When I first met John, my late husband, I never thought I'd fall for him. He was nothing like the guys I'd been drawn to before: He was divorced with two teenage boys, 11 years my senior, a sports fanatic, bald. But I respected his intelligence and humor. So after six years of friendship, dating, breaking up and reuniting, we decided to build a life together. In the second decade of our 20-year marriage, we bought a sailboat and a house on the Jersey Shore. We were taking the time to really appreciate each other.

And then one rainy October afternoon in 2007, I found John sprawled on our bathroom floor. I called 911, screamed into the phone, gave him CPR—but there was nothing to do. He was dead from a sudden heart attack at 65. I was overcome with outrage, terror and hopelessness. It was as though my life had ended.

Losing my darling man was—and still is—a haunting experience. Eventually I felt myself moving from black to gray, emerging from some impenetrable darkness. But while I knew there was light somewhere down the road, I couldn't figure out how to reach it.

In 2010, at my friends' insistence, I set up a Match.com account—and met Will. He was curious, forthcoming and really cute. But the connection wasn't just about my need to be needed after becoming a widow—it was as if my capacity to feel joy had returned. So when the restaurant lost power about 40 minutes into our first date, I pulled Will close and kissed him. When the lights came back on, we both had this look that said, Oh, that was interesting!

We married in 2012, and now when I wake up, I lay my hand on Will's chest to make sure he's still there, and that we're together, and remember how lucky I am to have found someone again.


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