"Human beings tend to see their past instead of really seeing one another....We bring an unending supply of assumptions, projections and expectations to each interaction. We are brimming with the blueprints of our past relationships, practically bursting to impose them on our futures." ~ Casey Schwartz

Thirty-seven months after my husband Doug died, I remarried.

I hesitated to blog about this, as I imagine it will shock some widows and widowers - especially those who recently lost their spouse. When I was newly widowed, I found the idea of another relationship alien and abhorrent. Mentally and emotionally, I was still married. I was so deep in shock and denial that I couldn't even say out loud that Doug was "dead."

I also assumed it was unlikely that I would meet anyone, and even if I did, it would never be as good as what Doug and I had together. Like so many assumptions I made, I was mistaken.

I did meet someone about six months into widowhood. In many ways, it was too early - I was still drowning in grief. (It was definitely too early for some of my friends and Doug's siblings.) In other ways, it was the right time. PS was a widower himself. He understood, helped me survive, and ultimately helped me begin to thrive again. And you don't always get to choose when something happens. After what PS and I went through, each of us had pretty much given up the illusion of control over fate.

I am now 57, PS is 63. In our "other life," we both enjoyed a happy, close marriage. Both of us were also also childless, so when we lost our spouses, we lost almost everything, and almost didn't make it through. PS's sister recently told me she calls me "The Miracle." After PS's wife died, his family was concerned that he would not survive, and certainly never thought he would allow another woman into his life.

Initially we both resisted opening our hearts completely. We knew all too well what "til death do us part" really means. Since I was recently widowed, guilt frequently overwhelmed me. However, caring friends and family reminded me that Doug would not have wanted me to suffer - all he ever really wanted was my happiness. If our situations had been reversed, I would want that for Doug.

In some ways, PS reminds me of Doug. He is fun, funny, loyal, loving and fit. He shares Doug's childlike exuberance. He has a wonderful relationship with his family. In other ways, he is quite different. He is an intellectual (and a talented author.) He is analytical and articulate. He is also impossible to manipulate (which can be very inconvenient at times.) He says "No" (a lot.)

After dating for two and a half years, we finally had the courage to say "Yes" to each other. The pastor who performed the wedding ceremony had been our bereavement support group counselor - for PS in 2008, and for me in 2010.

We chose to elope, for a couple of reasons. We had both already done the big wedding thing. At this point in our lives, we wanted to keep things simple and low-key. We also wanted to avoid monetizing the matrimonials. By eloping, nobody had to travel or get us presents. It was romantic, intimate and fun. Plus, we figured that no matter how we did it, we would probably make someone mad, so this way we offered everyone and equal opportunity to be mad.

If someone had told me three years ago that I would ever be so happy again, I never would have believed it. Yet, I am. Truly happy. I no longer "live in what I lost."

One thing has not changed over time. Remarrying had no effect on the love we continue to feel for our late spouses. We are very grateful for the years we had with them.

PS and I decided to marry because we loved each other, and wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. I feel incredibly fortunate. I pray we are granted the mental, physical and spiritual strength to lead a happy, healthy life, and that the Universe gives us the chance to grow older together.

June 21, 2013




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