I've read some widow's blogs where they talk about how happy they are in their new relationships. Some are even brave enough to admit that they are happier now than they were before their spouse died.
Some people find that so shocking and even disrespectful. But maybe some widows who get in other relationships talk about how happy they are now, potentially even happier before their spouse died, because now they know how to truly appreciate their partner. Maybe the experience of losing someone so close to them and looking back on regrets or good times that they didn't appreciate or recognize makes them so much more hyper aware of the good times and good people they have in their lives now. Nothing is taken for granted. They live in the moment of happiness and know that they've lived through utter despair and agony and anger and angst to recognize that the small things really are small things since they now know what really is bad and what some people think is bad is just annoying.
Maybe they also have learned how to be better partners. I know looking back at my relationship with Jeff that I was too hard on him at times, that I nagged him about stuff that really wasn't important, that I didn't really appreciate how well he treated me, and that I took his love and him for granted. He was so full of love and life and hilarity. I don't have many regrets, but the one thing I do regret is not being a better partner to him.
I think about what kind of partner I would be if I found someone else to be in a relationship with and how I would do things differently. I would hope to respond to situations differently. I would try to not act like such a spoiled brat, I would appreciate the good man that he is and not take him for granted, I would be more patient, I would not demand everything be my way, I would listen more, I would be more lighthearted and take a joke once in a while. I hope that I would just be a better partner overall.
It makes me sad that I wasn't as good of a partner to Jeff as I could have been. But I try and remember that hindsight is always 20/20. All I can do is move forward and try and learn and grow from my experiences and not live in regret.
I am thankful that I had the opportunity after he was diagnosed to recognize how great he really was and for us to appreciate each other before he was gone. I hope that if and when I do get into another relationship that I try and remember the lessons I learned from being with Jeff and also the lessons I've learned after losing Jeff.