Dating again after being widowed

Although I decided to wear my wedding ring for a year after his death (as a respectful gesture to Frank and to keep unwanted male attention at bay), six months in, I felt ready to date.

I had started to miss companionship, the everyday pleasures of having a man in my life.

At a young age, I concluded that widows were different from other women, set apart, other. Not long ago, I met a man with whom I instantly hit it off.

A friend of a friend, he looked me up when he was traveling through New York from Europe.

We went out for drinks and had a great time, telling stories about our childhood and swapping anecdotes about our lives as writers.

My 42-year-old husband, Frank, had been dead for a month, but it still said "Married." Then, in a surreal, only-in-the-21st-century moment, I changed it to "Widowed." I hesitated, but I had to do it: No word but So, at age 39, after seven years of marriage, I was no longer married; I was a widow.But I felt torn between feeling very attached to his memory and also taking tentative steps toward a future without him.Widowhood also has had a strange sanctifying effect on how men perceive me.The path that led me from wife to widow had been long, crooked, and painful.I had spent the previous two years watching my husband fight, with grace and heartbreaking optimism, a rare and aggressive form of esophageal cancer.