7 months. Seven months. People who know of these things from their own bitter experience warned me about now. “Watch out” they said, “At seven or so months you’ll really be on your own”. They were right. Forgive this indulgence.

I’m irrational, alone, chaotic, scared, impulsive, and volatile. Last week in a single day I signed up for four separate dating websites. Ludicrous but illuminating.

Have a  fun profile picture that demonstrates your personality!

Have a fun profile picture that demonstrates your personality!

When Nicky died the lights went out. I was left standing in the dark. Despite cycling across France I stood still for a long time. I’ve now become fully accustomed to the darkness, and over time, started to explore around me. This new world is similar to the old one. Gravity remains, objects and people are familiar. Relationships with friends and family endure. Up is up. Down is down. I can cope with this I think. And so I can and so I must. Fact is, I have I believe become used to her not being around. I have become used to sleeping alone, to clarks shoes, dentists appointments, impromptu play dates and rifling through school lost property bags in search of discardigans. Seven months on I am still standing in the dark but I know where I am.

And then. And then. And then in an instant the familiar becomes distant and I find myself somewhere totally terrifying because of its strangeness. Because, simply, she is not here. Or there. I guess I am now beginning to explore the even deeper darker corners of this new world without her. Deeper and darker. And it’s in the detail. What will the rest of my life really be like without her? Whose hand can I hold?

Hey, Simon 47 in Brighton!
Describe yourself to your prospective dates!
Tell them about what you like!
Describe your perfect date!

“I’m a sad widower before my time, hollowed out by grief, missing love and laughter, broken, lonely, scared of the future, living mostly in the past, besotted with my dead wife. Two kids at home. GSOH”

Seven months brings change. It’s easier for those around us if we’re ok. I know. We all know it. The kids as well. So we repair on the outside faster than on the in.
And we are all getting better at hiding him and his work, even from each other, but we all know he’s still around. The Grief spectre. He still saunters through the house from room to room, hiding notes, letters, cards, gloves and old diaries in drawers and behind books. Some of these mementoes can raise a smile now which is good I guess, others remind us as viscerally as ever that the life and the love, the stories we shared, and the experiences we all built together, have gone. And nothing, and no one, not one even amongst the many millions of love seekers currently online out there, can do anything to change that.

I’ve deleted the Accounts.


  1. Hey Simon

    Your article caught my eye … being bereaved hard and fast in quick succession by my father and his partner both struck down suddenly with cancer issues and my ex partner died a year after…

    It left me where I suspect you are… very lost and feeling very alone. Grief is the one thing that left me speechless and unable to communicate effectively of how I felt and making a dogs dinner of everything.

    It’s OK to reach out and look for love… and companionship but I think you’ve already hit a point of realisation that it maybe too soon. On a personal note – having done the online dating thing with an OK head on when the emails start coming in some can spin your head in the wrong direction when you need a bit of calm right now.

    You can’t put a time line on this but you have to be realistic of how long you are to give into your grief. I hope you have had support – I found bereavement counselling helpful in pointing me to a road… the path to it was a bit more rocky than expected XXXXX

    1. Thanks Nori, I had no idea. It was very very weird. Compulsive behaviour. Not nice. Thanks for this. As I have said before everyone’s story of recovery is a help.

  2. More honest, raw and beautiful writing from you Simon. It is hard to praise and thank you for sharing yourself in this way, when the reason you are writing is such a cause of devastation, but it is another example of the choices you and the girls are making daily to create a new life somehow. Sharing the ups and downs of this is generous, and your writing remains brilliant and compelling.

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