I received an e-mail from my Aunt who has been a widow for close to 8 years. She and her husband had been married for around 60 years. Just good advice to pass along.
Over the years I've enjoyed the "Miss Manners" column from time to time, and below is what I found this a.m. and I added my 2 cents' worth at the end...
You remain in my heart and prayers~~~
(Copied and pasted from this site: http://lifestyle.msn.com/relationships/article.aspx?cp-documentid=2... )
Dear Miss Manners,
My husband died almost two years ago. As many widowed people have learned, friends and acquaintances mean well but often say inappropriate things to those who are grieving, likely because they don't know a simple "I'm sorry for your loss" is all we usually need to hear. Now some of those well-meaning people have decided it is time I start dating.
Miss Manners, how do I politely tell them that it is none of their business? When I explain I have no interest in dating, they typically tell me I'm "too young" not to date and presumably find love again. Some of these people get very passionate about my need to date, to the point where sometimes I end up feeling defensive or privately ending up in tears.
I wear my wedding rings, both because they are beautiful pieces of jewelry with a lot of personal meaning to me, and also as a symbol that I am most definitely not in the dating market. Some have even had the nerve to tell me I shouldn't wear my rings now, which is surely no one's business but mine as well. Should I ever decide to date in the future, it will be my decision and no one else's. How do I get folks to understand that until (or if) that should occur?
By shocking them into remembering that you are in charge of your own life by saying, rather stiffly, "You seem to forget that I am in mourning."
Miss Manners realizes that this only offers a challenge to busybodies with their formulas about "closure" and "getting on with life." You may well have to repeat sternly, "You don't understand. My husband died. I am in mourning."
And eventually, for those who refuse to accept your rejection of their meddling, you can offer the standard polite mind-your-own-business, which is a cold, "How very kind of you to take such an interest in my private life."
My own p.s. is this, since sometimes even Miss Manners' last suggestion may not work: "You may think you're being kind, but you are not. I do not welcome anyone meddling in my private life." And if that doesn't shut them up,one might try the broken-record routine: That is to say, use exactly the same words, unvaried, over and over and over again, straight faced, unemotional, shutting them out.. That attitude seems to help.
I didn't have the foresight to know how to do this, and have wound up being far more confrontational than explanatory. That may have been unfortunate, and certainly was painful for me. Once was response to my pastor and another time to...no surprise here...to my sister as recently as her last visit here... Ah, well...It's all in God's merciful hands! Once again I pray that He will make good come from my blundering. I need His flood of mercies....
Jerry, I lost my husband 12 months ago, and I am sick of people telling me life goes on, I could just scream. Am I that stupid that I dont know that. I also know love never dies. So I am still mourning, but get told I shouldnt be cause he is gone to a better place. How cold some people are. So I divorce myself from people that say inappropriate stuff. As I just cant handle that type of stuff. I am proud to be wearing my wedding ring, I feel safe with it on. Nobody can ever take my soulmates place ever. I go to church now, as I think I just need to hang on to God like never before, as I come against a lot of negativity. I do go to counseling and self help groups, which also gets me out of the house. Yes I am lonely, not for another person, but lonely and heartbroken, that I have lost, my whole world, and part of me is gone. I think those very people that ask if you are dating will be the very ones, to say Gee, that was quick if you do have a relationship when you are ready. I am also hoping with time, and therapy, I will not hurt, as much as I am now. I had a good run with not many tears, but today, I have been in tears, all day.
Take care and God Bless
Hi Pete, Im 47 and lost my Frankie 13 months ago. My own mother in law is telling me it is time to move on and she hopes I meet someone. Imagine my shock as this was her "son". I know she means well but I cannot see myself with anyone else. Believe me I am extremely lonely and miss him dearly but he is still my husband. I know he is close by and even though I know he would want me happy if he saw me with someone he would also be so sad. I have not even been able to move any of his things because I dont want him to think I am acting like he was never here. I know it sounds crazy...but he was sensitive and I dont want to hurt him. I thought I have been doing OK...I have 3 kids to take care of. I work and now I am going back to college to finish my nursing degree and I guess I am feeling overwhelmed because now I am back to day one again and the grief is so strong I just want to curl up. I know I cant but all I can think is why. There is so many evil people walking around why the people we loved. All my family and friends were all over me during Franks illness and death and now no one. My family is more harmful to me than help, they dont understand how I feel and my so called friends are uncomfortable around me now so just stay away. I just dont know whats next for me. I wish you the best. Renee
Pete Bronson said:
This is truly a tough issue. At 49 I do not see me spending the rest of my life alone, but I do not see myself remarrying either. It is just over 6 months since my Rose passed, our 30th Wedding Anniversary just passed too. I don't expect I will ever feel the way I did and still do for my Rose, but that isn't to say I won't find a companion that I have deep feelings or even Love for.
But as of this moment in time, I married once, for life. Neither She or I dissolved our marriage, so I guess that means I'm still married and to date would be cheating on my Rose which is something I never did while she was alive. Maybe that makes me "Strange" or some other label but it is how I feel. I would really enjoy some company but just to spend time with another person, some conversation would be good.
I lost my husband John 3 yrs ago June 15th of this yr.
I wear my wedding rings as I still feel the bond of marriage and my love for him hasn't changed.
I'm 67 and not concerned about 'meeting another man in my life'. I believe love is forever. I accept that I am free to go on with my life as I choose- alone or single, it's just that I've had the love of my life and there is only one condition I could allow a male relationship. It would be with a man who continues to love his late spouse and only wants a friend. Knowing this could be a slippery slope I would probably be hesitant as I'd regret it if romantic impulses began. So for the most part I am content to be alone except for the month I go north to be with my children and grands.
I feel very similar to you Marianne and also Alanna. I am still married to my sweetheart (39 years) in my heart and I wear my rings and I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am being loved each and every moment. This deep and lasting love will never leave me, and so I can live the life I have now with this knowledge and it gives me immense comfort. I miss every little detail of life with my dear Jack but I try really hard to incorporate the happy memories in my daily life, talking with family and friends all the time about him. It really helps. He actually said to me I should get married again, I just laughed. No one can replace him, I don't want anyone to. There is lonlieness, the sharing of life with one another, but somehow or another I keep busy. There are times when I realize he isn't there for support, as when I get sick or unwell, or on happy occasions of grandchildren, birthdays, etc. Those times are difficult. As many say here, we didn't get divorced or break up or anything like that, so we are still eternally married.