Some widows talk about being in a new relationship after loss as being a new chapter. I've done it in the past. But I've changed how I feel about this as it focuses on the only possible happy ever after being that widows find a new love. It implies that a new love fixes us and negates our grief. And chapters are open and shut things, but life just isn't that straightforward and grief stays with us in different forms. So I'm going to talk about stories, because we can have new stories while the old ones still exist.
I also believe that the stories of our lives should be about more than new relationships. They should be about how we move forward, and how we rebuild and develop our lives beyond our bereavements. These kind of new stories aren't a fix – we are works in progress.
Our new stories might not be the stories of the lives we wanted, but they are the stories of the lives we have. They are stories of big and small things, and should be celebrated.
Our stories are about:
I was widowed at 50 when Tim, who I expected would be my happy-ever-after following a marriage break-up, died suddenly from heart failure linked to his type 2 diabetes. Though we'd known each other since our early 20s, we'd been married less than ten years.