I am in the stage of life where I have friends and family losing spouses. Sometimes under tragic circumstances, others to illness, and always sad. Seeing them go through this, and knowing my father-in-law was only 64 when he died, has made me more aware that I have no guarantees of a long life ahead with my husband. This does not mean that I live in fear or with a sense of impending loss, but I do choose (usually) to put aside the petty annoyances (does the television really have to be that loud?) and enjoy, cherish, and hold on to the present day.
With a good chance that he will pass before me and I will face life without him, I have contemplated what might happen next. A common theme that I seem to hear is that a person "deserves to be happy" which apparently can only happen with a significant other in their life. Multiple movies show widows and widowers, and divorcees finding their deserved happiness once more. Elsa and Fred; And So It Goes; Something's Gotta Give; and Grumpy Old Men are just a few that I've watched and enjoyed.
A close cousin in our family lost her husband a little over a year ago. It was a long and difficult journey as she lost him a little at time over several years to a debilitating disease. Within six months of his passing the nudges were already being made that she should think about dating. Why? If she chooses to do that of course I will support her, but why do others assume she needs someone else in her life to feel complete, to be happy?
When I tell others that I have no intention of marrying again or finding a significant other should my husband predecease me, I get the knowing nods (like, we'll see about that). Maybe I will change my mind, but what's wrong with that intention? Can't I be content with one great love in my life?
I wonder if that thought of needing to have a "significant other" comes from a subconscious fear that we are not "enough" in and of ourselves?
I don't know what my future holds, but I do know that I get to choose what's right for me.
Labels: death, remarriage, significant other