Finding New Close Friends

When you have lost your significant other, the inclination is to avoid starting a new relationship. It’s easier to just stay with group socialising. You may be afraid of upsetting your family and friends who might think you are disrespecting your deceased partner. You may even feel you are too ‘long-in-the tooth’ for another close relationship. However, you may find you have a natural affinity with a member of your social group which opens up the opportunity to spending time alone with them. This can initially lead to feelings of guilt and wondering if it’s right to enjoy this new relationship.

It really is allowed – of course it is! You are just trying to cope, and socialising is a way of coping. One client asked me if it was okay to go out for dinner with someone about 5 to 6 months after his partner’s death. And of course it was, as long as he felt comfortable.

However, please understand the timing is totally a personal choice – it might not happen for months, or years. It doesn’t matter because you are in control of the ‘when’. You may choose that there can’t be a ‘when time’ and you are happier in a group.

And that’s fine as well. It’s your choice.

Don’t forget though, as women and men we are generally a ‘social lot’ and some personal ‘one on one’ company, at some stage can be, well, just really nice.

To illustrate this point further…

One widower had moved on to describing himself as ‘single’, which was quite a big step in itself. It demonstrated how well he was coping with his new role in life. After about 7 to 8 months, when people asked, he felt calling himself a widower just seemed to bring him attention he didn’t want. It didn’t affect his grief, just how he was perceived. When he got home after going out to dinner with someone he felt guilty. “OMG what am I doing?” However, he needed to survive as a human being and keep strong as a Dad to three teenagers. His kids were pleased their Dad was getting out and trying to get on with his life. It helped them to see their Dad was trying to cope, and in turn it helped them to cope too.

One amazing lady lost her daughter and after a few years, her daughter’s husband started to go out with someone else. Both the mum-in-law and new partner met regularly over the next few years – Christmases, birthdays, general family get-togethers etc. After a while the couple moved in together and a few years later they got married. This amazing lady had already fully and totally welcomed his new partner/wife/daughter into her family. She attended their wedding and is still an essential part of their new life together. It helped her to cope with her own loss by seeing her son-in-law find happiness again, while obviously never forgetting his first wife.

You’ve just walked on ahead of me

You’ve just walked on ahead of me
And I’ve got to understand
You must release the ones you love
And let go of their hand.
I try and cope the best I can
But I’m missing you so much
If I could only see you
And once more feel your touch.
Yes, you’ve just walked on ahead of me
Don’t worry I’ll be fine
But now and then I swear I feel
Your hand slip into mine.

An excerpt from a poem by Joyce Grenfell

We Remember Them

When we are weary and in need of strength,
When we are lost and sick at heart,
We remember them.

When we have a joy we crave to share
When we have decisions that are difficult to make
When we have achievements that are based on theirs
We remember them.

At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter
At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring,
We remember them.

At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer
At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn,
We remember them.

At the rising of the sun and at its setting,
We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live
For they are now a part of us,
As we remember them.

Adapted from the Yizkor Service

Remembering Me

To the living, I am gone
To the sorrowful, I will never return
To the angry, I was cheated
But to the happy, I am at peace
And to the faithful, I have never left

I cannot speak, but I can listen
I cannot be seen, but I can be heard
So as you stand upon the shore
Gazing at the beautiful sea, remember me

As you look in awe at a mighty forest
And in its grand majesty, remember me
Remember me in your hearts,
In your thoughts, and the memories of the
Times we loved, the times we cried,
the battle we fought and the times we laughed
For if you always think of me,
I will never have gone.



I’d like the memory of me
to be a happy one,
I’d like to leave an afterglow
of smiles when life is done.
I’d like to leave and echo
whispering down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing
times and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who
grieve, to dry before the sun
Of happy memories that I leave
When life is done.

Author Unknown


Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.

Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann’d:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

Christina Rossetti

I’m Free

Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free,
I’m following the path God laid for me.
I took his hand when I heard his call,
I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I’ve found that peace at the end of the day.

If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Ah, yes, these things too I will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow,
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My Life’s been full, I savoured much,
Good friends, good times, a loved one’ touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief,
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me,
God wanted me now, He set me free.

Author Unknown

Where do they go to?

Where do they go to, the people who leave?
Are they around us, in the cool evening breeze?
Do they still hear us, and watch us each day?
I’d like you to think of them with us that way.

Where do they go to, when no longer here?
I think that they stay with us, calming our fear
Loving us always, holding our hands
Walking beside us, on grass or on sand.

Where do they go to, well it’s my belief
They watch us and help us to cope with our grief
They comfort and stay with us, through each of our days
Guiding us always through life’s mortal maze.

Kev F, 21 August 2007