Decisions, decisions, decisions

I have been finding it more difficult to write this blog recently. Deep breath. It’s not because I have been wallowing in my grief at all. Yes there have been moments. There always are and always will be but…I am in a much happier place.  I know though, from the experience of fellow widow blogger Helen Bailey of Planet Grief, that many readers of my meanderings will not want to hear this at all…I have met someone new who has given me a glimpse of a future I never thought I could or would have post February 25th, 2012. It was a big decision to think about opening myself up to that possibility because I still love Colin, I always will, but I knew early on that I was not a widow that could stay alone for the rest of my life and I really don’t think Col would have wanted that either. Knowing that is one thing but the reality of ‘dating after death’, well that’s another completely.
I met Col when I was 25. I had no responsibilities. Neither had he. We had alot of fun and could make decisions on a whim. Fancy a holiday? Let’s book it. A night out? Of course. Food and drinks? Just us or with friends? We had no mortgages, we had good salaries and we had all the time in the world to enjoy each other. Or so we thought. This time around it has not been like that at all. And I am not the only one obviously who knows. Everyone has an opinion on my future it seems. I know it’s love and concern for me and my girls.  I know people are just looking out for me but I would like to point out that I am a fully fledged grown up and since Col’s death I have made some of the biggest, most important decisions of my life. So far most seem to be working out so I have started to trust myself more and hope that everyone who knows and loves me can do the same.
I am not all that bad at making decisions. I chose Col afterall. I knew he was the one for me so it wasn’t hard, of course. Becoming part of Nic ‘n’ Col ™ was the best decision of my life.  Now, however, that brand is broken. One half gone. And since it broke I have eeked out a new life for me and my girls day by day, making little decisions and big ones as I go. Weeping and wallowing along the way. Laughing and persevering too. I made a decision in the months after Col died that part of my future would one day have to lie in finding someone new because I just work better as part of a team. But that has meant the Nic ‘n’ Col ™ really is now in tatters. Or so it seems to the rest of the world. I know differently though. Col is here and keeps me ticking everyday.
Seeing me with someone else is hard for others. ‘What’s this? Why? Did she not love him enough to wallow for her whole life working the ‘poor me’ thing forever?’. No one will ever know how much I miss and love my love, but hey that’s my business. ‘Does she know what she is doing?’ Er not really but I have learnt life is a little too short to always play it safe. ‘Is she aware that there are lots of sharks out there all set to prey upon the the vulnerable, weeping widow and her many thousands in the bank?’. Hmmmm I may have shown a vulnerable side over the last 18 months but really most who know me know that I am no fool, so trust me and my instincts because I do. I don’t need everyone to give me the nod of approval on finding someone else but I do feel the need to tell those who care that I still the same Nicola who always made up her own mind on life and I will be OK. I know it because I am testament to that fact everyday. I am still here. And although Col is not, he is. He is here in my girls. I still make decisions based on the things I know he believed in or preferred. Everyday that I live and breath he is alongside me. And I know that he would be good with this because he loved seeing me laugh and being happy and made me giggle just when I wanted to scream and shout at the world. He wouldn’t have liked to have seen the depths of despair I have wept my way through over the last year and a half. He would, I am sure, be pleased to see me smiling again.
Happy I am but I cannot say that meeting someone new has not been without tears. It hurts me to see another lovely man with our girls sometimes. Of course it does. It should be Col throwing them up and getting their squeals of delight blasting through his eardrums. The new ‘C’ (I am not sure I want to blast his name all over my blog) understands that. He’s sat through the weepages. He’s sat silently knowing that he can never really understand how this feels. But he wants to. What else can he do? He reassures me. He tells me it’s an honour to be part of our lives because he has put himself in Col’s shoes. So I think so far moving on like this is a good decision. You can agree or disagree. I don’t really mind. What I do mind is that if somehow Colin were able to see us that he thought ‘good on you nic, you’re doing the right thing’ because no matter what, when it comes to decisions his opinion still counts, imagined or not. Love you forever Col. XX

35 Replies to “Decisions, decisions, decisions”

  1. You cannot live and behave in a way to please others. If people don’t agree with you having a new partner, they are not living your life.They need to walk a mile in your shoes too feel the pain you have, and are suffering. Happiness is what we all deserve in life. You more than most. Be happy. Don’t feel guilty. You have been through so much. Now you have someone new in your life, enjoy it. This is yet another stage in your life. Just remember, live your life for you, not for other people.

  2. Hun I’m with you. My husband took his life in 2011 and I have since met a lovely man.
    Because I’ve fallen in love again I have lost two close friends who have judged me. I can understand why as a widow a woman can’t rebuild her life and find love again. If the shoe was on the other foot I’d be happy for my friends.
    Like you having a new relationship hasn’t been easy. It hurts when I go to sports days etc because my children’s dad should be there.
    I miss him so much but life goes on and both of us know how short it is.
    I really hope it works out for you. You shouldn’t have to justify yourself why you are with another man. Xxxxxx

  3. I am thrilled darling, hate you being alone struggling. As long as you are smiling again then it matters not a jot what others may say. Let them try and walk in your shoes…Lynnette xxx

  4. Well done, what a hard decision to make, not to mention to do. You’re right, life is too short. Go live your life x

  5. Who on earth would begrudge you some happiness? It’s not as if you have chosen to be a widow, and unless they are in your shoes they can’t really have a clue what it’s like for you. You seem to be navigating this with sensitivity, wisdom, and respect for Col too. The man you are seeing sounds sensitive and compassionate too. I am sure your daughters will be all the better for knowing their mother is happy – or happier. They have lost their father, they don’t need a mother who is alone and unhappy for the rest of their lives. As a bereavement counsellor I see widows who are single parents by bereavement who say they will never ever have another partner and their children are/can be everything to them – that’s way too much burden/responsibility to place on the child if you ask me. You sound like such an amazing mum, and a lovely person, so if you can be happy in amidst the sadness then you well and truly deserve it.

    1. Thank you Henrietta. I am not sure I am an amazing mum but I do already see the benefits of two little girls having a male role model. They know he is not daddy but they know he is part of their lives and they grab for his hand and ask for cuddles, which is bittersweet but lovely. N

  6. Good for you Nic no one should judge as no one has walked in your shoes. I wish you lots of happiness. Hope you continue your blog if you can. Xxx

  7. I’ve read your blog in silence but feel it is right to leave an opinion this time. For me it’s only for you to decide when it’s the right time, if you feel it is right, the it is. What you’ve written about Colin is that he was a caring man and had his families best interests at heart in all things, so I’m sure he would be happy for you. It might fail, but give it a go! Opinions are like noses, everyone has one!

  8. Reading your blog this morning lightened my day with hope for my own future. I’m still new to this grief, but my husband Chuck and I discussed this very thing even before he got cancer. Each of us wanted the other to find another love. It’s impossible for me to even conceive of finding another man to meet my high standards after him, but I’m striving to keep my heart open even in the midst of heartbreak. So, Nic, I say to you-trust your gut and full steam ahead. Love is all that matters in this world (yes, along with the practicalities) and we need to be open to it. And, yes, Col is always with you, the same as Chuck will always be with me, if I’m fortunate to find a good man again.

    Be blessed, you and your girls~

  9. When I lost my husband Darren in 2012 I also lost my best friend & all the laughter we shared, so I hope Nic this new man makes you & your girls laugh & smile like there is no tomorrow. I wish you all love & loads of happiness.

  10. Good for you Nicola. You have done Colin proud and you will, forever. He would want you to be as happy as you can be, and to provide as much happiness as you can for your girls. The new ‘C’ must be a special (as well as a lucky) man, and I wish you all every happiness for the future. Sending much love.

  11. All the very best to the four of you. Don’t worry about the people who don’t agree with what you do…….they don’t walk in your shoes. Have the very best life you can.

  12. So pleased to hear this Nic. Colin loved you so much and with that, would always want you to be happy. He’ll always be a part of you and the girls; meeting someone new doesn’t change that. But it does give you the chance to find the happiness Colin would want for you. Xxx

  13. This is great news – when the time is right, new adventures start. My biggest challenge were the understandable misgivings of my children, between 19 and 26, but in due time they accepted that it was possible for their Dad to form new relationships without in anyway damaging the memory or legacy of their Mother. Tread slowly and wisely – go well brave one.

  14. All the best! Life is for living not for sitting on the side lines watching and your lovely Colin who I only know throught your blog would only want good things for you and your girls and you know that in your heart. X

  15. I have enjoyed reading your story. I think we were created to have relationships, parents, siblings, friends, and ultimately with the one you love. Life without is extremely lonely. Those who would frown upon you clearly haven’t been in your shoes. My only word of caution would be for the children’s sake.
    Take care,

  16. Just had another thought (for what it’s worth) maybe you should end this blog,what a lovely way to end,off into the sunset a happy ending knowing you have helped lots of people with your blog.keeping your new situation for yourself.

  17. Hi,
    I’ve followed your blog with interest since I lost my husband to cancer in Dec 2012. I too have two little girls (aged 2 and 4) and was widowed very young (I am 31 and my husband was 32) and feel I have cried and cheered alongside your posts – at times it was like holding a brutally honest mirror up to my face. When my husband died, I was determined that cancer had taken enough of our lives and that I would not be defined by this – life would go on and we would be happy. It is so hard to explain to other people that you hope to meet someone else in the future – why on earth wouldn’t we when our experience of marriage was so good? To be honest it is a conversation I have rarely had.
    I do, however, find myself wondering how on earth does a young widow with 2 small kiddos meet someone new? I know this is a very personal question to ask a stranger, but I can’t see how I can possibly do it!!! I think because I met my husband in my teens and have never had to date. The thought of Internet dating scares me, I am so aware of the vulnerability of my little family, but not sure what to do?

    I honestly wish you all the best nic – I know this isn’t why you started blogging, but you should know what a help you have been to someone following hot on your heels.

    Love, Jo

    Don’t feel you have to post this message on your blog – I know it is personal to ask how you met, mind your own business is a fair response!

  18. I am so happy to read this post. My husband died 2.5 years ago and I was feeling really bad for wanting to find someone and get on with my life. It seems that most that write here are too enveloped in the grieving process to consider moving on. I was beginning to wonder if something was wrong with me. Now after reading this post, I realize that there is nothing wrong with me. I am one of the lucky ones who realizes that living has to go on. I feel for you that your children are young. I know that must make it harder. My daughter is 21 and married so she will not be affected by any new relationship I might get into. I wish you luck with your man. I fully support you in your quest to continue living and try not to let those who don’t understand get you down. Good luck. 🙂

  19. So happy that you are happy again. Try not to listen to those who make comments, they’re not the ones sitting on their own every evening! Colin would want you to be looked after so he can rest. And you will be a better mum to his girls if youre happy Xxx

  20. You and your girls have still got a life to live and enjoy. I don’t think anyone should have an opinion on what you are doing except you as we are all entitled to enjoy the good fortune in our lives and learn from any (many in my case!) mistakes we make along the way…’s what life is all about. Good luck with your ‘new team’ 🙂

  21. It’s hard enough doing the dating thing when you’re young, single and fancy-free, let alone in your current situation, so I pray for wisdom and for blessings galore for you as you take each step on this path to wholeness and healing, all the time, as you say, keeping a place for Colin in your heart. Your blog is inspirational, and only you will know what to share, how much and when, but definitely do it do you and no one else. 🙂

  22. I truly wish you , the girls and C all the happiness in the future. You deserve it. Your happiness is what matters and if there are others casting negative opinions then let them be. I would imagine some are just worried and will come to realise you know whats good for you and the girls. I’m 8 months down the line and whilst the time is not right for me I hope some day I may find someone to share my life with. I have followed your blogs for a while, smiling, crying with you. You’ve helped keep me focused on recovery and not wallow too much. Thank you for that N xx

  23. Those that truelly love us want our happiness. I think Colin would be proud of you for having the courage to love again after such a devastating loss and he would want his girls (all three) to be happy. I am fortunate not to have experienced what you have, but my husband and I have had ‘the talk.’ I can honestly say I would want him to find happiness with someone else, and to know my children have another person in their lives to love them. As you have said, no one can ever understand your loss, or your love for Colin, you and he both know the truth. All the very best to you x

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