How dare I feel so happy with this man when I was still so obviously in love with someone else? I still dreamed of him and slept with his jumper under my pillow.My ring finger was still dented from my wedding band.After all, when is the right time to think about starting anew, if ever, when your spouse has died? I tried to imagine if our situations were reversed. Come the autumn a single neighbour persuaded me to join an internet dating site and took me to a couple of speed dating events, which was a real eye-opener.Would I have wanted this lively, 31-year-old man to be mired in grief for ever? But the moment I mentioned I was a widow, any male interest waned as fast as my feelings of guilt grew.Though I’d experienced nothing but encouragement from my and Graham’s friends and family, there will be people who read this and question, as I did many times, whether I should have moved on so quickly or even at all. There are people who don’t know what to say to you or, worse, say nothing and allow your friendship to wither.Whether it was fair on Richard to enter into a relationship when I was still so torn and vulnerable. Others stand in your corner with a bucket and sponge as you attempt to navigate the emotional maelstrom that exists where your life used to be.Thankfully, Sue stepped in and gently coaxed me towards a second date.
When their relationship ended, we saw each other platonically.But then, eight months later, on August 15, 2007, Graham died, and with him all of those hopes and dreams.He’d had flu-like symptoms for a few days and when I got home from a yoga class that Wednesday evening he was laying on the sofa complaining of a strange sensation in his heart.Still, I longed to build a future with someone special.When I mentioned this one morning in the school staff room, a colleague declared she had a single male friend, Richard, she thought would be perfect for me.