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Love after Loss

Alongside the devasting grief, the death of a partner can fuel a whole raft of emotions.

Whether you lost them suddenly or after an illness, had been a couple for many years and built a life together or were yet to realise your hopes and dreams – losing a spouse under any circumstances is one of life’s cruellest blows.

But there may come a time when you might feel ready to meet someone new, or a friendship slowly blossoms into something more, something unexpected that you thought might not have been possible again.

Finding love again after you have lost someone brings its own new challenges – feelings of confusion comparing the love you once had, to the guilt of betraying your partner. You don’t want to feel like you are moving on or that you are forgetting somebody. Children or family members may add to the difficulty and might encourage something you are not ready for, or disapprove of growing friendships.

One recent survey said a widow should wait 18 months, while more than one million Brits said they should never date again. But how can a time frame be placed on such a thing? And surely there can’t be ‘a right time’ when each person is different and gone through different experiences.

The surprising results of this survey were discussed by widows Jack Tweed and Debbie McGee when they appeared on Good Morning Britain.

Jack, who was married to former Big Brother contestant Jade Goody, 27, who died from cervical cancer when he was just 21, told the breakfast show although he has dated he has only had one proper relationship since Jade’s death in 2009 and made the mistake of trying to find a replacement.

While he feels he may never find someone who compares to what he had with Jade, he said: “I don’t think it’s right you should just be lonely for the rest of your life – you need company, you need companionship.”

Debbie, whose husband magician Paul Daniels died in 2016, said: “I think when you lose somebody the immediate thing is you want life to go on as it was. And you want to bring somebody into your life. And everybody is different. And every situation is different and different people I’ve spoken to since I lost Paul – some people have nursed their partner for ten years through pain, illness and awful things and have grieved during that time so when they die actually they are ready then for another relationship so why should somebody else say ‘no, you’ve got to wait 18 months’.”

Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee

She added: “We are all different and I feel I am so different now to how I was a month after he died so I am glad I didn’t rush into a relationship.”

Discussing finding love after loss, Andy Langford, chief operating officer at Cruse Bereavement Care, said: “We all grieve differently and only the person who has been bereaved will know if they are ready to date again and start a new relationship. Finding love again after the death of a partner can bring up a range of different emotions, these can include guilt and uncertainty.

“If someone does start dating again, it does not mean they have forgotten the person who has died. People can find that they profoundly miss and grieve for the person who has died, whilst at the same time find an attachment with someone else.”

If you are grieving and need to talk to someone you can contact
Cruse Bereavement Care
in Northamptonshire on
07772 428532
It is open between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday but a voicemail is available outside of these hours.
You can also email northamptonshire@cruse.org.uk