They have a segment called OPP--other people's problems--where a man said he'd been feeling pressured to date again after being widowed for four years. He said he'd gone on a few dates, but always felt like he was cheating on his deceased wife. Random people started calling in with trite advice about him needing therapy--duh, I'm sure he's been doing that--writing a letter to his dead wife and burning it--like that would magically erase grief, I guess--that his wife would want him to move on--again, duh, that's a given, but doesn't make it any easier--and other such nonsense.
I called. No, I'm not a therapist or some kind of grief guru. I'm simply someone who's gone down this same road, heard similar comments and wanted him to know that he's "normal", not to feel pressured before he's ready and referred him to the Young Widows Bulletin Board that's helped me significantly during the past six years.
Listen, I've tried the dating thing, too, simply because people were accusing me of not moving on or being stuck. I wasn't ready and it messed me up. I even went on Match.com, but when I started looking at pictures of men, I realized I was looking for Sean. Thinking that was probably a bad sign, I backed out of it.
Hearing that man on the radio affected me in my soul. Listening to the comments coming in from people who haven't heard their soulmate's last breath pissed me off. Grief isn't something with a timeline or a rule book. It's not like the movies in any way, shape or form. It's condescending to think otherwise.
I enjoyed being married. I miss having a partner backing me up. I hate being misunderstood. I firmly believe that, when the time is right, a new love will enter my life who will broaden my horizons in amazing ways. Things like love can't be forced, judged--or erased with a burning letter.
It's been said that the length of time we mourn is testimony to the depth of love we lost. I think that's beautiful.
I hope Mike from the radio finds love again one day. I hope we all do.