Two weeks before Melissa died, she looked at me and said "I want you to get married again". She went on to say she did not think I was the kind of person who would do well without a wife. The only stipulation she put on it was to "don't marry some bimbo that will spend all our savings". I notice there are a lot of people on here that have been widowed for many years without finding a new partner. Have any of you been in the same situation where your spouse gave you permission to remarry prior to passing?
We can't win, can we, Michele? :-) Half of us are getting the message that "you'll find someone" and the other half are getting the message that we ought to dress in mourning for the rest of our lives (I always picture Queen Victoria, in a sensible black dress with her hair covered).
Yes, you WERE blessed that Bob was willing to love again. Both of you were. I know of two really good men in their 60s, both of whom I'd consider dating if they weren't taken, who lost their first wives to a long, debilitating disease. One is happily remarried; the other is about to be. I give them credit for taking the risk again; I had only a couple of months of semi-intense caregiving and don't know if I'd want to take it on again.
It is certainly an individual decision. Scary to think about dating with all the crazy people out there. Also knowing I am going to be very picky trying to replace someone who I went through so much with. I was only a caregiver for less than a year and it was only intense for the last two weeks but it was enough that I hope I never have to do that again. The only thing that I could consider positive about it was knowing the ultimate outcome, I think started the grieving process before Melissa actually passed.
I felt that way, too, WoodTurner. When you watch someone you love waste away to nothing and become so fragile you're afraid to let them walk unassisted because they might fall, and see the quality of their life deteriorate, it's not something you want to go on forever. A few nights before Ron died, when I called the hospice people for help and they told me that his irrational insistence on getting out of bed when he was too weak to stand was "terminal agitation", I hate to admit it, but I felt a spark of hope at the word "terminal"- that the end might be near. (They directed me to the box of meds I'd been given to keep in the refrigerator and I calmed him down with some high-power tranquilizers.) He died 4 days later and for me it was a relief. He was 78. I would have felt differently if he'd been 48 or 58, but it was a life well-lived and a relatively peaceful death.
I know people outside this group would have a hard time understanding my sentiments, but this group will get it.
I've been widowed for just over 6 years and 7 months and I have no desire to remarry even though I know Jim would want me too. I won't ever say I will never marry but I don't see it in my future. I enjoy my alone time and I enjoy spending a couple of hours 3 days a week with my friends but I need my alone time to recharge. I believe it is up to each individual as to what they decide to do when it comes to remarrying. None of us know what the future holds in store for us. On the other hand I'm not looking for another partner. I wish you the best as you move forward in your journey.
I wonder if it makes a difference in your willingness to love again if you lost your spouse suddenly, as I did, or if you were a caretaker? What do you think?
@Woodturner....yes, there are a lot of crazies out there...I think as a society/culture we have become a bit off centered...but that could just be me being a 60 y.o. crusty bitty! Anyway, thank you for starting this discussion.
@Athena....understand the sentiment completely. I was my mother's caregiver the last few months of her life as stroke after stroke robbed her of more and more physical movement/life. It was a blessing when her suffering ended.
Michele, I tnink it does make a difference. In my case I was a caretaker for many years and I know I could never do it again. I also think age makes a difference. It takes time to build a relationship. I am 79, in good health but I accept the fact that I have limited time. Younger people hopefully have decades ahead of them and the time to build a life with another. Peace to all.
I agree, Bobbysgirl, When Ron and I married, I was 50 and he was 65. I new I'd probably outlive him but hoped that we'd be blessed with a lot of good years before that happened. Thanks be to God, we were. Now at 65 myself, I know that if I enter into a committed relationship with someone my age or older, the day when one of us gets a disastrous diagnosis could come sooner rather than later. Nothing like losing a spouse to remind you that we're all mortal.
Athena, almost all the widows I know are not interested in marriage. However most of the widowers seem to want to marry again, usually within a year. I think women adjust better to living alone. I never lived alone until I was 74. I enjoy being with people, but I am ok being alone. Bob and I shared a good life and I miss his companionship everyday. I know I would never have that connection with anyone else. We all have to find the path that is best for us. Peace to all.
I know what you mean! My Grandpa married less than 2 years after Grandma died. His second wife was left pretty much destitute after her first husband died; for one thing, he'd elected a pension with no Survivor benefit because it paid more as long as he was alive. (You can no longer do that without the notarized consent of your spouse.) So, he died, his pension disappeared and the household SS decreased by 1/3 (Survivor Benefit only instead of Wage Earner and Spouse). In essence she "had to get married".
That's not an issue with me and I'm enjoying my freedom.
My Jerry was a widower (6 yrs out) when I met him. He was 17 yrs older than I. We had this discussion very early on. Jerry certainly expressed to me that he hoped I'd move forward and find real happiness again. He wanted me to find someone who was every bit as good to me as he was, and not to settle for less. (He actually told me not to settle) He also told me to go on living life full throttle. :) (I loved his way with words)
Five years later I lost him suddenly. So, I'm really glad we had the convo.
Jerry's daughter has told me she too hopes I'll find someone and be happy. Beleive it or not, it was really helpful that she stated that.
I'm not far enough in my journey to know what I want or how I feel. I do hope someday to be truly happy to be alive again with or without a partner.
Misty, I am sorry for your loss. How recently did Jerry pass? I have the feeling that you are going to find happiness again...because you chose to find it. Happiness comes from within ourselves. Another person can only amplify it (or diminish perhaps) but they can't create our happiness. My Bob said pretty much the same thing to me. I interpreted it as...keep on living, keep on creating your happiness and stay open to the possibility! The hurt will ease in time...the love NEVER! Take care!
It's been just shy of 7 months. I'm not even close to considering dating. I'm trying to find happiness in myself and maybe in time, I'll want to date. I'm assuming I'll "just know" when I'm ready. Like, I just know I'm not right now! Thank's for the encouragement.