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The Things We Know

Monday, July 11, 2016
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The Things We Know

With each passing year, our grief journey moves us along. Sometimes we notice the ways in which we have progressed, other times it feels like we haven’t developed at all. The empty spot in our hearts has not filled in.  It’s a hole - always will be. We’ve begun to accept this. But at some point, the tears do come a little less often and occasionally the stories, photos and memories begin to evoke smiles.

At some point, maybe we will ‘get out there’.  We may even be able to answer the oh so awful question, “Are you dating yet?” with a new response. Our emphatic answer “NO WAY” becomes “I don’t know.”  We adjust our wedding rings and allow the word hopeful to reunite with our vocabulary.   Maybe we join an online dating sight?  Start socializing a bit more? We look for groups to join, and begin saying yes to friend’s invitations. We think we might be ready, because we know some things.

We know that we crave companionship. We know that we crave adult conversation. We know that someone simply asking, “how was your day?”, is a lifeline of hope. It helps us see that someone might truly care about us again, and gosh darn it, it feels really good.  We know that we will be cautious. It might be very difficult to be physical with someone. It might be even tougher to fall in love. We know we might get hurt….and that it might hurt even more this time, because we let ourselves be vulnerable. We know we will feel guilty. We know we will compare. We know that trust will be a huge factor and will take a long time to build. We know that something feels terribly wrong about starting a new relationship at a time when all we could previously fathom was to march along in what we had perceived as our futures.  

We know that we will appreciate someone new in our lives even more than we appreciated our spouses, at least during the time when we took them for granted. We all know we did it, at least on some days.  Because there were days for all of us when we didn’t think about them never being beside us. We couldn’t imagine how it would feel to know that someone who was part of our everyday, is no longer a part of any of our days. We couldn’t imagine how being widowed would feel. And even if we feared losing them, and saw the reality coming, through cancer or illness, it still hurt like hell when it hit us.

Unfortunately, we also know that it’s all backwards now. We’ve done the marriage thing – we know it takes a lot of work. We’ve done the kid thing – even more work! What if the person we date has kids? Double the work.  We are no longer building relationships with just two people to consider. Our children didn’t get to decide who we married, because it’s likely they didn’t exist. But, they sure have their opinions now and are more than willing to share them. We will have to juggle the needs of our kids, the needs of their kids, our own needs, and the new person’s needs.  That’s a lot of juggling.  

However, it’s not all bad.  That new person in our lives will get some phenomenal perks.  A new person will get the fresh appreciation we have for life, for love, for making every moment count and for not sweating the small stuff.  Someone new will get the stronger, tougher, version of us that we didn’t know existed.  Someone new will get to know our kids – and see our lifelong commitment to these little beings who bring us immense amounts of both love and challenges on a daily basis.  Someone new will have to adapt… a lot, and so will we, again.  Someone new will also have to try to understand the unending grief we hold deep, and be very gentle with our fragile hearts.  Hearts that are no longer whole, but that are becoming hopeful, once again.   


Well done, Kris! Beautiful thoughts and very well put. Hit the spot very nicely today for me! Gerry

Love it! Beautifully written Kris! God bless you!

Well said!

Wonderful article and so accurate, thank you so very very much for sharing.

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