Coping with Loss/dating a widower

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Question
I started dating a widower who lost his wife in October 2011.
We met four months ago,We've seen each other more during the first 2 months, the last two months we only met twice and very briefly.
He rarely call, most of the time I call him, and he sound so low,
He does send messages telling me that I must not forget that he loves me.Now he is on holiday ,he is so quiet. He have two kids,17 and 14

Answer
Hi Gloria,

I'm not exactly sure what your question is in this message.  You've given me some observations, but not really asked anything.  So I can just say that everything you describe here sounds like very normal reactions to me.  

The first year after our son died, during the holidays, it was very hard to be without him.  The second year after our son died, during the holidays, it was even harder because that was the year it dawned on me that *every* year would be without him.  So I'm not surprised at all when people tell me that get very down during the holiday season, no matter how many years out from the date of death.  This would be second season for his teen children to be realizing they will have every holiday for the rest of their lives without their mother.  That is a big revelation for anyone.  Very hard for a child to integrate.  And remember children re-visit major loss at every new stage of development, so their integration work around their mother's death is likely to happen gradually over the course of their lives.  And they'll probably need time and space with their dad to communicate about these things along the way.

And in fact, I'm of the belief that even as adults, we revisit our major losses as we gain new life skills and experiences and so our integration, too, happens gradually over a life time.

The best any of us can do for those we love who are grieving is to be patient.  The process doesn't happen cleanly in 5 stages, 1, 2, 3 and now our hearts are la-la free again to move on -- it just doesn't happen that way.  If you want to be available to and for him as a friend and resource, all you can do is be patient.  Be present when he does interact.  Be patient when he is not interacting or when he is quiet or down.  If you can do that without expectation of him having to change or be some specific way for/with/about you, then great and foster the friendship.  But if you want him to heal, get better, move on, fall madly in love with you and forget about grief because your relationship is so great -- well, I'm sorry, but I'm afraid that may set you up for disappointment.

Grief takes time.  A LOT of time.  Much more time than our impatient world wants to allow.  That is not to say that we can't grieve and love at the same time.  That is not to say he can't grieve and love his dead wife *and* foster new relationships of love and caring.  But it takes a LOT of time.  And a LOT of integration to understand and hold that duality.

Not sure if this answers your inquiry or not because as I said, I'm not really sure what your question was.  But hopefully it is a helpful start.  And please feel free to write back again with a follow up if you have some other specific question(s).

Thank you.

Coping with Loss

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Kara L.C. Jones

Expertise

My specialty is using creativity to address grief, loss, and death issues. Creativity is not necessarily about being an artist, but rather about being willing to let go what we think we know and get a different perspective using creative tools such as writing, drawing, body mapping, painting, smashing, wrecking, mosaic, heART journal,and many other techniques. I can answer questions about how to have permission to grieve in your own way, how to become your own best advocate as you learn to live life again, how to approach a creative way of being even when you think you are not creative. Afterall, it takes a lot of creativity to find reasons to get out of bed the day after someone you love has died. I am glad to answer any questions about how to embrace that creative approach when we otherwise feel totally tapped out by the grief experience.

Experience

For 14 years, I've been studying grief and creativity specifically and have been part of bringing the emerging field of grief and creativity to the fore in our world. I worked for a decade with the MISS Foundation offering support to families around the world who are enduring the death of a child due to any cause from miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, accident, disease, suicide, whatever the case. I also co-founded The Creative Grief Studio with Cath Duncan from Remembering For Good as a brand new vision on the training, accountability, and development of the Grief Coaching and helping professionals fields. And probably most important, I've endured the death of three of my own sons and am always learning to live creatively with that reality. For more information, see: http://www.motherhenna.com/about.htm

Organizations
The Creative Grief Studio, Grief & Creativity groups on both LinkedIn and G+

Publications
See: http://www.motherhenna.com/seen.htm

Education/Credentials
Graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Three-year Mentorship with Fred Rogers and Hedda Sharapan of FCI producers of Mister Rogers Neighborhood, Certified Reiki Master-Teacher, Certified Whole Systems and AI Coach (key model being The Hero's Journey)

Past/Present Clients
Confidentiality and a sense of ethics will not allow me to share private client information ever! If you are interested in testimonials from people who have worked with me and given full permission for me to share their experiences, please see: http://www.motherhenna.com/grief.htm

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