Being lonely is one of the worst feelings. Nobody should be lonely, yet it’s part of the grieving process when we lose a spouse. I found loneliness was the hardest battleground to enter. In the past, no matter how great my day went, loneliness would trap me into its daily duel with my feelings and emotions. This was especially intense during the evenings when the world went quiet and dark.

Being at one with your thoughts in grief is a dangerous place. I would think a lot about the future and where it would take me. I had discovered so many stories about widows and widowers who had found love again. I often wondered if my life would go down this path. Would I even want it to? A lot has changed in those two years and I have really learnt so much about my life as a widower. What I actually discovered was when I lost Katherine it didn’t get easier, but it got better. In the sense of learning to pick yourself up. To live a happy life and to learn about love again.

Presently in my life, I am in a position to make lonely become ‘lonely’. By this time next week, the second chapter of my life will begin. Next week I will be married to a funny, loyal, gentle, kind-hearted beautiful woman, who I love dearly. I did hesitate to write about this, as I imagine it will shock some widows and widowers who read my blog – especially those who recently lost their spouse.

When I was newly widowed, I found the idea of another relationship alien and abhorrent. Mentally and emotionally, I was still married in my mind. Though it was only for 2 years, it was really strange for me to change this viewpoint. This made me assume, even at 37 years old, it was highly unlikely that I would ever want to meet anyone, and even if I did, it would never be as good as what Katherine and I had.

I believed that my single parent / widowed status was a clear deal breaker for any woman to even consider me in the future. It made me feel like I was ‘damaged goods’ for a long time – too damaged for another to love. It was like I had a screw loose or a blown fuse in my head that prevented me from fully feeling and enjoying the company of another. Like so many assumptions I have made, I was mistaken.

For the past year, I have been able to grow a life of love and kindness with my daughter and my future wife to be. Over time I have realised that there is no hard-and-fast “timeline” when it came to my ‘hardboiled’ grief. This also applied when it came to giving myself another chance at happiness. I can remember back in 2012, when I first met Katherine, it wasn’t planned, it just happened. We met, and we fell in love instantly – it was so natural and pure – not forced. My new partner and I experienced the exact same situation. It reminded me that we don’t always get to choose when something happens.

For all my family and friends, they understand the importance of my next stage in life. They understand I can’t stop, they understand life has to carry on. Not just for me but for Margot, my soon to be 3-year-old daughter. My nearest and dearest have all reminded me that Katherine would not have wanted me to suffer – all she ever really wanted was my happiness, and this is so true. If our situations had been reversed, I would have wanted that for her.

I can’t say thank you enough to all the people out there who have journeyed the widow/widower’s path to seeking a new life. All the information shared and the people I have spoken to have helped me understand my feelings immensely. I hope my story can help others.

This week I’ll be in full flow of turning our wedding preparations into actions. I can only predict that my next blog post will more than likely be on Father’s Day. Even now I can sense a new breath of hopefulness. I’ll have so much to write about as the next stage of my life is about to start. I hope my posts can now describe second chances, moving forward, hope, happiness and the challenges of raising a little girl.

If I could leave one piece of advice when you find love again. Please don’t get caught in the drama of being the victim or the martyr. Become the Phoenix and rise from the ashes. The journey will make you stronger and life will unfold for you in many new and unexpected ways.

My daughter is thriving as am I. Regardless of the past, she is shining like the brightest star in the sky and emerging as a beautiful, happy and kind person. 💜