When we’re in the middle of grief, sometimes we make promises to ourselves or about ourselves that don’t serve us well later.
For example, a few weeks after I returned to work, I had a conversation with a coworker friend. He and his wife were a couple who we had considered friends. I told him that I’d never date, that we’d always be a little family of three.
At the time, I believed it. But as my grief lessened and the fog lifted, I realized that wasn’t a productive promise to myself.
I couldn’t imagine being with another man, honestly. I’d spent more than half my life with him—almost my entire adult life.
But a friendship I’d had for a long time gradually turned into something more. He was a good guy who was always a good friend. I enjoyed his company—it was nice to have an adult conversation with someone who treated me like a human, not like some broken, fragile person. I didn’t expect him to ask me out. But when he did, I said yes.
My coworker friend was surprised. “I thought you said you’d never date again.”
Huh. Well, that wasn’t very practical of me, was it? I was young with the rest of my life in front of me. Even my late husband expected me to move on with my life and remarry someday.
It’s OK to break promises to ourselves that we make when we’re not thinking clearly from grief. It’s OK to move on with our lives.
Make a promise to be kind to ourselves. Make a promise to live life. Make a promise to find ourselves again.
These are promises are the ones worth keeping.