Dating too soon

"The statistical odds are so insane." None of this went over particularly well with the critical public.

There's a feeling that you're being disloyal or minimizing the loss of the person – who is also a daughter, sister or friend – and her memory as if it never happened," said Carolyn Klassen, a Winnipeg psychotherapist who married Jim Klassen, a widower, 13 months after his wife died of breast cancer.

But Klassen and others believe these stages aren't perfectly linear.

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images Three months after the sudden death of his wife, comedian Patton Oswalt was reeling.

"The air caught fire around me and the sun died," Oswalt wrote in a Facebook post about the morning his wife, true-crime writer Michelle Mc Namara, passed away at 46.

"I can love this life and still have grief for Aaron," said Mc Inerny, who runs a support group called Hot Young Widows Club. To me, having both of these flames burning makes them both burn brighter." Widows, Mc Inerny contends, are particularly primed for love: They are emotionally open, understand that time is finite and value good partners .

"I don't have baggage from my husband dying," Mc Inerny said.

While Purmort was very sick, a widowed friend of hers called and said she was going on a date.

Mc Inerny's reaction was a visceral "ugh." She gossiped about it to her husband, wondering if it wasn't too soon for a grieving woman to be dating. "Once you've gone through a loss like this," Mc Inerny said, "you would never judge a person for wanting to fall in love again." Six months after Purmort passed away in 2014, she tried dating but felt she was operating on "a different plane of existence" than the men: The small talk was killing her.

It is criticism the widowed are particularly attuned to: Just how long is long enough before you're allowed to look outward again?

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