Imagine losing the love of your life unexpectedly. Your once peaceful and happy world has become a living nightmare. But slowly, you start to pick up the pieces and put them together, managing to put one foot in front of the other and move, not really forward or  backward, but just move. Eventually, you might even consider dating again. But how soon it too soon, and is there really such a thing?

Actor Patton Oswalt took a lot of heat when he announced his engagement in July to actress Meredith Salenger. The actor lost his wife, Michelle McNamara, in April 2016 after she passed away in her sleep. The actor had given an emotional and heartfelt interview to the New York Times in Oct. 2016, telling the reporter that he'll never fully recover from his wife's death.

The backlash to his engagement was shift and aggressive, with many people saying the engagement came too soon after McNamara's death.

Oswalt, who said in a Facebook post that he was going to ignore the "bitter grub worms," did eventually respond to his critics by sharing a blog written by Erica Roman about loss. In Roman's blog, she defended Oswalt, saying "You aren't entitled to an opinion."

What do you think? Do you think there's a period of time that people who've experienced a loss should wait until pursing love again? Or do you agree that until you've experience loss yourself, you don't have a right to judge?

If you want to share your story about moving forward after the loss of a significant other, email us at

Also from this week's Forever 39 podcast — Can open marriages really work? PLUS: Are you tipping enough? Click on the podcast player above to hear the entire episode.

Share your thoughts on all of them below, on Twitter, on Facebook or at

— Annette and Megan, Forever 39

Join us for next week’s podcast when we chat about the signs you should look for if you think your significant other is no longer interested, and bullying in schools. We also take a 10-question citizenship test. Will we pass? 

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