Helen McCrory told her husband Damian Lewis (pictured) that she expected him to find a new partner when confronted by her untimely death
By Linda Kelsey
In recent years, I’ve witnessed what I consider to be a downright horrific phenomenon: women stalking widowers.
No sooner has the woman’s body been laid to rest than a sympathetic woman – or three – appears to offer a shoulder to cry on.
A dear friend in his late sixties, who lost his wife to Covid at the start of the pandemic, began taking long morning walks with his Labrador on our local moor. He couldn’t help but see the fit, over-fifties with her cockapoo, who seemed to be working the eight-hour shift as often as he was. She always looked surprisingly well groomed for such an early start.
The first few times they crossed, they nodded; the next few they smiled. Then she made the opening move. “I knew your wife a little bit from Zumba. Sorry for your loss.’
One morning she suggested a cup of coffee – a chat on a bench with takeaway cups. Sounded innocent enough. But word soon spread that he was being chased by a woman who had form to try and catch wealthy widowers. He didn’t fall for her charms – his grief was too raw – but others I know have succumbed so quickly that I’m breathless.
It’s very disrespectful to circle like a vulture
Linda Kelsey (pictured) said women who circle widowers are looking for a meal card and passport to the good life they think they deserve
One, within six weeks of his wife’s death from cancer, began meeting a woman from the tennis club, who kept showing up with homemade cookies, before offering to cook him dinner in a kitchen filled with his beloved cookbooks. deceased woman. His teenage children were shocked.
Of course two are needed for the tango. Men who have taken good care of their wives are often hopeless at taking care of themselves, but there is such a thing as a decent break.
A year sounds about right. Time to grieve. Time to reflect. Time to test your resilience. And, most importantly, time to respect the children, for whom the pain of replacing their mother so soon only adds to the grief of losing her.
But these women are ruthless. They recognize that a man who has had a good marriage to the end is a better husband than one who has left his wife, or has anger at his ex. That by the time you reach middle age, being a widower is certainly a better bet than the few men who never committed and probably won’t now.
But my hunch is that the women who surround widowers like vultures aren’t really interested in true love. What they want is a meal pass and a passport to the good life they think they deserve.
Bel Mooney (pictured) said that men who are in love can fall pretty quickly
By Bel Mooney
Here they come, with gifts in their hands and hope in their hearts, offering shoulders for the widower to cry on.
The ladies court the newly widowed, even though he still cries for his wife. Should they be condemned – and he will be disapproved – if new love blossoms in that first year? I say no.
When I asked my (very loving and loyal) husband this question, his response was curt and funny, ‘Oh, why not go through with it? You don’t want to wait too long.’
I did not expect that! So I replied that when I’m about to take off my clogs, I’ll put down a red carpet at the front door, decorated with the words “Welcome, ladies.” And I’ll be very careful to clean up all valuables first.
To be serious, as they grieved together as they faced her untimely death, the late beautiful Helen McCrory told her husband Damian Lewis that she expected him to find a new partner.
When you love someone so much, you want them to be happy above all else. That selfless wish is the gift you leave them, to carry them into the future. And just as there is no time frame for life or death, so there is no time for mourning or for loving again.
Men in the habit of love can fall pretty quickly
I hate the disapproval of sticky-billed onlookers when someone falls in love within a year of a spouse’s death. Yes, it can seem shocking, and it’s certainly not a step to take if you’re panicked because you’re alone, or in dizzying lust.
The opinion of friends and family matters – and the man should not trample their mourning by suddenly appearing happy. Of course, everything has to be done slowly and carefully. Women who fancy their chances (and my apologies for the rude expression) with a recently deceased man should have good taste for being discreet.
He will probably want to talk about the past, and you should listen, and then listen again. If you are a widow, you understand that, but widow or not, you have to realize that we all carry “luggage” and the man will not forget the woman he has lost.
Many bereaved are content with friendship, not love – in that case, don’t be disappointed.
But life goes on and I believe that people who have learned the habit of loving in a wonderful relationship always remain “in training” to continue the love – and often quite quickly.
Note, it is not necessarily the same love, nor does it question what was before. No, it is the reawakening of a trained heart.