Widower Wednesday: No Going Back

For those whose stories were selected for the Dating a Widower book, I emailed off all the contributor agreements last night. If you’ve been notified that I’m going to use your story but haven’t received an agreement, check your spam folder. If you still can’t find it, email me and I’ll resend it.


Recently I received an email from someone who had just finished Room for Two. She enjoyed the book but had a question that is often asked about the last chapter. For those who haven’t read the book, the last chapter takes place exactly one year after Krista’s death. At the end of the chapter Marathon Girl and I are at the cemetery standing near Krista and Hope’s headstone. As we leave I look back and realize that I’ll probably never come back to the cemetery and visit their grave. The reader wanted to know whether or not I’ve been back to Krista’s grave since then and, if I haven’t, if I plan on going back at some point in the future.

No, I haven’t gone back to Krista’s grave since that day in the book and have no plans to return anytime soon. There are many reasons for this, but the biggest one is that I don’t see what going back would accomplish other than suck me into the past. Remembering the dead isn’t a physical act—at least not for me. I have moments when I think of Krista and Hope but those moments are few and far between and last only a moment.  At some point I may go back—but that will probably happen when my kids are older and if the express some curiously about their half-sister or my life before I met their mother. I don’t see myself going back for any other reason.

I’m not recommending that other widowers don’t visit their late wife’s grave (or area where her ashes are scattered). Everyone has their own way of moving forward. For some widowers making occasional visits to the cemetery might be helpful. But I’m not wired that way. For me life isn’t about visiting the past but learning from it and using that knowledge to make the best out of the hand we’ve been dealt.

Nine years ago, I lost everything that mattered to me. Every morning I woke up alone, scared, and without a clue what I was going to do with my life. Fast forward to today: I have a new life now that includes a wonderful wife and 4.5 kids. Getting to where I’m at took a lot of effort, sacrifice, and patience. I had to learn how to rebuild a life from scratch and part of that process included learning how and when to remember the past.

I have no regrets about not going back. If I had gone back—even just once—I doubt my life where I’d be where I’m at today.