LOVE, LOVING AGAIN, & SENSITIVITIES

I am writing this entry in my journal, as my comments will undoubtedly be taken as incendiary and not conducive to the continued state of grieving embraced within the Widows & Widowers Group here at Daily Strength. 
A little over one month ago, a heated discussion about religion and grieving was stirred up when one member who is an atheist lamented the fact that he felt as though the comments made in an effort to help him grieve had the opposite effect on him when the comments referred to a faith based context. Some 115 comments resulted and many good people expressed their feelings on one side of the issue or the other.
 In an effort to remedy the bad feelings, I founded a new discussion group called “Widows & Widowers of Faith” as a means for those of us who have a relationship with God to freely express ourselves without any controversy. My efforts were met with a fair amount of mockery, criticism and outright hostility. I was accused of trying to split the group and/or caving in to the wishes of the atheist. This was never my intention, and the 72 members of the new group continue to contribute to the main group in addition to the faith based one.
In any event, my feelings were hurt, and I felt as though the Widows & Widowers group had become less than helpful to me. Just the other day, I began to contribute to the main group again, and at the encouragement of some members, I had decided to rejoin in the dialog there.
The other day I wrote in my journal for the first time in nearly a month. Towards the end of my entry, I indicated that I was embarking on a new relationship with a lovely woman who I met on this site. Having had no previous intentions of doing so, Elizabeth and I have developed a bond that we both find to be a blessing from God Himself. We are committed to furthering our relationship, and as a result, I am relocating to Texas.
As things would have it, I was meandering through the discussion posts on the W&W group, when lo & behold, what should I find but a new discussion mocking and criticizing those who have chosen to move forward and accept a new partner to share life's pleasures and heartaches with. The poster pontificates that: “I get really angry when people talk about how you can find another man and behappy again”....Followed by: “How can we say we valued the relationship if we just get over it in a hurry and get a new Ken doll?” She then posted a follow up to add further insult:
“Thanks for all your comments. I can understand different points of view. But to slam someone's beliefs is so hurtful. Only God knows what is best for me and I will spend my life seeking it. I might consider another man if I come home some afternoon, unlock the door, and there on the sofa is a man holding a sign that says, "God sent me." Then I would have a pretty good clue as to what God wanted for me.”
Now I realize that I may be ultra sensitive with my feelings once again, and I am sure that the poster was not personally attacking me, but with one or two exceptions, the prevailing attitude at the W&W discussion group seems to be one in which folks are more comfortable remaining in their grief as opposed to accepting a new direction, should that opportunity arise. I, of course, have no problem with this. Why then, is there so much mockery and disdain for those of us who choose a different path?
As many of us have previously addressed this issue over the past several months,  I am finding it very unsettling when people post without consideration for the feelings of other members of this group.  As has been repeatedly stated, we are all grieving the loss of our spouses.  To denigrate my grief or insinuate that I lack commitment to my wife as evidenced by my entering into a new relationship is very insensitive, hurtful and ignorant.  And I resent it.
That being said, I do want to take this opportunity to thank all of my good friends here who have extended their blessings and best wishes on my decision to seek happiness in my life.  I appreciate you all more than you will ever know.  And for those of you who are offended by or lack the understanding or willingness to support my decision, I simply say that you are certainly free to feel the way that you do.  I will continue to pray for your happiness and hope you will lead full and rewarding lives.  Grief is like a fingerprint.  We are all unique in this regard.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all, and thank you for being my friend.....
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOqyygAQSX0
Thank you for being a friendTraveled down the road and back againyour heart is true you're a pal and a confidantI'm not ashamed to sayI hope it always will stay this wayMy hat is off, won't you stand up and take a bowAnd if you threw a partyInvited everyone you knewYou would see, the biggest gift would be from meand the card attached would say,Thank you for being a friendIf it's a car you lackI'd surely buy you a cadillacWhatever you need, anytime of the day or nightI'm not ashamed to sayI hope it always will stay this wayMy hat is off, won't you stand up and take a bowAnd when we both get olderWith walking canes and hair of grayHave no fear, even though it's hard to hearI will stand real close and say,Thank you for being a friendAnd when we die and float awayInto the night, the Milky WayYou'll hear me call, as we ascend I'll see you there, then once againThank you for being a friendI wanna thank you, thank you, for being a friendThank you for being a friend
 

Replies

inmemoryofhattie
inmemoryofhattie

And thanks goes back to you for being a good friend in hard times.

I think the comments made are about the people making them and not about you.

I don\'t really understand why anyone would be on a site dedicated to grieving and then say something hurtful...the rage and anger part of the grief perhaps? The little I understand of grief is that it is a natural process, different for every single one of us and a way in which we can mourn our losses, and return to living. Yes, a life without that person. A different life altogether.

I feel that I have been blessed with the people I know, the people that do love me. I cannot imagine one of those people not wanting me to have something or someone in my life that held a promise of goodness, even happiness...after all what is love, what is care, what is regard for another.

So, Joe, be your good self, free...free to mourn, free to love, free to live your life as it calls to you.

I rejoice in your possibilities, I wish you every good, every blessing..

Life is too short, with too much pain to waste a minute, a second of joy or hope or love......ALOHA!
deleted_user
deleted_user

I don\'t belong to the W & W group but you were the first person who extended his hand in friendship when I came to DS and for this reason, I am very grateful.

Now, having said that, I am VERY HAPPY you found someone!!!! That\'s wonderful news! (((HUG))) ..... so don\'t pay any attention to all those catty comments you read on the W & W forum. Why did they say such horrible things? Envy! That\'s all! They are envious of your good fortune without realizing it has nothing to do with luck. You found someone who loves you because you are a lovable person. It\'s that simple! :-)

As for atheists and believers.... it sure beats me! In my family half of us are deeply spiritual and half of us are profound atheists and yet we coexist peacefully together. Why?.... Tolerance! Empathy! It\'s putting yourself in another person\'s place so you can understand where he or she is coming from.

If you are an atheist and a person of faith says: \"May God be with you.\" there\'s no reason to be insulted because it is simply a gesture of good will. The words don\'t matter. It\'s the intention that counts.

As Shakespeare once said: \"A rose by any other name smells just as sweet\".

May you and Elizabeth find in each other all the peace and happiness you both deserve. :-)
rene4ever
rene4ever

Joe,
Thanks for all the posts you have written as you will never know how much communicating with you has helped me. Anyone who judges anothers grief or life changes has never stopped to think that all are different and must believe if they are miserable why isn\'t everyone. Grief is a personal matter and not we are not out there to be judged. I attend a grief group for widows/widowers over 60 and there are people there that have been grieving for 5 - 6 years. I do not judge them but pray for therm to get to the next step. I also have seen some people meet someone after 6 months and leave the group as they felt they have found their new normal and a partner. I do not judge. It their life and their greif who am to say.!
As I stated before I am happy for your finding Elizabeth and wish you nothing but the best. Stay in touch and Happy Thanksgiving to you.
Peace to you,
Dave
deleted_user
deleted_user

Joe,
I am happy for both you and Elizabeth. I sincerely wish you both the very best. Each of you have been my loyal friends since I came to DS. God bless you.
Eddie
deleted_user
deleted_user

I want to say that I hope that you and Elizabeth are happy, take it slow and let God lead your relationship. As for those people who can\'t seem to understand how someone could find happiness again with another person, well, we are all different. I am one who could never live with another person again. I don\'t understand, but that is me. I just am happy that you found someone again. I am in a terrible state of mind right now, and feel like I could never trust again. It is good that you can trust and find love again. I feel like it is not in the cards for me. Take care and have a great Thanksgiving. Hugs~Shelley
deleted_user
deleted_user

I am very happy for two of my favorite people on this site. You both have comforted me during these last four months.

God has given us this assurance:

For I know the plans I have for you,\" declares the LORD, \"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

For those who say that they will never love again, God has a plan for them. Perhaps it is that they love again or perhaps not but you have to keep your heart open. I\'m so glad that you and Elizabeth have left your heart open. As they say in the UCC, never put a period where God has put a comma and also that God is still speaking. God is still speaking and you both have chosen to listen.

Hugs, Carla
deleted_user
deleted_user

How lovely to have been blessed with another chance at love and no one can understand better then another W that has been on this road? Couldn\'t have been two more fav people. Keep posting as you still have much to share as you walk down the road..now with company :) ....but it sure would help the rest of us behind you. As for \'feelings\'...they come and go...just let it flow away...God is good all the time...All the time God is good. xoxox
Karen-Dugan
Karen-Dugan

Enter a comment here
Karen-Dugan
Karen-Dugan

Joe, I am so happy that you have found someone, I wish you and Elizabeth all the happiness. Hope you will still stay around, you have been such a special friend to me.
doyew
doyew

Wishing you the best. Some people are never happy themselves and can\'t be happy for anyone else. Here\'s hoping that you and Elizabeth find happiness together.
Doye
deleted_user
deleted_user

Congratulations on moving on with your life. As long as you are happy, it shouldn\'t matter what others think. That is easier said then done, at least in my experience. Oh, and welcome to Texas. It\'s a great state, it is home for me.
Lininsocal
Lininsocal

Joe,
I am very happy for you that you have found someone to share your life with. Life is better shared and you have been blessed. There are those who are strong in their opinions of remaining in their widowed state and not allowing another interfere with their loving memories. It is the path they chose and should not chastise or judge other\'s for finding a partner to share the rest of their lives with. It is not a matter of degree of love for your lost love but a honor to the value of life and living it.
I wish you only happiness and a Happy Thanksgiving.
Linda
deleted_user
deleted_user

You are a great friend,Joe,& I applaud you for voicing your thoughts.Some folks just need the constant attention grief solicits,& they don\'t want to let go because they thrive on the emotion.It isn\'t healthy.God meant for us to lead fulfilling lives,& I\'m happy you are stepping forward so bravely.We never stop missing our loved ones.We honor their memories. Have a great Thanksgiving my friend.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Joe I had first husband who was brain injured in coma 2 years cared for him for years with his brain damage and one point we parted ,when I met man married to now felt disloyal someone told me it possible love someone not be able be with them this was case ,I married my Bill and later when my first husband had cancer it was possible be his care giver help my children through losing their father a second time as tech he died day of accident.

Time is not issue it perfectly possible with christian faith or Atheist to not forget the person you loved and love another I did so followed direction . my present husband accepted always love my first while he been dead number years now , that love is not gone love for my now husband 18 years is equally strong. people tried split us up , I am sure from what little time known Elizabeth she warm person loving and you yourself the same .dont allow man to destroy what you have right to happiness fight for it , name and claim it Joe
Daninmn
Daninmn

Joe,
Wishing you and Elizabeth all the happiness in the world. May GOD bless both of you.
Your friend Dan