The Beauty of Time #BOAW2018

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!Diana Beebe, Mermaids Don't Do Windows, MDDW, Diana Beebe's Blog, science fiction, fantasy, August McLaughlin, BOAW2018, BOAW

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.

34 comments on… “The Beauty of Time #BOAW2018”

  1. Lovely post Diana! I had not thought much about the beauty of time. Very well said! God bless you, sweet friend.

  2. Can I tell you how much I love this post and that it moved me to tears? The Victorians had it wrong. Can’t remember where I read it or even what the study was, but the essence stuck to me. People who were happily married and widowed generally tend to get remarried fairly “quickly” because they know how enriching it can be to share a life with another person and they’re unafraid to try again. I also think if they were well loved, they’ve been empowered by the one who is gone to move forward with life because they want nothing but your happiness.

    • Diana Beebe

      Kitt, your comment really touched me! I hope those were happy tears. I’m grateful everyday that Steve had the foresight to tell me to live life and to be okay with loving again.

  3. Diana, I agree with Kitt that the Victorians had it wrong. It is what is inside that dictates the depth of mourning, not the color of your clothes! And love is not a commodity! How in the world does your new love invalidate your love for Steve (whose love for you also brought me to tears). A beautiful post, Diana.

    • Diana Beebe

      Elizabeth, thank you for such a sweet comment! I’m overwhelmed.

  4. Nothing I like less than a good dictate. Those Victorians… Think of all they missed!

    Lovely post, Diana.

    • Diana Beebe

      Thank you, Elen! Those Victorians missed out on a lot! Yeah… I have a bit of a “don’t tell me what to do” attitude about a lot of things these days. 😉

  5. You know I love this post. And I know that unless you’ve experienced it or see someone firsthand who has, people just don’t get it. My sister decided to date again not quite a year after losing her husband too. It did seem fast to us, but we all wished for her to find someone again because she too is still young and has young girls who deserve many more happy memories to be made. I’m glad she found someone that takes care of her and adores my two talented nieces. Nobodies marriage belongs to anyone but the people married. I’m so happy you took a risk, allowed yourself to love your past and still create a happy, loving future. I love you, Diana! Thank you for writing this and sharing your story.

    • Diana Beebe

      Jess, it makes my heart so happy that your sister found someone and is happy! I love you, too, friend–sooo much!

  6. Okay, I am just about speechless. (Excuse me while I sniffle at Starbucks!) Diana, this is such a gorgeous and poignant post. May it reach and impact many. ❤️

  7. Wow, I didn’t know the Victorians made widows wait four years. Holy cow!

    Good thing you’re a strong person, Diana, and how blessed that Steve gave you peace and his blessing before he passed. The last thing you’ve needed while grieving and raising your daughters and getting on with life is the judgment of other people. No one has the right to judge you.

    It’s wonderful that you’ve found love again. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    • Diana Beebe

      Lynn, I try to be strong! I’ve had my moments when I didn’t feel that way at all. I’ve learned a lot about myself on this journey no one ever wants to be on. I was surprised to find love again and am so happy I did. He’s a great guy! <3

  8. This is a beautiful post, Diana! Who is anyone to define our relationships? The heart has reasons which no one else is supposed to judge. Now is where the beauty resides. What was there or what will be there, should be left with the individuals. <3

    • Diana Beebe

      Thank you, Swati! The present is where all the action is, right? 🙂

  9. My mom also told my dad that she expected him to remarry – she even made him a list of “acceptable” women they both knew! She was kidding about that part but she was right about him needing someone in his life. After a couple desperately unhappy years alone he is now remarried and my brother and I are overjoyed to see him so happy again. Mom would be too. Hugs!

    • Diana Beebe

      Oh, Lindsey! I’m so glad that your dad and family are doing well and happy! I love hearing stories like this. I’m sure your mom was a special and loving woman with an amazing sense of humor. I love that they were able to have that conversation and even joke about it. Steve had asked me if I knew any single men that I might consider being interested in! LOL Looking back, I was horrified that he asked me that, but now I realize that he was being absolutely practical and loving. {{{Hugs}}}

  10. “The beauty of time is now.” I love that line! And your post demonstrates it so beautifully, Diana. It is such a lovely mixture of past and present for what else lays the groundwork for our future? Lovely, just lovely.

    • Diana Beebe

      Thank you so much, Karen. Yes! What good is our future if we don’t have a foundation to build it on? <3

  11. I guess some might worry that a widow/widower might rush into something “too soon” just because they are lonely. I’ve seen that happen once or twice.

    But in your case, I don’t get how anyone who knows you would worry about that. And seeking love again, I think, honors the spouse who is gone, by saying, “I loved our life together so much, I want to find something like that again.”

    • Diana Beebe

      Yes, I agree. It’s not easy watching anyone rush into marriage because they’re lonely. I love your last sentence about honoring the spouse. That’s it exactly. I wish more people saw it that way.

  12. Time is a funny thing–it stretches and shrinks according to our perceptions; a moment from decades ago can burn more brightly than yesterday’s activities. I, too, love the line “The beauty of time is now.” We forget that at our peril!

    • Diana Beebe

      It’s weird how time seems to move more slowly or faster depending on the activities (work vs. play, for example) as well! Thanks so much, Audrey!

  13. Time is such a transitory thing, that setting limits for human potential has never made sense. You have succeeded in reaching through and beyond, both in real life and your wonderful post. Our past helps build our character, if not defines who we become. The two meld to become the fabric of life and I’m so happy that you have such a rich tapestry!

    • Diana Beebe

      Aww, Maeve, your comment is beautiful and really touched me! I love your description of the tapestry. My BOAW post from last year was about that! I’m so glad you stopped by. I so enjoyed reading your post, too!

  14. Diana –
    You must know how much I needed to read this. It’s been not quite two months since Jim died – and it was less than 2 months between jim’s diagnosis and his death.

    I’m still deep in that fog, dealing with a mountain range of unfinished business. I’m not yet remotely ready to set aside our 20+ mostly wonderful years together.

    But I grew up listening to my mother tell my father that if she died first and he fell in love with anyone else, she’d haunt him – and I always thought that was wrong.

    So did Jim. Neither of us wanted the other to be condemned to life alone. And, because Jim was a decent, loving man, and I grew tremendously during our years together, I know what i would and wouldn’t accept.

    I’m so happy for you. Finding something more with a good friend suonds ideal.

    I wish you many, many wonderful nows! <3

    • Diana Beebe

      Shan, you know where to find me if you ever need to talk! It’s been nearly 3 years, and I’m still dealing with some unfinished business items. Give yourself all the time you need, especially with things that can wait. I wish you many wonderful nows, as well. Those nows are yours and no one else’s! {{{Hugs}}}

  15. Thank you for sharing such an authentic and thoughtful post. The last line left me speechless, it’s so poignant. “The beauty of time is now.”

  16. Pingback: The Beauty of Community: A #BOAW2018 Wrap-up + Prizes Winners! - Girl Boner®

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