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Being a Widow

My experience of dealing with grief as a widow


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Feeling guilty

07 January 2014

How can you miss the love you lost and still say that you are genuinely happy with the one you have now? Surely you are lying to yourself and really not 'over' it if you still sometimes feel: I wish I could talk to X about this because he/she would understand exactly what I mean? Isn't that the same as saying your new love isn't good enough? I cannot quite square missing someone with loving someone else. Surely these two things are mutually exclusive?

If I say I miss JD because she would have been perfect for a discussion on research methodology, does that mean I am saying that Fiancee is not good enough to do that with? If I say I miss JD because we used to go skiing together, am I saying Fiancee is not good enough because she doesn't ski? Or am I just saying: I miss JD because of these few things, nothing more, nothing less, it has no bearing on what I have with Fiancee? Of course I think it is the latter. After all, the reverse is true too: when I say that I love making music with my very talented Fiancee, I am not saying she is better than JD, with whom I did nothing musically. I can't conveniently say it works one way because I revel in feeling guilty, but not the other.

But what am I basing that conclusion on? Maybe other people who know more about loss and grief will say: If you are feeling like this after 3 years, then you are not ready for a new relationship. I don't know. After nearly 3 years I still have this need for other people to tell me I am doing 'it' right. (Fiancee's note: You totally are, dear.)

I think Fiancee and I are ticking along quite nicely. We talk about it. We make up the rules as we go along. She seems to be coping extremely well with these random episodes of self-doubt. But I feel very guilty about these kinds of thoughts. I have a tendency to just throw things out there without thinking them through first (this blog is a case in point!). And then as I think them over out loud, I filter my thoughts down to 'what I really mean'. But by then I may have already brought up some rather painful thoughts and suggestions. Which I then have to explain as being incomplete and therefore not really applicable to her or to us. Doing this, I rely on her ability to 'forget' the things I later on dismiss as not true. I know that if it was me, I would not be able to forget. It would nag in the back of my mind. So I assume that it must nag Fiancee as well. And since I don't want her to worry about things that I end up dismissing, I sometimes choose not to talk about something that is on my mind when it related to JD.

Maybe what I am saying is that I just feel guilty towards Fiancee every time I feel I am missing JD. As if missing JD is directly related to how much I love Fiancee.

I know that is not the case of course. I don't miss JD on a daily basis as a presence in my life. I don't miss her as my partner. To me, that would signify that I would not be ready to be with someone else. I miss JD usually at very specific times, about something very specific that we used to do, when I need to answer to a specific question about something she was good at, or when I am at a very specific place we have been. I guess I miss her as a friend, as a person.

Yet I still don't understand what place my past has in my current life. Or how to give it a place. It bugs me.


terryd said...

Seriously? Are you Happy? ticking along nicely sounds kinda sad, coping sounds sad. Let it got Divorce is worse than losing a loved one to an awful disease. Let IT GO. You have lost, but are still alive, and free to be happy. Let it Be. Don't pick at it. Choose happiness, there Is No Other Choice.

BunnyFactor10 said...

I assume your comment about divorce is meant to be ironic. If not, then you really have no clue what you are talking about. Worry not about me. I am perfectly happy with my life these days. Being happy does not mean to never question your emotions. In fact, I appreciate my happiness more BECAUSE every once so often I examine my feelings.
Nobody can tell other people how they should behave after losing a loved one. So we all have to figure it out for ourselves individually.

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