‘She told me, ‘Find someone who loves you as much as I do.’ Raising children on your own is no easy task.’: Widower says ‘I will not look in the mirror one day and see a lonely old man staring back’

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“I shared a post from a fellow widower just recently that has really given me pause. He made a point of urging people not to wait too long to seek a significant other to share your life with.

Raising children on your own is no easy task, and if nothing else, it’s an all-consuming state of being. Throw in a good serving of grief, a handful of work, a splash of socializing, and before you know it, life is steaming along at a great rate. Which isn’t such a bad thing, I guess. Something about the innate human need to move forward at all costs makes one feel somewhat successful at this life gig.

As a parent, we all know that we sacrifice a f*ckload of, well, everything, in deference to our offspring. We put their happiness before ours. Which is fair enough. I think.

Courtesy of Chris Martin

But what about me? What about my own little selfish needs? There’s a hint to a big part of the problem right there. When do I get to pursue some happiness? That’s not related to my kids or occasionally getting hammered…

I, as most parents do, push my needs down to the bottom of the priority list, where after some time they become ‘little,’ ‘insignificant,’ and ‘no big deal.’ But they aren’t, are they my furry friends? No, they are not! They fester and bubble in the darkest recesses of my mind, occasionally exploding in breath shortening midnight furies, like some kind of bad trip revisited from the 90s.

So, I console myself, beat down the fears, with mantras like ‘one day,’ ‘when the kids are older,’ and ‘if it’s meant to happen, it will.’ Which is all fine and dandy to temporarily alleviate the manic anxiety (about eternal loneliness and solitude) and to get back to sleep, but does nothing to address the real questions:

Will I ever find someone else?

Am I destined to spend the rest of my life alone?

When is the right time?


Courtesy of Chris Martin

See, I’m a huge advocate for letting life, in particular relationships, organically form. I’m not one to push myself onto others for friendship or otherwise. And so far, this approach seems to have bidden me well. But will it continue to serve me as a holistic approach to life, or do I need to change tack and get proactive? Bloody hell…Enough of the questions already, I’ve got too much sh*t to do to worry about such trivialities…

My point exactly. As was it the point made by the author of the post I shared.

It is so easy to get busy with all life throws at you. It’s too easy to build a semblance of a happy life, lived vicariously through your children; your joy tied directly to their successes and triumphs. It’s ridiculously easy to motor on through the years with ‘my time will come’ echoing back at you from every observed happiness of others. It’s not so easy, however, to comprehend the time may never come.

And that is the concern:

By the time you have sent the kids off on their adult lives, by the time you have some time to yourself, the opportunity to find another to share your magical life with may well be passed as those years dwindle behind you. And it scares the f*ckery out of me…

Thankfully, however, I now feel like I can stay aware of the passing of time. I believe I will not suddenly look in the mirror one day and see a wrinkled, grey-haired, lonely old man staring back at me. I am determined to weave a thread of happiness that is mine and mine alone into this life. So, when the empty nest days arrive, I will not feel desolate and hopeless.

One thing Renee used to bang on about in the later stages of her illness, bless her cotton socks, was her express desire for me to, in her words, ‘Find someone else who loves you and the kids as much as I do.’ Now obviously at the time, I wouldn’t have a bar of it, as in my mind, she simply wasn’t going anywhere. Alas, I was proven wrong, yet I still struggle with the thought of honoring this particular wish.

It is something I intuitively know will happen. I don’t know when or how. I don’t know where or why. But my heart is open – and that is a good start.”

Courtesy of Chris Martin

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Chris Martin of Australia. This story originally appeared here. You can follow his journey on Facebook, Instagram, and blog. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read Chris’s backstory here:

‘She should be here to watch them grow up. I want the love of my life back.’: Widowed single dad creates new normal, ‘I’m different now and that’s OK’

‘I went into my late wife’s inbox and found some humbling words she wrote about what I meant to her.’: Widower thanks late wife after finding lost emails, ‘You helped me all these years’

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‘My husband divorced me after my baby was born. At 28, I had to move back in with my parents as a single, special needs mom.’: Mom to daughter with Cerebral Palsy finds new perspective on ‘true happiness’

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