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by Abigail Van Buren

Fiancee Loses Sleep Over Widower's Many Mementos

DEAR ABBY: In three months, I will be marrying a wonderful man I'll call Harold. We are in our 60s and widowed, me for more than 30 years and him just under two years.

At first, I thought he had worked through his grief because his wife suffered from early-onset Alzheimer's and the last six years of their marriage she was very ill. We are not living in the home they shared, but a lot of their life together is in the home we are trying to create together.

Harold is a good man. I know he has a big heart with plenty of room for me as well as love for his late wife. My dilemma is the amount of memorabilia he has here -- pictures of vacations they took together, their unusual wedding cake, a piece of furniture she made for them and a painting of the home they shared. Many of the items are in a downstairs office, where he spends a lot of time.

The closer we get to our wedding, the more I find myself losing sleep worrying over whether the strong reminders of his former life are an indicator of whether he truly is ready to move on. Am I being overly sensitive? I do understand loss and working through grief. In no way do I want to pressure him if he isn't ready to move forward. I am just conflicted. -- LOSING SLEEP IN NEW YORK

DEAR LOSING SLEEP: Harold's loss is much more recent than yours. With time, he may decide to retire some of his memorabilia. Keep in mind, your "rival" is no longer on this side of the sod, and letting it keep you up at night is unproductive. If this doesn't resolve itself, have a frank conversation with Harold about the fact you are not comfortable with the amount of memorabilia in the house.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Death | Aging