Moving On After Loss


moving on

I breathe a sigh of relief these days that winter is over and spring is here, kind of. The winter was tough. The impact of ONLY (as I call it instead of single these days) parenthood hit me hard in January and February with deep loneliness setting in. A lot of friends ask me lately how I am doing. Am I moving on? I am honest and explain that from when Matthew passed away until the New Year I was on an adrenaline rush. Busy getting everything in order, dealing with my grief, school for the kids and getting back to work. I was actually doing quite well.

And then the fierce loneliness set in.

It is a deep rooted feeling in the pit of my stomach. I try and keep myself as busy as I can to avoid it. I almost feel like a little kid, if I tire myself out during the day I can fall asleep quickly before it comes.

I long for adult companionship and to feel special to someone. I miss the little stuff – the check-ins, text messages, dinner and a movie and simply being part of a couple. Sometimes I feel like Plan B for my friends when their husbands are busy or out of town and this makes that emptiness even worse. They get to go home to someone and I don’t. I know it’s not their fault, but it still hurts.

I have good days and bad days.

Am I moving on?

I am starting to move on and I am proud of myself. I enjoy going out to trendy places on the weekends. It feels nice and boosts my depleting self-esteem. Getting dressed up, putting on some makeup and of course getting tipsy after a few too many mojitos helps. I have made some single male “friends”. It is nice to flirt with them without the pressure of it going anywhere.

Should I start dating?

My friends keep telling me to go out and dip my feet into the dating pool. It used to bug me that they were suggesting I have a fling, which is totally not my style. But the more I think about it, maybe they just want me to get used to the dating scene and to figure out what type of man interests me. I will consider it. I also need to wrap my head around what I am looking for in a partner. I was so young when I started dating Matthew; we kind of morphed into the same person. It is much different when you are older.

I know I want to be with someone who is kind, who can laugh at himself and doesn’t take himself too seriously. I can be quite silly and goofy at times so he needs to appreciate that I can put my foot in my mouth and it is all part of my charm. He needs a zest for life and to appreciate the important things and not get caught up in the material things. I have a feeling I will probably veer and bond with someone who has experienced loss or “gone through something”. He doesn’t need to be a widower or have been touched by cancer, but he needs to understand that life is not perfect all the time. 

I want to be with someone who I can see a possible future with but it doesn’t have to be too serious right away. A fun distraction with potential. I want to hang out with him after my kids go to bed and recap my day. I can’t wait to be taken care of and spoiled a little; it has been so long.

I do want to be desired and to have an exciting first date. I want to close down the restaurant because we didn’t realize how late it got and couldn’t stop talking. I look forward to the phone call the next day and an exciting second date where he plans everything. I can’t hide the fact that I look forward to being desired and that tingly feeling of a first kiss.

He needs to be comfortable and okay with my 3 kids. I don’t want to worry that he doesn’t want to be around them. I can’t and will not hide them. I have always believed the old philosophy, and I am no dating or relationship expert, that when you click with someone, it just works. Kids or no kids. And nothing else matters. I love the idea of a blended family but I am not putting limitations on the type of man I go out with: divorced, single, widower…all okay.

I remind myself that I am still young (not yet 40) and full of energy. I am a good person who loves meeting new people. I want to travel as much as I can and to always continue to see the glass as half full. I am a cute and petite brunette with a big heart and smile. Plus, I am super fit now that I run half-marathons.

I will be patient for the right person and try and have as much fun as I can in the meantime. Life is too short not to enjoy it. Who knows, maybe one of you might turn out to be my soulmate?


About Author

Heidi Wilk was born and raised in Montreal and received her dietetics degree at McGill University. She moved to Toronto in 2002 with her husband Matthew. Heidi works full time in a downtown Toronto hospital and has 3 beautiful children under the age of 7. Trying to achieve a work life balance was put to the test in 2008 when Matthew was diagnosed with incurable brain cancer and their lives and dreams were forever changed. Heidi has recently started sharing her own personal struggles, how she has overcome them and the important life lessons she has learned as result. Contact Heidi by email at

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