When a mother who has lost a child has another baby, no one dares question if she’s capable of loving another child. No one wonders if her heart is big enough to love her “angel” baby while simultaneously loving the smiling toddler at her side. When she shares photos on social media of their special time together, there aren’t comments saying she must be “over” the death of her first child.
That’s the way it should be. And, widows everywhere deserve that same level of respect when it comes to our spouses and our decisions to date post-loss. If you can love more than one child, two parents, five aunts, nine nieces, etc., why is it so hard to fathom that we can love or be in love with two men?
My husband died. The thought of ever having known him was not erased from my memory. His death was sudden and shocking. One night he was here and the next morning he wasn’t. What was I to do with all that love? Bury it in his casket?
What about the wife who stood by her husband’s side… through the diagnosis, through the treatment, through the end? Does she just press a button and forget the love she has for her man?
To imply that we should not date again until we no longer love our spouses means going to the grave never having felt the warmth of another kiss, the strong embrace of a hug or the loving words of a new partner. You don’t get to dictate how or when we take the band-aid off our hearts. There’s an expression that says, broken crayons still colour. Our hearts, despite being broken, are still capable of love.
In fact, when we’re ready to love – truly ready to not let our fears, insecurities, and guilt hold us back – the world had better take notice. We love hard because we know firsthand the importance of letting our partners know how much they are cared for, while they are still here with us. We know to cherish the small things we once took for granted. We get that those silly squabbles don’t matter in the end. We know it’s always the right time to live boldly and passionately.