A guest blog from Alison Messom
1. What you are feeling is entirely normal. There are no rights or wrongs. What feels right to you is right for you.
2. The marriage vows talk about until death us do part. Your partner’s death was not your choice but you are now released from your vow, if you choose. Some people make an active choice not to have another partner. That is what is right for them.
3. Any new partner will never replace your late partner. They will be different. Some folks refer to them as a chapter 2. Personally I don't like that phrase as my life is defined by so much more than my relationships... but I get the point that it is something new and different.
4. We don't move on, our love for our partners continues. However we do move forward. That new journey can be hard, scary, beautiful and rewarding all at the same time.
5. Make sure you are comfortable in your own skin before embarking on a new relationship. Put in the time and effort to work on your grief, have counselling if you need it etc. That way you'll be in the best place to enjoy any new relationship.
6. Do not use any new partner as a substitute therapist; use a professional for that. Yes they should be empathetic, but they are there to share your life, not to fix you.
7. Remember there is an enormous human need for company and that can be platonic too. You may find you build new circles of friends that go with your new life.
8. Every day is just 24 hours. Use the best ones to build and bank lovely memories to help you through tough times. The worst days will end even if there are times when they feel never-ending.
Finally, you've got this. You deserve happiness. Don't let yourself be judged. Anyone who is judging you is not worth the time and effort. This is your life, make it the best one you can with the cards you've been dealt.
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.