A bit restless tonight I sat outside staring at the moon wondering what the view is like from heaven? Where is heaven exactly, anyway? I seem to automatically think it is somewhere up, outside this earth, in the sky - although I don’t know why? So, I gaze at the moon past midnight wondering if Josh (and others in heaven) can see the same moon that I do now.
Theologically, I know heaven is about a lot more than having a cooler view of the moon, but still I grasp for something that would bring those I love, who are no longer here on earth, close to me again.
Wishing for another conversation magically by moonbeam, I wonder what I would ask Josh if we could talk about my current circumstance? As my best friend, I would want to ask how to navigate life here and now? More specifically, I’d ask, “How do I let another person love and care about me in this new reality? How do I open up my heart and mind to care for someone else? Can I love someone the same as you or even more?”
Grief is really complicated and when blending in the idea of new love and relationships - it’s even more so.
So far, during the process of dating as a widow, two questions have caused me to stumble. One, from a friend who asked me months ago, “Do you believe you can be loved again?” And the other, more recent from someone currently navigating a relationship with me, “Can you let me love you?”
Both questions create a tension. Yes, I want to be loved again. And, yes I want to love deeply again. But sometimes the want and the how-to seem quite tricky to navigate. I wonder, “Is love even more complicated than grief?” Perhaps? Maybe, it’s not so much a comparison but an acknowledgement that trying to trust in love (again) as a person still grieving is quite challenging. It's hard to know what is even real and which emotions to trust.
Loving and being loved again is also risky - even as I try and remember that it is also rewarding - that my loss and grief wouldn’t cut so deep if I hadn’t loved so grand in the first place.
Entering the beginning of my second year (post loss), I believe more than anything that my late husband would want me to experience joy, love and relationship again, but as I do consider this, I must create space for this possibility. This means, letting any new relationship have its own story and narrative. This is not a do-over or a duplicate relationship — no matter how similar it may look at times. The new relationship is a very, very different thing with its own set of adventure opportunities as well as challenges.
In grieving on, I’ll keep trying to answer the questions above while trusting that the risk is worth it. Personally, it seems super weird to write about and embrace the emotions that come with it all - but it is also part of the healing process within my grief.
Recently, another blog I follow called Young, Widowed and Dating shared a guide of top questions related to dating. It is so accurate and helpful. For those out there in this season, or curious, here is a link to the e-book, "What the Widowed Community Wants You to Know - Dating Edition.
Hi! It's Jenn Brown, writing my story that is now slightly different as we enter a season of new grief. On September 30, 2019, my dear husband Josh passed away after battling brain cancer.