How long after death of spouse before dating
'That was the moment when we could have cracked,' admits Michelle. We decided that while there was life, there was hope. To him, that would have been an admission of defeat.' But, the fear was still clearly at the back of both their minds. 'It may seem rash, but I knew that, if the worst happened and I lost Jon, I wanted to have a part of him in my life. He said he wanted to leave something of himself behind - it was the first time he'd ever mentioned the possibility of dying.' Their son, Sam, was born in December 2004. Holding him, Jon burst into tears and admitted that he didn't know whether he was crying with joy or sadness because he knew he might not see his son grow up.
Five months later, hospital tests revealed that the tumour was back. He opted to have gruelling bouts of chemotherapy and radiotherapy to prolong his life. Eventually Jon initiated a conversation about the future and, in particular, the chance of Michelle finding love again.
Lost in her grief, she found herself drawn to the one man who could comfort her.
It is, she says, exactly what Jon would have wanted.
One of her girlfriends was so suspicious that she asked Michelle why her husband's best friend was spending so much time with her. 'Adrian was acting just like a dad would,' she says. 'One of my friends rang to say she didn't want to know me any more because my behaviour was so disgusting.
'Sam had missed out on so much with Jon being ill, and seeing him happy was wonderful.' The following weekend, Michelle went out with a group of her late husband's friends, including Adrian.
Jon's mother, Val, has been so hurt by her daughter-in-law's behaviour that she has cut off all contact. Yet she is not alone in seeking romance soon after losing her husband.
The question of whether you can put a timespan on grief is especially pertinent for Michelle Heidstra.
Just four weeks after her husband died, Michelle fell in love with his best friend, Adrian Mc Collin, a pall bearer at the funeral. Their relationship is testament, says Michelle, to just how much she loved her husband, Jon.
Earlier this month Barbara Want, the widow of broadcaster Nick Clarke, revealed in the Mail how she began a relationship with a new man just five months after the death of her husband from cancer, but admitted she struggled hugely with feelings of guilt as a result.
Golfer Darren Clarke found happiness with a new partner just four months after the death of his wife Heather from breast cancer, while Nigella Lawson moved in with Charles Saatchi nine months after losing her husband John Diamond.
It was there that Michelle found herself thrown into the company of his best friend, Adrian Mc Collin, 36, a project manager for a building company.