Well-meaning people would say things like, "Well, you don't look like a widow." Even friends that I saw on a regular basis, would say things like, "Oh, I expected you to look different." It was as if people thought widowhood would transform me into an old hag. I wore my wedding ring for years -- partially because I didn't want potential suitors to think I was back on the market, but mostly because it just felt right. I knew none of them wanted to see me suffer and they couldn't do anything to lessen the pain.
But that ring on my finger led to plenty of awkward conversations. Sometimes -- plenty of times -- people said the "wrong" thing.
So while my pals were busy planning weddings or preparing to have kids, I was setting up a scholarship fund in my husband's memory and trying to figure out what to do with his clothes.
I'd occasionally meet elderly widows -- my grandmother's friends mostly.
The heart of our family had been ripped away from us, and as much as counselling helped me come to terms with the reality, the gaping hole remained.
After a while, though, I realised that eventually I would have to try to fill the gaping hole and I began to think about another aspect of my situation – being single again after 14 years of marriage. One day, my daughter asked me if I was going to get a girlfriend. After a pause, she asked with a hint of excitement: "Will we get a baby brother or sister?
People say that the death of a loved one, loss of a job and moving house are three of the most stressful situations – and we had to endure all three at the same time.
Or better yet, they sit in the comfort of their own home, surf the web, and hunt you through your status updates and Facebook photos you get tagged in. Yes, that was us in the Dominican, frolicking on the beach. While I’d like to believe the best in everyone, that they are merely looking out for me, I am not so naive. Well, she's back and she ain't single--but happily-ever-after?Thing is, sometimes we spend too much time imagining what our lives are supposed to be like that we map out this awesome trajectory, only to have it road-blocked without warning (been there).I discovered quite quickly that I hated the word, as it emphasised what I've lost.Nevertheless, in the months after my wife's death, a grieving widower was exactly what I was, all the while trying to keep things together to be a good father.No one else can tell you what you are feeling, so only by being in touch with your own emotions can you know if you’re ready.