(Closed) 14 year anniversary of previous bf's death

posted 5 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
1724 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 1998

I first wanted to tell you I’m sorry for your loss – I can’t imagine how that experience must have felt.

Secondly, there are difficulties understanding this between you and your fiance that can likely only come from getting older and gaining experience. I vaguely recall a Golden Girls episode where one of them ends up going on a date with a widower; they eventually end up showing each other pictures of their deceased spouses and sharing stories about their lives together. No matter how you cut it, this experience is always going to be with you – but I also think that after 14 years, your grief has crossed over into ‘complicated’ territory and a counselor might be able to better help you out with that.

I can’t fully say if your fiance is justified or not; for all I know, your late boyfriend is a source of frequent conversation…to the extent that your fiance feels it’s a ghost in the room. Or maybe it is as infrequently as this time of year, and he false believes that you value a past relationship over him.

I think it’s a good time to sit down and speak honestly:

“Dan/Bill/Bob, you’ve told me in the past that you feel like I’m still in love with Mark. I’m not still in love with Mark. I was a teenager when we dated and I wasn’t in the best place in my life, and Mark was a wonderful friend who helped me become the person that I am today. His death was a very traumatic experience for me. I love you and I am happy to spend the rest of my life with you, and I’m sure Mark would have been just as happy to see us like this.

This time of year is always difficult for me, but it helps when I can remember Mark. I was hoping you would go with me so we could lay down flowers for my old friend.”


No matter what, your fiance will eventually have to get accustomed to this – you had a life before him and it culminated, unfortunately, with the tragic death of someone who was far too young to die. It’s not the same as though you each broke up and moved on – the relationship ended as a direct result of his passing. I see little difference between that and a widow who, while loving her current husband, also still loves her late husband and all the memories they shared together.

I don’t think there’s anything as a “great big love” in this life … we have the potential to have many, and of many different kinds. ‘Mark’ was one of yours.

Post # 4
9686 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

@bearsreddy:  I am so sorry for your loss.  I feel – in all honesty – that you need to allow yourself to stop grieving over this.  You have grieved for so many years, and your grief will never change things and never bring him back.  And, really, you wouldn’t even want to bring him back now that you are engaged to another man.  In this case I really am siding with your Fiance.  He is alive and loves you and is here for you now. 

Try with all your heart to let go.  Nothing that happened that day was your fault, there was  nothing you could have done to prevent it.  14 years of grief is long enough.  Sadness isn’t healthy to hold onto for too long.  It actually can damage your physical health.  And hurt your FI’s feelings.  He is the one to focus your life on now.  Let go of the past.

I hope you can feel my compassion for you.  I cannot begin to imagine the terror, grief and devastation you felt that day.  My heart goes out to you for the girl you were back then.  But try, for your own sake and the sake of your future marriage, to put it all to rest now.  Ending your grief does not mean you loved him any less.  Realize he would not want you to continue grieving for him this long, he would want you to live your life with love and happiness.


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