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Man balances past and present: New girlfriend begs to visit his late wife’s grave. Updated 2X

Man balances past and present: New girlfriend begs to visit his late wife’s grave. Updated 2X

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"I (29M) lost my wife three years ago. Started dating again, and new girlfriend (32F) wants to visit my wife's grave."

ThrowRASadsadboon

I am one of many who lost someone in that horrific 2020. She was my world and we had our future all set up, she wanted children too by 2021, and then she was gone. I felt I had lost all sense of purpose and after an agonizing year, moved away - not too far, but not close either. I didn't feel like I could breathe in that town. Still, every Saturday I get back and visit her resting place.

I just functioned for about two years - I am not depressed or anything like that, but I just functioned. Until I met who we will call Ada last year. We started talking and hanging out together.

She can be a bit haughty with people she doesn't know well but I was surprised to find out how sweet and kind she is under the ice. She gave me something to look forward to again. She likes to do most of the talking herself, which is fine with me because I never know what to say.

She knows everything about my wife, and this didn't discourage her. She knows I am doing therapy and still mourning, but she never left me alone. I asked her to tell me if anything I do or say makes her feel uncomfortable or like she's not a priority.

She said that as of now I am doing nothing of the sort. She knows what I do every Saturday morning, and never objected to it. But today she said she would like to "meet her", as in accompany me in visiting her grave.

I feel conflicted about this. On one hand I respect and feel touched by her wish, on other it feels... weird, for a guy to take the new girlfriend where the first wife is buried. How should I approach this? Is it too soon, should I ask her to wait for that?

EDIT:

I talked about this with my therapist. She feels that based on what she knows about Ada and the way she always behaved about this, that bringing her to my wife's grave will probably be a positive thing.

I told Ada that if she feels like it, I'd be glad to take her with me this Saturday. She was happy to hear this, she usually works on Saturday mornings, but said she'd take the morning off for me. I feel a bit of an emotion I can't define about this, but I think it will be a good thing.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's inital post:

RTJ333

This is something you should talk through with your therapist before deciding if or how to do go that. Sorry for your loss.

The OP responded here:

ThrowRASadsadboon

Yes, I was already thinking about bringing this up with my therapist. She could give me some insight about how to go about it.

jiddlyjidson

Waiting is fine if you are not ready. It feels like she wants to support you in something that was (and am sure still is) pretty traumatic. Joining you to visit isn’t about meeting your wife, it’s about being with you whilst you are still grieving/recovering.

Trashmouths

If you feel better being alone, that's okay to tell her. Sounds like she's wanting to know more and is trying to get closer to you. Sounds supportive. It's okay to not be ready or want to do that. She will be okay with it.

The OP again added:

ThrowRASadsadboon

To clarify, I don't do anything dramatic like talking to her grave or crying my eyes out when I visit. I just keep it clean, water the flowers and replace the dead ones, check the wear and tear on the stone, and clean the glass with her picture.

A few days later, the OP returned with a full update.

"[UPDATE] I (29M) lost my wife three years ago. Started dating again, and new girlfriend (32F) wants to visit my wife's grave."

ThrowRASadsadboon

Some people around us were worried that my relationship with Ada is just a rebound. I admit is something that I too was worried about, and Ada told me she didn't have long lasting expectations at first.

We began dating in April 2023, but as things progressed and she saw my intentions are serious and I'm committed, her doubts about me were gone. She says we are made of the same stuff - we are two loyal, committed and hardworking people and she wants a future with me. And so do I.

We are looking for a new place to share and I'm looking for the ring to make my proposal. I admit that one of my biggest concerns is that I don't want to take advantage of her goodwill, even unintentionally. Her kindness and patience are near infinite, but I told her I don't want our relationship to be all about my past, it would not be fair for her.

She reassured me she doesn't feel taken advantage of and that I do a lot to make her feel loved and appreciated for who she is, but at the same she recognizes this is a part of me she's willing to accept to be with me. To my surprise, everyone approves of us - my parents, Ada's parents, and my late wife's mother. We never got any backlash.

On the update. I talked about this with my therapist. She feels that based on what she knows about Ada and the way she always behaved about this, that bringing her to my wife's grave will probably be a positive thing.

So I told Ada that if she feels like it, I'd be glad to take her with me this Saturday. She was happy to hear this, she usually works on Saturday mornings, but said she'd take the morning off for me. However I had unexpected things come up for tomorrow - I have to cover for a sick coworker, which means I'll be taken all morning and great part of the afternoon.

It happens, and when it happens I either go on Friday or Sunday. I decided to go this afternoon (we are in Europe, it's evening here) and asked Ada if she wanted to come along - and she readily agreed.

We didn't talk much during the drive. When we arrived, we made our way to my wife's tombstone and I just said "Well, here she is". I fetched the water for the flowers and start my usual routine, Ada just crouched as if to examine it.

Then she just helped me with the caretaking routine, removing the dead leaves and flowers, and cleaning the picture and the light. We then took a walk around the cemetery (might sound weird, but it's not unusual here as many cemeteries double as parks here) then sat outside for a smoke before the drive back.

We talked a bit, and Ada, who's quite the stoic, got a little emotional. She was happy I had let her in on such what for me is a particularly intimate and sacred place, but also shaken because after all the talking we had done of my late wife she subconsciously thought of her as someone she'd want to meet and be friends with.

But seeing the grave reminded and cemented the fact that this amazing woman is gone. It was a bit of shaking for me too seeing her tearing up, since she's the most stoic woman I've ever met, but also made me think how this woman is a rare gem.

I don't doubt that in different circumstances, my late wife and Ada would have been great friends. And I'm a very lucky guy for finding not one, but two amazing woman which gave and still give my life meaning every day.

Here were the top rated comments after the OP's update:

Mysterious-Catch2480

You’re trying to make me cry at work. This was a beautiful update. I wish you and Ada a long and happy life.

ladylaine14

I did cry at work. I second the happy life ❤️❤️

The OP responded here:

ThrowRASadsadboon

Thank you for your kindness. It wasn't my intention to make you cry at work, I swear!

BrilliantTwo7

You both sound like incredibly kind, empathetic people that deserve each other.

TBagger1234

I’ve read so many posts here about people who have lost their partner and their new partner wants them to remove all memory of them as if they aren’t an important part of your life story. Ada is a good one. All the best OP!

Three months later, the OP returned with a final update.

"[UPDATE] I (29M) lost my wife three years ago. Started dating again, and new girlfriend (32F) wants to visit my wife's grave."

ThrowRASadsadboon

For a couple of months I had forgotten about this account, but I gave it a look the other day and read again all the beautiful comments and some very touching private messages. Again, thank you all for your interest and kindness.

Ada and I are doing well and we have found a place to move in together. If all goes well we'll be living together by July. Last month was the fourth anniversary of my late wife's passing. Ada was with me and held my hand.

I was a bit depressed like I am always am on our anniversaries, but Ada made it better. Sometimes I dream about my late wife, her coming back home, but either she never talks or I never remember what she says.

However, when I dreamed her that night, in the dream there was Ada as well and they met each other. She was very happy about us and told me she's happy Ada is there for me when she can't.

I talked with Ada about the dream, and we agreed it's my brain telling me it's okay to move on. I'll always love, honor and cherish my late wife, but now there is Ada who is giving me so much and deserves to be happy, to be loved and honored the way she deserves. And I don't intend to disappoint her.

As an aside, Ada also said that who knows, it could also be the spirit of my late wife visiting me in the only place she can, my dreams. She says we can see like that if we take the spiritual approach. Honestly I wouldn't know, death is one of those mysteries only those who passed have discovered, and they can't tell us.

We are doing well. We have also managed to program our first true vacation together and I was proud to formally introduce Ada as my partner when my company's CEO invited me to dinner with her husband. It's an exciting new journey and we are thrilled to see where it will lead us. We are a team and we have a game plan.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's last post:

BigIronBruce

"I talked with Ada about the dream, and we agreed it's my brain telling me it's okay to move on."

This is very sweet but I want to caution you that grief is complicated and recovery does not always happen in a straight line.

PuzzledUpstairs8189

You might sometimes have really complicated feelings of betrayal or heartbreak in the future and that's normal. It's ok to move on, I'm sure your wife would want that but be careful of interpreting dreams.

UpDoc69

Excellent update! Best thing today!

Sunflower-and-Dream

I do love a wholesome update like this, as it shows that OP's relationship with Ada continues to progress with healthy communication on both ends.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit,Reddit
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