(Read last week's observations about these men here.)
The best part about writing my widower dating guide is having some time to dive into the lives of Thomas Edison, Joe Biden, Pierce Brosnan, and Paul McCartney and see patterns in the way they handled the death of their late wife and subsequent relationships.
For example, those who had successful relationships the second time around (Biden, Edison, and Brosnan) didn’t do a lot to memorialize their late wives. Yes, they were still grieving and felt an empty place in their hearts but they didn’t try to fill it with memorial events or tributes to their deceased spouses. (To be fair, memorizing the dead like some do today wasn’t a common practice during Edison’s time.) Instead they did their best to focus on work and the needs of their children. They didn’t spend a lot of time looking or reminiscing about the past. Instead it was about moving forward to the best of their abilities.
On the other hand, McCartney seemed to keep doing things in her name—even after he started dating Heather Mills. He completed a record they were working on before her death, wrote songs in her memory, talked about her at concerts, etc. While there’s nothing wrong with doing any of the things McCartney did, it’s worth asking whether or not these events hindered or helped him move on. From what I’ve read it seems like Linda was always in his mind somewhere and he was never quite able to stop thinking about her. Again, there’s nothing wrong with constantly having those thoughts unless you’re in a serious relationship with someone else. And though there were many reasons McCartney and Mills didn’t work out, Paul’s dead wife seemed to be a constant point of tension in the relationships.
That’s not to say that the occasional late wife issue didn't come up with Brosnan, Edison, and Biden. I’ll go into more detail in my book but it’s worth noting that all three men had fewer issues and were able to build successful relationships because they were able to embrace the present and the future more than the past. It’s definitely something worth thinking about.