LOSS and LOVE: Love Revisited…Helpful Do’s & Don’ts for the Widow/Widower Embracing New Love

Is it possible to mourn the loss of a beloved spouse and, while still grieving, to not only meet someone special, but fall in love and begin to build a new relationship?

Is it possible to mourn the loss of a beloved spouse and, while still grieving, to not only meet someone special, but fall in love and begin to build a new relationship that includes a commitment to sharing your lives? Can we overlap our loving and our grieving? The answer is a profound: YES! But, to smooth the path, keep these helpful Dos and Donts in mind:

  • Do allow yourself the joy of healing and moving on.
  • Do allow yourself to feel good when this happens.
  • Don’t feel guilty. You have been respectful, loving and caring towards your late spouse. Time has passed. It is healthy to want your life to move forward. Try to recognize your emotions every step of the way and not shy away from inner scrutiny, or back off from facing your emotions.
  • Do know that it is possible to combine families with adult children no longer living at home.
  • Do know that it will not always be smooth sailing; there will be moments of arguments and disagreements to work through.

Commonly, jealousy, fear, abandonment and money issues come up, even for your grown children. Will he leave her in his will. Will he forget about us? Will he respect our grieving? Be aware that often even the adult child feels, I am not ready for this. I want my dad/mom to be happy but not so fast.I’m still grieving for my mom/dad; Im not ready to think about a replacementfor his or her love. It may be hard for children at any age to fully understand that the bereaved are lonely and, if the widow or widower had a good marriage, this can further motivate the longing for another partner. There is also the sense of urgency, i.e., time is running out and life will not go on forever.

Tactfulness, thoughtfulness, and consideration for the feelings of children of all ages are so important, as well as the understanding that fathers and mothers grieve differently than their children who have their own important timetable. One cannot hurry the process of your grief, your adult children leading their own lives, or that of younger children.

While you want your life to move forward, a sensitive and understanding parent needs to recognize and be especially responsive to the needs of children living at home; children who are grieving the loss of their mother or father. The child needs the “daddy” or “mommy” thats left. They need them to be emotionally available. Equally important, children commonly have expectations that they have exclusive rights to this parent. Dealing with young children still at home, requires an added set of challenges.

  • Do listen carefully to what your child is, and is not saying.
  • Do not have a new partner or romantic interest stay overnight too soon.
  • Do be sensitive about the messages that you are giving your children about this new person in your life.
  • Dont have someone spend the night until they are special in your life, so that your child doesnt feel the emotional confusion of a string of overnight guests.
  • Do continue to impart important values to your child, reinforcing that love is special. Remember your behavior as a role model for your youngster.
  • Do understand that someone new entering your life is confusing for your child and may come along with resentments needing to be understood and dealt with.
  • Do be aware that the children are smart and can resent a new mother,even if she is not posed as such.

Grieving adults are entitled to happiness. Yet the grieving family members may experience confusion, conflict and rage. I want mom back.I never wanted her to leave.I want you (as my parent) not to be alone.but Im not ready for this. Sometimes, it cant be articulated but felt.

Keeping the channels of communication open for discussion, dialogue and sharing of experiences requires listening, and not necessarily agreeing. Each party needs to be heard and wants to be understood. Joy is to be treasured; the challenge lies in working it out in a way that is respectful to all family members.

From THE HEALING POWER OF GRIEF: The Journey Through Loss to Life and Laughter (ISBN 1-932783-48-2) http://www.championpress.com/grief/healingpowerofgrief.htm and THE HEALING POWER OF LOVE: Transcending the Loss of a Spouse to New Love, http://www.championpress.com/grief/healingpoweroflove.htm (ISBN 1-932783-51-2) by Gloria Lintermans & Marilyn Stolzman, Ph.D., L.M.F.T., Champion Press, 2006

THE HEALING POWER OF GRIEF is the grief recovery book everyone’s talking about and includes a valuable Healing Power of Thought” workbook. This book is written in everyday language to which everyone can relate while being gently guided through this heartbreaking time.

THE HEALING POWER OF LOVE is a collection of heartwarming, intimate stories of how 24 widows and widowers grieved and healed, and while embracing loving memories of their late spouse, went on to new loving, committed relationships…a unique perspective on this subject.

Visit with Gloria Lintermans at: http://creativegrief.blogspot.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Gloria_Lintermans

that includes a commitment to sharing your lives? Can we overlap our loving and our grieving? The answer is a profound: YES! But, to smooth the path, keep these helpful Do’s and Don’ts in mind:Do allow yourself the joy of healing and moving on.

Do allow yourself to feel good when this happens.

Don’t feel guilty. You have been respectful, loving and caring towards your late spouse. Time has passed. It is healthy to want your life to move forward. Try to recognize your emotions every step of the way and not shy away from inner scrutiny, or back off from facing your emotions.

Do know that it is possible to combine families with adult children no longer living at home.

Do know that it will not always be smooth sailing; there will be moments of arguments and disagreements to work through.

Commonly, jealousy, fear, abandonment and money issues come up, even for your grown children. Will he leave her in his will. Will he forget about us? Will he respect our grieving? Be aware that often even the adult child feels, I am not ready for this. I want my dad/mom to be happy but not so fast.I’m still grieving for my mom/dad; I’m not ready to think about a replacement for his or her love. It may be hard for children at any age to fully understand that the bereaved are lonely and, if the widow or widower had a good marriage, this can further motivate the longing for another partner. There is also the sense of urgency, i.e., ‘time is running out and life will not go on forever.

Tactfulness, thoughtfulness, and consideration for the feelings of children of all ages are so important, as well as the understanding that fathers and mothers grieve differently than their children who have their own important timetable. One cannot hurry the process of your grief, your adult children leading their own lives, or that of younger children.

While you want your life to move forward, a sensitive and understanding parent needs to recognize and be especially responsive to the needs of children living at home; children who are grieving the loss of their mother or father. The child needs the “daddy” or “mommy” that’s left. They need them to be emotionally available. Equally important, children commonly have expectations that they have exclusive rights to this parent. Dealing with young children still at home, requires an added set of challenges.

Do listen carefully to what your child is, and is not saying.

Do not have a new partner or romantic interest stay overnight too soon.

Do be sensitive about the messages that you are giving your children about this new person in your life.

Don’t have someone spend the night until they are special in your life, so that your child doesn’t feel the emotional confusion of a string of overnight guests.

Do continue to impart important values to your child, reinforcing that love is special. Remember your behavior as a role model for your youngster.

Do understand that someone new entering your life is confusing for your child and may come along with resentments needing to be understood and dealt with.

Do be aware that the children are smart and can resent a new mother, even if she is not posed as such.

Grieving adults are entitled to happiness. Yet the grieving family members may experience confusion, conflict and rage. I want mom back. I never wanted her to leave. I want you (as my parent) not to be alone.but I’m not ready for this. Sometimes, it can’t be articulated but felt.

Keeping the channels of communication open for discussion, dialogue and sharing of experiences requires listening, and not necessarily agreeing. Each party needs to be heard and wants to be understood. Joy is to be treasured; the challenge lies in working it out in a way that is respectful to all family members.

From THE HEALING POWER OF GRIEF: The Journey Through Loss to Life and Laughter (ISBN 1-932783-48-2) http://www.championpress.com/grief/healingpowerofgrief.htm and THE HEALING POWER OF LOVE: Transcending the Loss of a Spouse to New Love, http://www.championpress.com/grief/healingpoweroflove.htm (ISBN 1-932783-51-2) by Gloria Lintermans & Marilyn Stolzman, Ph.D., L.M.F.T., Champion Press, 2006

THE HEALING POWER OF GRIEF is the grief recovery book everyone’s talking about and includes a valuable Healing Power of Thought” workbook. This book is written in everyday language to which everyone can relate while being gently guided through this heartbreaking time.

THE HEALING POWER OF LOVE is a collection of heartwarming, intimate stories of how 24 widows and widowers grieved and healed, and while embracing loving memories of their late spouse, went on to new loving, committed relationships…a unique perspective on this subject.

Visit with Gloria Lintermans at: http://creativegrief.blogspot.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Gloria_Lintermans

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  • Mary Loy says:

    I live in Lexington, Ky. and clicked on the city name and was taken to a page that said it was not available. Is there a group of widows still active in Lexington?

  • This is a great site and very informative. It help me.

  • Colette says:

    I am in a confused state. On Tues. 8-5-09 will be the 1st anniversary of my husbands death. I am prepared for this (I think) as I know I am still in a state of grief but I do not cry as often. I am disabled and I do not get out much so I know this does not help. My best friend of the last 11 years of my life passed away on July 4, 2009. It was quite shocking for me. Not only was she my best friend, I felt like I was part of their family,having sat at their table for Holiday dinners when I could not go to my own family events, out of town. Her husband, I have looked at as a family/father type figure. They knew my husband since he had been 12 years old. My husband and their middle son were best friends as well as the older son growing up in a small community. They accepted my husband as one of their children. My husband passed away at age 44. They lost their middle son on 8/6/99. He took this hard, and so did his parents, even though they knew he was not in good health.
    Here is where I am unsettled and I am in need of some advice.

    My friend and her husband are 71 years old. I am 46. I am friends with their children who are 47 and 45. When I would call the husband would sometimes answer the phone and while he waited for her to pick up the other phone in the house he would ask: “How are you?” “What’s my pretty girl doing these days?” or
    “Hey beautiful, come see us!” Then he would make a little sexy growl. He did this with her on the phone, and I would tease back, by telling him “Better watch this phone affair” as I felt he was paying me a compliment and I accepted in a way that was kidding back with him. When we would get together we exchanged hugs with an occassional kiss on the cheek here and there. Last year as soon as they heard my husband (which was unexpected, he went in his sleep) passed on, they both drove immediately to my house, about 30 minutes away. Both of them visably upset, This past year they called (she called often,as she used to do all the time, for many years my husband was away working and I could spend hours on the phone with my friend) or they would stop in to check on me, with an occassional invite to dinner. I called them to check on as well, knowing both’s health issues.
    At the memorial I felt out of place and that I was a mere acquiantance. I summed it up to ” so much going on, and the grieving each were experiencing, they did not have a lot of time to talk with me and the other people attending.” Afterwards, when all settled down things seemed more normal. I called to check on him, as his children live in two different states from us, and his grandson here in town, so that I would know if something were different and if I needed to call his son or daughter, ( I know he would not tell them if he were having problems) and I felt this would help them.

    About two weeks ago he called and asked if I wanted to go have dinner, and I accepted. It was pretty much like before just without my friend. I also felt he had invited me so he could get out and knowing I don’t get out much it would be good for us to talk. We discussed all the complications one experiences dealing with paperwork, funeral homes, other people, transferring of names, etc. Also talked about the kids calling to check on him every day or more. It was clear he was handling his wife’s death fairly well. He was aggravated by some of the things he has had to deal with and the ignorance of some of the government/private employee’s not knowing how to do their jobs. He noted how the kids call him so often. I explained that their mother was their nuturer and she is gone, (even though they have good relationship with their father too) so they have subconsciously turned to him for the nuture and they are concerned for him. Give them a little while and it would slow down. (my sister and I called my dad the same after losing our mother) This man mentioned he wanted to do some traveling, to see the pacific side of the USA, he is from east coast, served in the Navy and they settled here 38 years ago. He had never been to see Grand Canyon and other places. I told him I thought he should. Then he mentions going to see my mother in law in Washington, and he would like for me to travel with him to see the sites and spend some time with mom-in law. I explained I was not in financial position to pay at least 50% and I was honored he asked. He said it was his treat. I guess I misread this part. After dinner he brought me to my house and I invited him in (just as we used to do) for after dinner cup of coffee. He said “No, I think I ready to go to the house.” I was not upset or bothered by such, I assumed he was full and ready to retire for the evening, He called again Saturday and asked where I wanted to go to eat? I said wherever he felt like. I am feeling at this point he is lonely and wants a friend to go eat as he and his wife did every Saturday, so he was staying in routine. I figured he wanted to talk and get update for week. I am obliging him, as a friend, and thinking I am one he could trust to discuss finances and such, with out putting his business in the street or knowing his other friends would talk about him probably behind his back. He gets to my house, wearing a new pair of jeans, (never saw him wear jeaans, always wore slacks) he gives me our usual greeting hug, and kiss on cheek, He then tells me “I need to tell you something, I hope I did not upset you last week I could not come in for coffee because I did not think I could control myself. My wife at age 50 stopped the sex in our marriage, and I have not had such for 21 years. I am very physically and emotionally attracted to you and I want you to know this. ” At this point, I feel very uncomfortable. So much that I could barely eat, and had to make up an excuse for not eating more. I tried to keep conversation going about his children and what they are doing these days, are the grandkids, great grandkids ready for school, ho-hum topics, so he could not talk about “US” When he brought me home he came in and I offered coffee as I always did, he stayed about 30 minutes still talking idol chit chat. When he gets ready to go, he gives me a hug and kisses my on the lips (in a passion way for a man his age) my dog was between us and I mentioned how protective she is of me and about people getting too close or touching me. He tells me he cannot wait for the day when he can kiss me in other places. I tried to shun this off and act as if he did not say such. After he left, he calls asking if I read my fortune cookie and reads his (in a school girl giddy tone) It read “Be happy with what you have and other pleasures will come later.” Asked if he was reading too much into this cookie? I noted Probably.
    I feel that I need to tell him I am not attracted to him in that same manner, I am flattered by his feelings, but I also feel like he may be feeling this as I was his wife’s best friend, confidant, and so he is feeling a false closeness. He is still in a state of grief and it sometimes plays with your heart and mind, I have no idea how to get this started or what else needs to be said. I could not fathom the idea of being in a relationship with him for so many reasons that are and are not related to him. His Children for one. Can someone tell me what I can do to get this started and understood in a way that would not hurt his feelings, but allow him to know I would help him in any other way?

    Lost to mind reeling idea from one’s words.
    Thank you and sorry it is so long to get to the point..

  • Colette says:

    As for my proir comment , we do not have a grief support group in out area, If one needs such they have to go to therapists. I had researched in length for something even close to support grif group and all I kept getting was “See a therapists”

  • chris marko says:

    could this be a new beginning?

    i think i’ve fallen in love again.

    almost a year ago, on nov 18, 2008 – i came home from work to find my wife, seemingly taking a nap (she did this often) only it wasn’t a nap. she had had a seizure and never woke up. gone at age 37 (her birthday had been three days earlier) my world was devistated. my parents are both gone, most of the rest of my family seemingly can not care less, people at church are ‘too busy” for a young widower (i’m 51). last winter was horrifying. thank goodness there’s not much about december and january that i actually remember. in the summer, i can find lots of outdoor things to do (i joke that i’m ‘solar powered’) but in the winter, coming home to the large beautiful home that we had bought only fifteen months earlier dreaming of having a family full of children, a home that was empty. a life that was empty.

    well i thought i had two choices – one was to lay down and die myself (i talked with a uncle of mine who had lost his wife of 52 years a few months earlier) and decided that wasn’t the way to go (valerie would not have wanted that – one of the things that she loved so much about me was my ability to “keep things going” and think “joyful) or to start circulating, and hopefully meet someone, get married and still have that family that we had (and i still do) dreamed about.

    by mid spring i was starting to take trips. i had joined a church related singles web site and had made some good friends. the first of these trips was to a singles retreat that a number from the web site had in tennessee (i live in colorado) so i drove to that. just being out driving cross country in my new bright yellow vw turbo bug (!) made me feel like a kid again. valerie used to like to take in stray cats so i asked a certain young lady from church (who also has cats) to check in on them while i was away – which she gladly did.

    then there was a trip to oklahoma city, then dallas, then a week long “summer camp” for singles up in montana. and all of these time’s i’d ask this “cat lady” (named amanda) to check on chloe, jupiter, salem and tuptim.

    well on the montana trip (i actually planned on “getting together” with one web site “buddy” (named anna) that we’d been chatting and emailing and calling since mid spring. well that didn’t go on as well as we were hoping. we’re still good friends – but the “spark” just wasn’t there.

    but on the last day before going home, i was talking with someone from the camp. she (her name is patty) said, “chris, you really DO need someone” and we started talking and i just happened to mention that when i go on these trips that amanda stopped by to check on the cats. patty said “chris, you obviously trust her to go into your house with you not being there, and you obviously trust her with your cats, and she obviously cares about them, so why are you not interested in her???”. i just stood there like a deer with the headlights in the eyes. i honestly didn’t think we got along that way, i really didn’t find her THAT attractive, plus im twenty years older than her and . . . ”

    boy was i in for a shock!! a week after i got back from montana, she had organized a camping trip for about a dozen or so friends, i was invited and although at first i almost didn’t go – i’m sure happy that i did. not only did we get along – we REALLY got along !!! joking with each other, you name it. before we left to go back home, she just said “chris, do me a favor, just don’t compare valerie do other girls, okay” smiled and walked off. i just stood there dazed !!

    well it’s been a couple of months since that. i haven’t asked her out – yet (talk about being an awkward teenager – i feel like a geeky kid with a crush on the head cheerleader). we’ve done more things together in the “group” (just my speed for now). she still jokes with me a lot – mostly about what she sees as my lack of domestic skills. (we had a breakfast for the gang at my house a couple of weeks ago – she “takes over” ordering me out of my own kitchen, telling me “this is MY domain!”).

    I don’t know what she’s thinking, if we’re “just friends” or if there is (or could be) something more. i tell you one thing, this girl that i never would have thought about, didn’t consider attractive – is, well to say the least incredible. she seems to be exactly the girl (yes, she still thinks of herself as a “girl” – with a little bit of tomboy thrown in) i not only need – but desparatly want.

    let me tell you – i miss valerie so much some times it actually hurts. i don’t know what goes on “up there” – but if there really is something developing between me and amanda, i could almost see valerie smiling. (they dd know each other – vaguely), and i’m beginning to feel happiness that i never thought possible.

    chris in denver