We all have our circles. Your late spouse had family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances—most of whom you know. You have a circle, as well. Inevitably the two overlapped. Now that life has changed, how will you handle his relationships? In a divorce, shared relationships can be challenging. But after a death, there’s no need to fight over friends (‘Who gets the Wilson’s?). Be cognizant of those you’ve come to treasure, and keep them in your life. Stay in touch. Initially, it may be something as simple as commenting on their Facebook posts or including them in a group email announcement about a family milestone. If they don’t reciprocate, you’ve lost nothing. If they do, you’ve gained a friend.
A colleague of Robert’s has kept in touch; we both have. It’s been over seven years and despite working in different industries, living miles apart and not sharing the common grounds of parenthood—we have a great time when we get together. Although it was a relationship that began in the past, it’s not stuck in the past, we’re not simply telling ‘Robert’ stories, we’ve become friends on our own. There are many of these relationships in my life: initially Robert’s, then ours, now mine. And I am eternally grateful.
As you navigate the world of widowhood, it often helps to seek out others and expand your social circles. There’s no such thing as having too many friends.