This was originally written in early July 2017.
TL;DR: My friends are amazing. I am lucky to have them.
I’m home with MS issues today, but I have been feeling strong emotions lately and wanted to get this out there. While on my trip to AZ, I read an article by a fellow widow. It was based on the fact that Patton Oswalt, a widower, was getting a lot of negativity surrounding his recent engagement announcement. She was letting him and everyone else know that there is no time limit for grief/dating after losing a spouse. The article led me to a wonderful Facebook group (closed group) entitled Young, Widowed & Dating. I asked to join, answered some questions and not more than a day later, I was accepted into the group.
I have never felt more at home than when reading some of the posts these women and men share. I no longer felt as if I were alone. Because I did feel that way. The other widows I know are not dating and feel they never will again. To each their own, but I needed someone to talk to, someone who would understand. The people in the group understand and have written things I never felt I could say to my friends.
Here’s the other part of that: in reading their posts, I see that there are a lot of assholes out there, trying to date widows/widowers who just don’t fucking understand our pain. Who try to tell them how to act, how to feel. There are even some family members who refuse to allow the widow/widower to be happy in their new relationship, questioning how the grieving spouse could possibly still be grieving and missing their late spouse if they are now dating. Those posts were hard to read, but in reading them, I realized something again: my friends have never once questioned my desire to move forward.
You folks have always been there for me, and I cannot thank you enough. My life is filled with amazing people and I want to thank each and every one of you for being the wonderful, caring people that you are. Without you, I see that this world can be a very cold, hard place.
Thank you for being there. Thank you for being my friends.