“The afternoon knows what the morning never expected.”—Robert Frost
About three weeks after Dan died, I went down the FIVE Restaurant, one of my “safe” places. I met this woman there, with whom I shared my story over (several) glasses of wine. I’ll never forget, she looked at me and said, “You’ve known a great love. You’ll know another.” I couldn’t even imagine it, at that time. All I wanted was Dan Potts back, alive and well.
It was the worst and most painful experience of my life grieving the death of my husband. And I was hurting. Bad. I knew somehow people had survived this so I thought I might too, but I just didn’t know how. I figured if I got up each day and did my best to get through that day, somehow things would be better, but I didn’t how that could be in a world without Dan.
One of the ways I coped was by talking to Dan; it brought me great comfort even if he was no longer in his physical form beside me. And one morning I was almost on my knees from the pain, and I seriously didn’t know how much more I could take. I said to him, “Babe, you gotta do something. I’m hurting. I can’t do this without you.”
Later on that day I went golfing. It was a survival mechanism for me, as Dan and I golfed together a lot and I always knew he was with me on the course. So what are the chances that on the same day I ask Dan for help, I meet a guy, on the golf course? The fact that we even met only occurred due to many “coincidences” that I don’t believe were coincidences. If anyone had such a deep and fierce love for me that he could orchestrate something from beyond to relieve my suffering, it could only be Dan Potts. Anyone who knows him would agree.
The first question my grief counselor asked when I told her I had met this guy was, “And how is he about Dan?” A crucial question and one I asked myself as I got to know this man. As deep as my pain ran, I would never have invited someone into my life simply out of desperation—that would have been a tremendous disservice not only to me but to the great love and partnership Dan and I shared.
As my relationship with this man has strengthened, I have come to realize how special he is. He has lightened my life so much. He is not Dan Potts and I don’t compare. He is his own man. And he is secure enough to show me great patience and understanding about my grieving process, which continues to this day and is always morphing—now it’s mostly into something much more bearable, thank goodness. If Dan himself had appeared in front of me that day on the golf course to inform me that this random guy would become the second great love of my life, I would not have believed him. And yet, I am happier than I ever thought I could be again. I do not take a moment of this unexpected second chance at life for granted.
I know Dan would want exactly this for me. He told me in the hospital that he would love and care for me forever. And he is.
Pritam Potts, owner of Advanced Athlete LLC, is a NSCA-certified trainer and strength coach with 12+ years of experience working with athletes and clients of all ages. Her specialty is in functional strength applications, developing core and overall strength and coordination specifically for the purpose of enhancing the body’s ability to function optimally and safely in athletic movement. You can contact her online at www.facebook.com/mrsathlete and www.twitter.com/mrsathlete.