Friday, February 19, 2010

fill the void?

Also posted on Widow's Voice

The thought occasionally enters my mind now and then that maybe I should date. I'm lonely. I want someone to talk to. Someone to spend time with. Someone to care about and have care about me. But then, I wonder, am I just looking for Jeff? No one is EVER going to measure up to him. No one is ever going to have his sense of humour, his sexiness, his strength, his gentleness. I don't want to replace him. I know that would never be even remotely possible. And I worry that anyone I find would be exposed as glaringly lacking compared to the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

But I'd love to have someone to hold my hand. Am I too damaged now? How do you date one person when you're still in love with someone else? Would anyone even want to have anything to do with me when I would obviously leave them in a nanosecond if it were possible for my love to return to me? I don't think I would want to be with someone under those circumstances.

I don't think Jeff would want me to live in loneliness for the rest of my life. But what WOULD he want? What is best for the kids? Should I stay solely a mommy and a widow for the rest of my existence...or do I allow myself to feel the comfort of another person. Does this mean that I am less of a wife to Jeff? Does this mean that I am a bad person?

I stare at his picture and weep. I listen to his voice on his messages and attempt to cling to the moment he left it and feel that he would know what I should do. But, it's messed. It's wrong. It's a strange and foreign concept. How do you ask your husband if you should date again?


Marissa said...

When, and if, you're ever ready I support you in any decision you make. It's really what/when your heart tells you its ok.

One of my longest & dearest friends lost her husband when we were 30. It wasn't sudden, they had 8 months to talk about his terminal illness before he passed. They talked of this very subject. He asked her to please move on & love again. She didn't think she would, or could after their 10 year marriage. But she did. When she was ready. No one can set another person's timeline on that.

Jill Schacter said...

Wanting to date is the beginning, perhaps. Or maybe it's just thinking about wanting to date and writing about it. We're all different, right? My husband was my soul mate. Long before he got cancer, back when everything was OK, I would tell him he was my perfect husband, and I absolutely meant it. After he died, I started dating within 11 months. And I think I was looking for him. I was looking for the life I had lost because I didn't think I could live without it. After 3 years of occasional dating and a couple of relationships that lasted a few months, I am much more accepting, finally, of being here, where I am. Single. Alone. Managing. Coping. My heart is open. I am sorry for your enormous loss. I understand. It can be unbearably hard but I think it makes us stronger. At least we get that.

Jenny Davis said...

My mom remarried 2 years after my dad died (she started dating my step dad about 15 months after my dad died, never dated anyone else besides him). I think she waited until she felt ready and since she had the 5 of us, their relationship was very much about family.

Marissa's right - the timing is up to you, but know that you will never be betraying/forgetting/leaving Jeff.

Dottie said...

A stranger/creep/friend who follows here, and I just wanted to say that there is no doubt Jeff would want you to do what makes you happy! And no, it can't possibly ever make you a less of a wife to Jeff!

Jackie YOU are still LIVING and happiness is what you are allowed to have, screw them who make you feel otherwise! :-)

Rach said...

The world wants you to find some happiness for you, when you are ready. And that doesn't mean you would ever love Jeff any less, Xxx

Poppy and Mei said...


Cadi said...

Put the question out into the universe, and the answer will come. Sometimes the universe is slow, but always the answer comes.

I wish I had more wisdom than that.

darcie said...

No two loves are ever the same - but that doesn't mean that you can't love two different people somewhat equally but differently. Does that makes sense? No one will ever replace Jeff, nor would the right man try...But I know in my heart that Jeff would want you, and the kids, to have someone around to keep you moving forward. It doesn't make you any less of a person... about a trip back to check out that piercer?

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you had a traditional wedding ceremony, but the usual vow is "til death do us part."

I'm with Darcie -- no two loves are ever the same. ANd it can take time to stop comparing the new love to the lost old love. But that's all part of the process. You are a warm-hearted woman who deserves happiness and I'm sure when you're ready, you'll find it.


leigh in the sav said...

nobody can know what to do but you. there is no right and no wrong. (a lot of help i am.) your heart will never replace jeff, but i personally feel there is room enough for more than one love in your lifetime. when, or if, that happens is completely up to you.

i hate that you even have to ponder these thoughts and questions. all i know is that jeff would want you, briar and liv to be happy and fulfilled.

that said, it doesn't necessarily mean to do so you must move forward with another relationship. you're certainly capable of finding and sharing love without a romantic partner.

jeff loved you and would want you to be happy - whether that be on your own, or with another.

the best thing you're doing is talking, considering and asking questions. i know you'll continue to forge your way and we will continue to stand by for support! xoxo

(i think i rambled a bit... sorry!)

Ella said...

My cousin died 4 years ago now, aged 39. He was working late in his office and a heart attack and died. He was found the next morning by his eldest daughter, aged 6. He left behind a wife, aged 34, and three children, 6, 4 and 12 months. Tanya was devastated, they lived away from family, a widow of 3 at 34, she was a completely shadow of her self. I was surprised that she met someone within a year of Richard's dying. I guess I felt sad at the idea of any of us moving on from him, which of course we weren't, but when I really thought about it, I thought how amazing that she's met someone who she feels close to. They dated for about 6 months and were then engaged and married 12 months from when they first went out. They now have a child together, a 4th child for her, and they are all so happy. Her first husband, Richard, is still very present in their lives, the children refer only to him as their father and he is somehow another person in the family.

My mother's best friend died after a long fight with cancer aged 50. She and her husband had been together since she was 15. They were Scandinavian and moved to Australia when both were very young. Her husband collapsed after, she had driven their lives together. He'd always been so busy, working so hard and long, with so little them time. He reconnected with another Scandinavian friend they had all known together - her husband had died months earlier also, again to cancer. They moved in together within a year of both their partners passing. Again, it was surprising to us, but they were both so sad, so lonely and understood what the other was going through, exactly how they were feeling. They seem very happy, the relationship is very different to the one he shared my my mum's best friend - but then she's a different person. We could never replace Majken, wouldn't want to, but we also wouldn't want Ebbe to be unhappy and alone for the rest of his life.

So Jac, no advice, just recounting stories of people I know who never thought they could ever be happy again, both found someone who made them smile. There's a lot between their commitments and a date too, perhaps being older, what's happened to you, perhaps the "dating" perspective would be different, more honest perhaps? I don't know, but whatever feels right for you, probably is.

Mel said...

How about if you ask him?

[I didn't exactly ask... I told Greg that it would be his responsibility to find me my next love.

He's still working on it.]

I don't think you really have to believe in the afterlife... just try. If it doesn't work, that's ok, too.

That's my advice, call me crazy if you want! ;)