So sorry for your loss. I can't even comprehend I watched my brother go through it with his wife at about 53. I honestly don't know how I'd move on. My brother ended up remarrying a couple years later and is back to fully happy again. Sometimes I wonder though, does he secretly still think about and miss is original soul mate?
I was in the same boat with everyone here saying they can't comprehend until it happened to my wife. And you are 100% right, you can't until you walk this path.
And for everyone it is different.
I was talking to a widow earlier today that was relieved her husband had a heart attack and passed away. He reportedly was an abusive a--hole so I get that.
My wife was the joy of my life, the good one after enduring a truly sh*tty marriage with my ex... So losing her is beyond words lousy.
I'm 53, so similar. And like your brother, not saying sweep memories away, but I am young enough I don't want to adventure the way through the rest of my life alone. And I am in a funny situation. We would talk about believing it to be a LOT of years further down the road, but she MADE me promise her I wouldn't stay single / alone should she die before me. Her mom passed away 16 years before her Dad and he was miserable being alone, she didn't want that for me.
I believe although I have no direct evidence for it, that you can still honor, and miss your late spouse, while making room for a new love and partner in your life. I don't think it is an either or situation. Honestly when I am ready to go seeking companionship again, I will probably intentionally seek out a widow as they would be the most likely to understand where I am coming from.
Mind you, I am NOT looking right now, and honestly, when I was young and single I think a woman could have thrown herself at me naked and I would not have known she was interested in me. Now. Well I have had offers for uh, companionship, that I have to respectfully decline. Something the 16 year old me would be smacking the now me upside the head for but 16 year old me was an idiot and an a**hole. Probably a good thing I couldn't tell interest at that age...
For now, I feel like there are so many unfinished things I need to do for her. The travelling she wanted to do. I must do for both of us now...