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Once upon a time there was a pretty-good looking princess named Laurie who serendipitously met her handsome prince charming named Peter.  She swooned at his kindness, sense of humor, love of all things edible, excluding veggies, and gorgeous head of hair.  He fell in love with her blond tresses even with the peroxide applications, her laughter, and her long legs, amply visible in a 1960’s rabbit mini skirt.  They were thunderstruck by a bolt of love beyond anything that any of the brothers Grimm could have conjured up.  What really happened is that they fit together like a tight puzzle, interlocking all the pieces of their psyches.  They became a close-knit team, and it lasted for a very, very, long time, but sadly not happily ever after.  Now Laurie is an older princess, perhaps a Duchess (with no dowager hump or facial warts), without her prince charming to make her feel loved.   She no longer is taken into her Prince Peter’s big loving arms and held.  She no longer feels safe and protected.  Her fable has not ended happily.

 My journey of grief has taken me on a windy and circuitous route, with bumpy and jarring rides of tears, and plunges into deep chasms of sadness.  Some days I am fine, and I can actually feel that I just might come out of this funk and be okay.  Some days, I am not cool, but I function, and I move through my process in hopes of what?  Aha, that is the $64,000 question.  What is it that I hope for in my future?  Is it a Prince Charming?  Would he look like Cary Grant or Marilyn Manson?

I know this sounds off-the-wall crazy, but grief has inserted me into the first act of Cinderella, and I am having a challenging time extricating myself out of act one and on to the good parts.  I do the relentless work of grieving by cleaning the floors of my soul and washing the windows of my heart, but I am still stalled in a melancholy life.  It is the loneliness that is the killer in this process I call my “after life” – life after Peter.  Being alone is the hardest hurdle I have to overcome. I am able to write publicly and openly about my grief process, but when I come home to an empty house, that feeling of alienation rears its ugly head. I would love to fast forward to the end of the fairy tale and find a Prince Charming, but this seems illusory.  I know I could never replace Peter, but I would like to find someone with whom to share a laugh, enjoy a dinner out, and be an antidote to the lonesomeness that has plagued me since Peter died.  Sure, I would love to find a Prince Charming, but that is a fantasy I have to take off the table.


Basically, I have two doors to try.  Door number one is a path in which I constantly seek another man to satisfy my loneliness.  If I go through that door, I will go on-line and search for a partner, and never be satisfied until I find one to fill the void, no matter the quality.  It reminds me of staying in the Ramada Inn, in the 1970’s, where they embroidered “luxury for less” on the towels.  I don’t want a second-rate Prince!  I want a real-live, full-fledged, top-notch, quality human male with whom I can share my life!  Door number two allows me the wiggle room to find that part of myself that will make me happy enough, and if Prince Charming were to walk through, it wouldn’t be so terrible!  For now, I choose door number two, and will take my chances with me, myself, and I.



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  • Susan S

    I did find someone else after five years of widowing. I did resrt to online looking. Living in a very small town of just under 10,000, the pickings are slim. Being over 70 presents a challenge itself. Turns out most men in the 68-80 range are looking for a much younger chick. They seem to think that anyone over 60 has lost interest in sex and older men are looking for that even though the majority I met are not capable of doing the deed.

    I had a lot of coffee, lunch a couple of dinner dates. A few I went out with more than one date. There are a LOT of weird people out there.

    The guy I finally am with I found on a dating site. It began with him telling me that almost 2500 miles between us was too far. However he had lived in this part of the country for 18 months and was wanting to come back. I began a relentless pursuit. We carried on a texting relationship for over a year and a half before I finally suggested that if he wanted to head this way I would fly into some airport and help him drive back.I did this, sight unseen, never even having talked to him on the phone. By the time we got back to my house I was totally smitten and asked him to move in with me.

    This was last year in April….fast forward five months and I asked him to fine another place to live because he could/would not declare undying Cinderella & the Prince love for me. We were apart for 7 months during which I spent time trying to figure out what was important to me now as opposed to what was important to me when I met my husband of over 50 years when I was 17. Turns out there is a big difference for me between finding a love at 17 and one at 72-74.

    My needs in life now are much simpler but not less important than in 1960. What turns out to be the biggest turn on for me now is laughter. He makes me laugh loudly several times every day, he is extremely bright, very full of himself, needs a lot of reassurance in subtle ways and is nothing like what I had. But I’m happy, our life together may be very short compared to what I had.

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