The Beauty of a Woman blog fest is back again. What a fabulous way to celebrate beauty! I hope you enjoy the post and go
Time is a human construct. At some point in human history, people created the things called seconds, minutes, hours… and everyone adopted them as a good method to keep track their days, weeks, months…
The Victorian Era had time constructs for different life events. A widow was expected to wear black and mourn her late husband for four years. Later in the era, the time was decreased for a widow to one year and one month. If a widowed woman never remarried, she was looked upon as some paragon of virtue for the rest of her life. However, a widower was expected to mourn his late wife only three months. Hmmm.
What weirdly arbitrary time frames the Victorians created!
Even though there is no set time given in modern times for when it’s acceptable for a widowed person to move on, there are still some very strong opinions about it–usually from those people who are not widowed. There have been stories of celebrities who remarried after losing a beloved spouse, and people attacked them on social media with comments such as “it’s too soon” or “you didn’t love your wife/husband.” Just this week, I saw an article about a man who’s wife passed in 2011 and now he has a girlfriend, which surprised people because he’d been such a devoted husband. So he’s supposed to stay married to the memory of his wife?
It is not polite or nice or loving to tell a widowed person that she (or he) hasn’t waited long enough or they didn’t love their spouse. No one has that right. There are no longer defined norms for mourning time frames. Please, don’t impose your own sensibilities on other people—essentially it imposes a life of loneliness on them. Would you want to live that way?
It’s been about 2.5 years since I lost my husband. I know we loved each other. He loved me enough to tell me to move on with my life: to be strong, to love again, and to remarry someday when I was ready. Does that mean I didn’t love him? Don’t be ridiculous!
I’m not planning to remarry soon. I am, however, in a happy, healthy, and strong relationship with a guy who gets me, all of me. We began dating less than a year after I was widowed. My sense of peace and my emergence from the fog of grief opened me up to finding love again—or at least exploring the idea.
I remember strongly thinking that I didn’t want to go through that kind of loss ever again. But I also saw a good 40 or more years ahead of me. I took a chance to go out with a good friend to see where things went. Was it too soon for me? I decided that it wasn’t.
That’s the beauty of time. It was my time, defined the way I felt was right to define it—not some cultural or social norms arbitrarily decided on by opinions of others who probably have never been widowed.
Every day was a new day for us. Every day was an opportunity to see if we wanted to add another day to our growing friendship and sweet romance. It was our timeline.
A great friend of mine told me that the best relationships are built on the day-by-day foundation that we were making. He was right. After almost two years’ worth of days built together, our good friendship has turned into a wonderful companionship of support, understanding, patience, and love.
Time and healing don’t need help or the opinions of others to sort themselves out. The only time that’s important is the present. The past is over, which doesn’t mean we have to forget about it. The future is unknowable, so don’t try to guess it. Let’s be present in the moments as we live them. Live in the present, where things are actually happening.
The beauty of time is now.
This post is part of The Beauty of a Woman BlogFest VII! To read more entries, and potentially win a fun prize, visit the fest page on August’s McLaughlin’s site between today and 11pm PST March 9th.