Last Friday, the second chapter of my life began as I married a caring, amazing and beautiful woman called Nicola. It was the most astonishing day that we both shared with all the people we love.
Being a widower who has become open to love and happiness a second time around. It has not only given me something I was ready for, but it has also given me something new in common with lots of other widowers. Teasingly, I can now put myself in the same category as the great Sir Paul McCartney.
For many reasons, remarriage is simply one of the various paths we can choose from grief. I hope my experience can prove that after the life-changing of loss, you can introduce love back into your life. However, I do understand this is only if we chose or allow it. I know not everyone who has suffered a bereavement of a spouse will wish to find a new love in this life. I have met and spoken to so many people who have made peace with their permanent loneliness, and this is ok.
The path we eventually chose is just how we deal with our lives in our very own way. Every emotion and choice we make is so complex and personal to each individual. For me, the path of my grief has navigated me to a new life that accepts my grief, in a world of immense love.
When I first felt prepared to remarry, two things determined my own readiness: firstly, I had accepted my loss and I was interested in sharing more than just a bed with a woman. I was interested in sharing my life, my love, and my family. The droplets of grief were starting to fall far less frequently at this time. The waves of emotion that radiated out were more manageable. I was getting stronger than I could ever have imagined.
Secondly, as I was a widower who wanted to remarry I had to acknowledge and process the natural guilt I felt at the beginning. This guilt had no effect on my feelings for being in a relationship. This was purely a new outcome from taking the next step. It manifested from my grief and for my old life with Katherine. With time and patience, it eventually became more natural to be with someone else.
Like most things in grief, none of the above will come with a timescale. The important thing for me was that I recognised how I felt. Whether I’d waited two years or twenty years to embrace love again, I always knew I would have felt the same. It was important to self-identify and to process it.
Looking back over the last two years of my journey, and all the challenges of grief that I’ve acknowledged. Losing Katherine has changed me in so many bizarre ways. None of my journeys was planned or expected but I’ve faced them all head on. Katherine had left a better man than the one she had married. I know Katherine’s life’s purpose wasn’t to leave me a better man. What I mean by this, is the fact it is all a side effect of her loss. Lessons in grief and love!
I am very happy to reproduce the happiness of my first marriage. I consider myself very lucky to have been able to do it twice in the same lifetime. Some people don’t even find it at all.