There are no rules to follow, no handbook you can buy, that gives you real guidance on how to find a new ‘someone’ after losing a spouse to cancer. In fact, some of us go for years without thinking about it. We all have our reasons and there shouldn’t be any judgment one way or the other. Some experts say it goes hand-in-hand with our own individual grieving process. Other grief counselors encourage widows or widowers to actively search for new relationships. They say getting on with life means getting on with life with somebody.
One thing I know firsthand, if you’re in a group situation, it can be really tough being the ‘one’ in a group of ‘two’s.’
Couples do things together. They sit together. They sit with other couples. They don’t tend to sit near a ‘one,’ or if they do, the conversation is stilted and they find it uncomfortable for some reason. A ‘one’ is a ‘one’ in a group. A couple will eat together at a gathering or they’ll ‘couple-up’ but they tend not to include the ‘one’ into the group.
Being a ‘one’ I have lived this scenario more than once with people I’ve known for years and I’m always stunned by their behavior.
I call being a ‘one’ the leftover piece of the cancer journey that keeps on giving. It isn’t bad enough that the world has shifted beneath our feet after going through cancer world, now we have to feel the added shift of going from a ‘two’ to a ‘one.’
Some days it’s not easy finding your place at the table.