Experiencing the classic "widow/widower finds a special friend" clusterfuck in my family. My grandfather, who has been without my grandmother for well over a year now, has started seeing a woman who is a cousin of one of his best friends. He definitely went a little too fast at first, and she has asked him to slow it down, but I suspect you forget how to date after 45 years of marriage. His mood has improved over the past few months, largely as a result of his new "friendship." My father and I are both fine with this whole scenario...but my mother is a different story. She has loathed the idea from the start and several times has asked grandfather to not talk about his friend in front of her. It all came to a head this weekend, when my grandfather was with us at my parents' vacation home in the Adirondacks. Before he left yesterday, he asked my father if he could spend a weekend there with a few friends and his new girl. Dad said, "Sure, why not," and later in the day casually mentioned it to my mother. She went ballistic, said it was an insult to my grandmother's memory, how dare he bring a different woman there, etc.
I'm not sure she understands the corrosive power of loneliness. Gramps was getting progressively more depressed over this past year, until he met his friend. I don't think she gets that. It's his life to live, and I know that he was madly in love with my grandmother all those years. This situation is not disrespectful to her memory.
It's frustrating but not surprising considering my mother's demeanor.