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Moving on after a lengthy bereavement

“You’re too young to go through life without someone.”

Dating again

“It’s time to let go.”

“It’s been over a year now… it’s okay to be interested in someone new.”

These kinds of comments have been coming at me lately from well-meaning friends and family members – people who care about me and want to see me move on with my life. Almost 15 months have passed since I lost the love of my life, my twin flame. And at the time of his passing I couldn’t even imagine ever wanting to be with another man.

How could any man ever compare to the kind of love and camaraderie I shared with my Special One? We had 19 wonderful years together – well, okay, I’m forgetting about the rough spots – but it’s strange how those difficult times just sort of slip out of your memory after the loved one is gone.

I probably would have continued along my path of stoicism – burying myself in work and trying to convince myself that work itself was fulfilling and rewarding enough – except that the message I was getting from my beloved was, “I want you to move on. I want you to be happy.” And more… “If you have another love in your life, it’s okay.”

I could hardly believe he was saying that to me (through intuitives, of course – not directly). Was this the husband I knew who got all bent out of shape if another man as much as smiled at me and I smiled back? Was he testing me? Or was he really giving me the go-ahead to move on?

I am told that on the Other Side everything is different. There is no jealousy, no deceit, no disillusionment. “It’s all one energy,” my husband told me in one reading. I think he was trying to explain that from his new perspective love for someone is not “possessive” as it is here in 3D. This would certainly explain why everything is simply okay when somebody passes to the Other Side and they are reunited with multiple persons they were married to in that life.

It is a hard concept for us humans to accept at times. We are so programmed to believe the way that we believe here on earth. We worry about faithfulness or betrayal, and we become concerned about how our former spouse might “feel” about us falling for someone new. “Oh, he must be turning over in his grave,” is an old cliché people use to pass judgment on someone who does something another person condemns.

This article is about moving on. Of course, you can move on after bereavement without having to have a new relationship. And for all practical purposes it is probably a good thing to spend a lot of time alone, getting to know yourself, before you plunge into another relationship.

I feel I moved on in that way earlier than most women who have been widowed. However, when it came time to consider entering into a new relationship – with someone new – it became an issue. Suddenly my concern became “but what if…” and I wondered how my growing feelings toward someone new was going to affect my “relationship” with my lost loved one.

“Does he approve of me dating someone? What if he doesn’t like this new man? Am I doing the right thing? Maybe I should just stay by myself the rest of my life…”

All these questions begin to surface. We have to realize these are legitimate questions when we are faced with relationship transition, particularly after the death of a soul mate. It is normal to feel guilty, to feel like you are betraying the one you loved for so many years. I know that my vow to “love and cherish” him “till death do us part” were words that freed me as soon as he departed from the earth. Law and society looks upon us as “free” from our marriage vows when this happens.

But, believe me, I went for months feeling I was still married. It was only a week ago that I decided to remove my treasured wedding ring from my left hand. It was a very difficult gesture for me to do. I tried wearing the ring on my right hand, but since that finger was somehow smaller than my other ring finger, the ring kept sliding around and annoying me.

Finally I simply removed it altogether. It is now safely put away in my jewelry box, next to my late husband’s gold wedding band.

The symbolism of removing the ring from my left hand led to a change in my attitude about my bereavement. I am reminded of the scene in Dancing With Wolves, when Kicking Bird, the holy man, suddenly declares to Stands With a Fist, “You shall grieve no more…” and she immediately allows herself to fall in love with John Dunbar. A change in attitude is very liberating.

I will always be deeply in love with my late husband. That love will never diminish, and I will always treasure the 19 wonderful years we shared. But something has changed within me. I’ve given myself permission to “move on” if the right man comes into my life. I’ve at least allowed myself to consider another relationship because I am young… I have much to offer another person… and I deserve to be happy.

Life is so precious. Love is the most important force in the Universe. We are here on earth to experience and to love as much as we can. My experience with dating is lacking. I don’t think I’ve actually dated a man in the sense of its meaning since my college days. But I am looking forward to finding out what it’s like now – decades later – only, hopefully more prepared for those tricky “curve balls” that might be thrown my way. That, of course, is a topic for another article.


Senior Dating Advice – Can an octogenarian find her soul mate?
By Rosie Einhorn, L.C.S.W. and Sherry Zimmerman, J.D., M.Sc.

Is it time to end my bereavement?
by Ann Ulrich Miller, Denver Relationship Transition Examiner



  • valerie benson 5 years ago

    I knew your husband and he was a warm kind man. He had a big heart. I think he only wanted your "happiness". Whereever he is he will support any decision that you make. Some day you will have a reunion. In the interim anyone who comes into your life will have been guided to you by him. You will know because he will send you an unmistakeble " sign" that it's okay. If someone can make you laugh and feel warmth and happiness and this person blesses your life you will know. 15 months well---- it can seem like an eternity. With this 2012 thing and the major plans that will transform this earth you might need a partner to help you through the transitions. But you will know when its the right person. You will get a " sign" that could only come from Ethan.