Finding love after loss is not easy. When you’re grieving your partner, it is hard opening your heart to the possibility of love.
But you are allowed to feel happiness after grief. It doesn’t in any way diminish the love you have for your loved one. That will never die. Being a widow myself, I didn’t want to find someone to replace Simon. I wanted to find love again and it to bring new meaning to my life.
In this blog I want to help you understand that through grieving you can find love again. It’s not easy, it comes with emotions, fear and often guilt. But I want to help you understand that as much as it isn’t easy, it’s worth it.
Losing intimacy, support, understanding and partnership leaves a gaping hole in our lives. To begin with we try to fill the void. We search for fulfilment any way we can, eating, drinking, dating or working.
You will go on a grieving journey, which I discussed in my last blog and mistakes will be made. You’ll date entirely the wrong people. But that’s ok! You’re human.
The question is how do you know what’s right? And that’s tricky to answer. You have to allow yourself both time and space to grieve your loss. Get to know yourself again, understand what it is you want from life. This isn’t easy but it’s achievable.
I started dating quite early on after Simon died, maybe eight months after he passed. I craved male company, intimacy and someone to make me feel special. These ideals didn’t work for me but for some they do. Some widows meet their new partners very early on and the relationship flourishes. For others it can take years, there is no right or wrong!
I found love again just under three years after Simon died. Ironically, I wasn’t looking for a partner, in fact I’d decided to take a break from dating! I wanted to focus on me and my children, I was achieving things and navigating my way through my grief. I was understanding me better and I finally felt in control of my life and it felt good.
That’s what they say though isn’t it, you find love when you least expect it.
Andy came along and it was wonderful, I was comfortable and secure. But I still pushed him away, perhaps I wasn’t ready, or I wasn’t willing to make more changes. I wouldn’t let him in and I wanted to maintain the independence I’d created.
Unfortunately, we didn’t talk openly, Andy was scared of saying the wrong thing, so he didn’t ask questions. He didn’t tell me how hard it was coming into our lives, or how difficult it can be to feel like you’re second best.
And from my perspective, I didn’t want to upset Andy by being honest. I didn’t want to ‘go on’ about Simon but equally I wanted him to still be a part of my life. Essentially, we were both skirting around the main issue, the loss of my Husband, whom I still loved and missed and always will.
We both felt we couldn’t express ourselves, so instead of letting him in, I pushed him away. Andy felt that I didn’t want to be with him and in turn pushed me away too. This was actually the best thing that could’ve happened to us. It made us talk openly and honestly about how each of us were feeling.
The key to communicating is listening, understanding the point of view of the other person. Speak your truth and allow them to speak theirs. In turn you will have a more open and honest relationship. Once Andy and I spoke our truth we felt safe and secure in our relationship.
It’s hard to put into words because you’ll always love your person that died and I will always love Simon. But I have the ability to love again, love is not infinite, we don’t just run out of it.
Andy allows me to grieve and allows me to love Simon. Simon is a part of our lives and Andy doesn’t make me feel guilty or ashamed of that. Andy is an incredibly compassionate and supportive man, who loves both me and the girls as a unit.
I forgot how good it felt to be part of a relationship and to feel part of a family. Having someone to share your dreams with is an incredible feeling and one we all deserve to experience. When you lose someone, you learn to live with that and carry it. That doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to love again.
Be aware, be conscious, understand yourself and allow yourself to find love again. You’re allowed to, you don’t have to feel guilty or ashamed of that.
This is your story and your journey and if you choose to, you can make it great again.
🌻 Anything you decide to do or not do will not, in any way diminish your love for your loved one. Do whatever you need to do for you and your children (if you have them)
🌻 Trust your instincts and don’t worry about what you think you ‘should’ be doing. There is no should!
I hope you’ve found this article helpful but if you do need any more help or support, please get in contact with me.
As one of the UK’s first bereavement coaches, I help people to move forward. To achieve the lives they deserve. I’ve been where you are now and together, we can work through the pain to create a life that’s truly beautiful.