be followed before we begin a new relationship?  I begged Rob to give me a sign that this was ok, and that this was what he wanted.  Well, I didn’t realize that was all I needed to do because that very day I received my first sign, and it came directly from Steve.  He said something to me that was word for word what Rob used to say to me.  I burst into tears.  There was my sign, and they didn’t stop there.  They were coming fast and furious.  It was as if Rob was feeding Steve things to say that I would recognize, it was becoming very eery.

I have always trusted Rob as a compassionate man, who always put my feelings first, and here he was doing it again.  Who was I to argue?  So my new book has begun.  It has been one month now, and Steve and I seem to have so much in common, and seem to be very in tuned with each other.

Life is feeling good again.  It’s time to be happy again.  I now have my beloved Rob watching over me, and Steve bringing happiness back into my world.

 

 

 

 

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It’s Time To Share Our Stories

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As a widow, I have my good days and of course some bad days.  It comes with the territory of widowhood.  Today I was at home in my kitchen, minding my own business, preparing a dinner for my mother and son, a benign activity, and out of nowhere I felt myself starting to cry.  Why in the world does that happen?

Why do we burst into tears when it seems so inappropriate, so random, like when we are washing our face? Believe it or not, I have done that, and I know it’s not because I looked in the mirror and scared myself.

I would love to hear from widows and widowers about their experiences.  How you are coping? What are you doing? Are you also crying into your dinner preparations?  I believe that sharing stories helps us realize that we are not alone, or at the very least, helps us to understand the emotions that we are feeling, and all of this is an important part of the healing process.

I would love to hear your stories, your journey, your thoughts.  Here is the link to my Widowbabe Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Widowbabe/1483504991878759

Or just type “Widowbabe” in the Search space at the top of your Facebook page, and Widowbabe should come up.

If you would like to share, I look foward to hearing from you. Even if you are not a widow or widower, but you would like to share a thought or feeling with us, that would be great.

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The Envelope

 

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An interesting thing happened to me today.  I received an invitation in the mail to my nephews wedding.  That isn’t anything unusual, nor is it interesting.  People receive invitations every day.  I knew I would be invited, especially since they asked me to do the baking for this event, and also because he is like a son to me.  The interesting thing was the envelope.

Now how and why would an envelope be cause for any kind of discussion? We usually just rip them open, pull out the contents, and throw them into the trash.  This envelope however, brought me to tears, and for one simple reason, the envelope was addressed to me, and me alone, not Mr. & Mrs., just Mrs.  A small detail like that brought me to tears.  It was just another reminder that I am single.  I don’t have my husband, my partner, my best friend with me any longer.  That silly little envelope, nothing more than a piece of paper, felt like a hard slap in the face.

I thought I had gone through everything, and that all the firsts had come and gone.  But no, along comes this white envelope carrying happy news, and my heart feels like it is being ripped open once again.

I used the word “interesting” at the beginning of this blog, and I will tell you why.  It’s not as if I haven’t received mail since my husband passed away.  All the mail that I receive now is addressed to me.  I sometimes even receive mail for Rob, and that does not bring tears to my eyes either, although it used to.  I think what made this situation so interesting was my reaction when I saw the envelope.  I had no idea that I was going to break down and cry.   After 18 months of receiving mail, it was fascinating how one envelope could saddened my heart because of how it was addressed.  No more Mr. & Mrs.

Just when you think you have conquered widowhood, along comes an envelope and it reminds you that you are alone.

 

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New Book

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I read something today that I really liked.  I changed it up a bit so that it would be more relevent to my life, and I shared it on my Widowbabe page on Facebook.  I thought I would share it here in my blog as well.  Here it is:

When I feel totally ready,

I will close the door to the past,

open the door to the future,

take a deep breath,

step on through and,

not start a new chapter in my life, but a new book.

The first line of the original version started off saying “I will close the door to my past”.  That didn’t sit well with me, it even brought tears to my eyes because I didn’t like the idea of closing the door to my past.  It just felt too final, like I had to totally wipe Rob right out of my life, it felt uncomfortable.  Thus, I added my own first line.  The other change I made was in the last line.  The original line said, “start a new chapter in my life”.  I had to change that because, starting a new chapter means that, should I be fortunate enough to meet a new man and fall in love, it will be a continuation of the life that I had with Rob.  That didn’t sit well with me either. My life with Rob will forever be our own lovely book without any further chapters.   My potential new fella and I will start our own lives together, or, our own new book.  Much better.

I know I may sound like I am analyzing this situation much too much, but this is how I feel in my heart, and I believe it is important to follow your heart.  Maybe this is all part of being a widow.  Words and phrases take on a whole new meaning.  I know that I can read something that is totally harmless, and turn it into a very big deal.  I may even go as far as to think that Rob is trying to send me a sign.  Widows are great at reading between the lines.

I have never been a widow before, so I guess, if I really wanted to look closely at it, my new book has already started.  I just haven’t had the opportunity to add any juicy chapters as yet.

 

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