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Since: Jan 10

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#1
Jul 21, 2012
 
DEAR ABBY: You once printed a letter from a man who was dying. He wanted his surviving widow to pursue happiness after his death with some man who would be kind to her. The letter was mainly addressed to those who might stand in judgment if she began dating soon after he was gone.
Abby, is there a rule of thumb about how long the widow or widower should wait after the death of the spouse to begin pursuing another relationship?-- LONELY IN GADSDEN, ALA.

DEAR LONELY: There was a time when it was considered scandalous for a widow or widower to date before a year of mourning had passed. However, today the grieving spouse may begin to date whenever he or she feels ready to do so.

The letter you remember was signed "'Mac' in Oregon," and it bears repeating. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: Thank you for supporting the widow who started dating three months after her husband died. You were right when you told her, "The time to show respect for one's spouse is while that spouse is living."
Here is my story, and there must be a few thousand husbands (and wives) who feel the same as I do.

My wife and I have had many good years together. We raised kids, lived through joyous good times and horrendous bad times. I am in my 18th month of chemo treatment for various cancers. I may live three months or five years. It doesn't matter how short or how long my life will be, but it's reasonable to assume that I will die before my wife does.

I have had a more rewarding and fruitful life than I probably deserve, for which I am grateful. But the day I die, my last thoughts will be regret that I shall leave her alone. So sad, to me, to know that after so many months of total concentration on my welfare -- days of putting up with my misery and never letting me see her own misery -- her reward will be to be left alone.

Abby, she is not the kind of person who should be left alone. So I tell her now, and I want all my kids and friends to listen: "As soon as you possibly can, after throwing my ashes off the boat into the Pacific, wrap the memories of our life together around you -- and begin a new life. If three days, or three months, after I'm gone, you find a man who will love and cherish you for a few years as I have for so many, go for it! You've earned it." -- "MAC" IN OREGON

DEAR MAC: Your sincerity rings true, leaving me uncharacteristically speechless. Thanks for a two-hankie letter.

DEAR ABBY: My granddaughter is due to have a baby in a short while. She wants to have a baby shower and would like to invite her girlfriends with their husbands or boyfriends. I always thought that baby showers were for females only. What is your opinion?-- WONDERING GRANDMOTHER

DEAR WONDERING: Times have changed. Baby showers now often include men and take place on a weekend afternoon, preferably not on the same day as a major sports event. One thing that hasn't changed, however: A baby shower is usually hosted by friends of the parents-to-be, rather than family.

Since: Jan 10

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#2
Jul 21, 2012
 

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L1/2. I figure, if you can accept that your spouse loved others beforeyou, you should accept that he/she will love others after you.

however, I'd be a pissed off ghost if my spouse skipped the grieving and jumped into bed/dating wtih someone else too soon (arbitrary, I know -- but a month after I'm dead?). At least act like you're sad and miss me too much to think of another woman, for a few months. Thanks.

L3: She doesn't get to have a baby shower just because she wants one. If she's been a good friend to her friends, they probably will want to host one. If not, then she needs to shrug it off and accept that those around her don't owe her baby stuff.

I'm firmly in the camp of "no men at baby showers." But to each his/her own.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#3
Jul 21, 2012
 
L1: If you enjoyed your marriage and had a good one, of course you would want to find that again. I think you should wait until you personally feel your grieving process is concluding so you can go into a marriage with a clear head and make a good choice, but because it's scandalous to marry early.

L3: What rock has this grandmother been living under? A baby shower is nothing more than a party to welcome a baby and help the couple with gifts. I'd prefer one, though, where you don't play traditional games (yawn). Food and drink and maybe (maybe) have everyone bring a baby picture and guess who it is.

Since: Jan 10

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#4
Jul 21, 2012
 
Great post, toj. I know you meant "but NOT be because it's scandalous...."

Agreed.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#5
Jul 21, 2012
 
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
Great post, toj. I know you meant "but NOT be because it's scandalous...."
Agreed.
Oops. Thanks.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#6
Jul 21, 2012
 

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Some diseases take so long tht the grieving takes place when teh physical body is still alive.We lost my grandfather to Alzheimer's, but the Papa Lee I knew and loved was gone perhaps 4-5 years before his body died. I didn't cry at his funeral because I had done so a long time before.

My other grandfather Papa Eddie, died suddenly of a heart attack.My mother still cannot understand why I cried for him but not Papa Lee.

I have watched a dear friend die of cancer and seen her husband start dating soon. I don't think anyone we knew begrudged Tom that. He was lonely and had been through hell watching our friend die. He married about 2 years after the death. Not all their kids approved but that grew out of the father/kid relationship rather than loyalty to their mom

Since: Feb 08

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#7
Jul 21, 2012
 
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L1/2. I figure, if you can accept that your spouse loved others beforeyou, you should accept that he/she will love others after you.
however, I'd be a pissed off ghost if my spouse skipped the grieving and jumped into bed/dating wtih someone else too soon (arbitrary, I know -- but a month after I'm dead?). At least act like you're sad and miss me too much to think of another woman, for a few months. Thanks.
L3: She doesn't get to have a baby shower just because she wants one. If she's been a good friend to her friends, they probably will want to host one. If not, then she needs to shrug it off and accept that those around her don't owe her baby stuff.
I'm firmly in the camp of "no men at baby showers." But to each his/her own.
Quite often those whose spouses had a long debilitating illness before dying have already gone through most, if not all, of the grieving stages.
I am with Mac. Once I'm gone the best thing for my spouse and other survivors to do is go on with their lives. Be happy.
If Bear starts moving his stuff in with SW three HOURS after I croak I am fine with that. I want HIM to be as happy as he can be after I'm gone, just as I do all I can to make him happy while I'm here. And the feeling is mutual. I know, we've discussed it.
As you said,(although it was about the other letter)
And if anyone does give him flack, I hope I'm able to haunt the feck out of them and give them nightmares for months.

But to each his/her own.

Since: Feb 08

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#8
Jul 21, 2012
 
Oops, there is a sentence in the wrong spot, y'all can figure it out.

Since: Mar 09

Boynton Beach, FL

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#9
Jul 21, 2012
 
"Abby, is there a rule of thumb about how long the widow or widower should wait after the death of the spouse to begin pursuing another relationship?"

In a word, no. Every situation is different. I agree with you guys.
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

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#10
Jul 21, 2012
 

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LW1: My mother took care of my dad for many years when he was ill and *I* know how much she loved him. He was always ill and he died young. She began dating 3 months after he passed. I was very happy for her and I didn't care what anyone else thought.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#11
Jul 21, 2012
 

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Wrong,
Not till your kids say it's ok. Just ask Sublime.
j_m_w wrote:
"Abby, is there a rule of thumb about how long the widow or widower should wait after the death of the spouse to begin pursuing another relationship?"
In a word, no. Every situation is different. I agree with you guys.

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