Dating after Loss

May 28, 2024

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August is a tough month for me and Tricia Thirey. Tricia and I are both widows. Our husbands died in August. We share a bond we wish we didn’t.

I talked to Tricia recently on my Stop Faking Fine podcast about dating after loss. Like many things in life, there isn’t one right answer. Only an answer that is right for you.

To understand her perspective you need to know her story. Like many widows, myself included, the story has an element of surprise. We just didn’t expect our husband to die. There was no forewarning.

Tricia’s husband started having seizures after he returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Doctors discovered a brain tumor. He underwent surgery on their twins’ first birthday.  About three years later, the tumor came back. He was discharged from the military and they moved to Ohio to be close to family while he underwent a second surgery.  Then, in the summer of 2017 he got sick again. Tricia took him to the VA hospital and he never came home. He died of complications from the tumor, leaving Tricia with 5 year old twins and another child who was three.

Tricia, who is officially Dr. Tricia Thirey,  is now a certified Grief Recovery Specialist and a Hope Ambassador for Hope Widows. It’s been six years since she lost her husband. 10 years since I lost mine to cancer. 

In the podcast, we talk about all the very inappropriate things people said trying to make us feel better (we think) after our husbands died. There is no shortage of advice from people that have never walked in your shoes. We approached the topic of dating, and when it is appropriate to date after your spouse dies. But as Tricia said so eloquently, the question isn’t when should you date again. The question is have you done the healing you need to?

Woah. Right?

Everyone has their own path in healing and your projection onto them about whether you think its the right time or the wrong time is hurtful. Maybe you aren’t sure what to say so you take the indifferent route. Let me tell you, that is also hurtful. Give grace to the brokenhearted and just support their decision, whatever it is. That is the best thing you can do.

I’ll have to say talking to Tricia brought me back. We get pretty raw and real. We also laugh and celebrate the gift that our husbands were. It’s all the things. This conversation might even change your perspective. When Tricia explained why dating soon after a loss is actually a testament to the spouse you lost, I couldn’t help but shout YES! I get it. And you will too after you listen.

Grief is no joke. It’s hard and messy and sometimes doesn’t make sense. It makes you throw your bible under the bed and, wait? Is that just me? Joking aside, Tricia and I also dive into the role that faith played in each of our journeys.

I broke down some of the questions we think are worth asking yourself when you are thinking of dating again…

What do you want? A relationship? A dinner date?

Will this new person support your vision for your life?

Can they handle the messiness of grief?

Do they understand you can still grieve and find new love?

Are you whole on your own or looking for someone to complete you?  

Tricia has written a grief journal called, Flourish A Scripture Based Journal for Widows. I wish I had it when I was going thru the thick of grief myself.

If you are grieving the loss of your person, we stand with you. We support you, and we support your choices. In your heart, you know what to do.

I'm Dana Lewis

Hi there!

When my fit husband died at forty from a cancerous tumor with little to no symptoms, it left stress to blame and lots of questions to be answered. As I began searching for answers, I learned about the microbiome and the power of this second brain. Ten years later, I am honored to be able to take what began as my pain and share it with you.