I do a lot of reading in the so-called "Fatosphere," a group of body acceptance blogs. There's a new one on the feed, from a young widow. I posted at her site, offering my condolences and directing her towards the ywbb. She hadn't posted much since, but today she posted that she's put up a dating profile, received quite a few replies, and been on two dates in the last week or so.
She is two months out.
I thought about leaving a comment warning her to be cautious; warning her that the worst is yet to come grief-wise; warning her that while interpersonal miracles do happen, they are rare and she needs to be careful of her heart, lest she hurt it even worse. At best, her odds are pretty bad.
But I think back to all the ugly back and forth on similar posts at the board, and wonder if it would make a difference; it never seemed to with all those other folks. I think about where I was at two months; I was IN a relationship, and still wasn't a fit partner or companion--I was a mess. And I think about how there are no hard fast rules...she could be the one that beats the house on this; she could have extraordinary spiritual steadiness and amazing coping skills and only need two months to move forward. I don't know her. And I'm the first to say that "people may be, but individuals aren't," about just about anything.
On the one hand, I feel the desire that all experienced folks have to spare those who come after them some of the pain they earned learning things the hard way. On the other hand, less and less do I feel like I want to advise others, or share my opinions. It's a combination of feeling like it's intrusive, condescending, and the realization that it most often falls on deaf ears anyway. That is, in part, why I finally walked away from the board.
I hope she'll be okay. I think she's probably headed for a crash. But in the end, she didn't ask me, and our mistakes are the only things we can truly call our own. Indeed, they are often our best teachers.