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3 January 2019, 12:55 | Updated: 4 January 2019, 09:08
Natalie Drury, 42, was back on the hunt for love two months after husband Tim Madeley died of cancer
A widow has been ostracised by her dead husband's family after she started dating site just eight weeks after his death.
Natalie Drury, 42, from Greater Manchester, claims she was shunned by both friends and family when she revealed her hunt for love was back on a few months after his death.
Tim Madeley, 50, sadly passed away from brain cancer on New Year's Day 2015 and two months later, the mum-of-one went on her first date. The encounter came to nothing but she later met new partner Paul and married him 18 months later.
Despite being ‘devastated’ by the barrage of criticism she received, particularly from Tim’s family, Natalie revealed that she faced crippling loneliness after her husband passed away and felt that dating was the only way to connect with others again.
Now, she’s speaking out to encourage people to be more understanding and less judgmental about dating after death.
Defending her decision, she said: "When Tim took ill in the August, they told me pretty early on what the outcome was going to be.
"I did my grieving in those four months while he was still here. I knew what was coming and I had to stay strong for our son Oliver.
"When Tim died, my friends didn't call because they didn't know what to say, so they didn't say anything at all. I was in shock and so lonely.
"Eventually I got to the point where I did want to go out and so I went on a date with a local man.
"It didn't go anywhere but it caused people to say I had disrespected my husband.
"I had every respect for him - but I knew he was never coming back.
"I couldn't sit alone in my house crying. I went out and enjoyed myself for a few weeks.
"People avoid you when a loved one dies. Soon after Tim passed away I was walking down the street and people would cross over because they didn't know what to say. You do feel isolated.
"If you haven't been through it you can never understand. [Finding love again] doesn't mean I've no respect for Tim.
"Some people were judgemental, especially at work. I had got a job after he passed.
"People would say 'it's only been two years' but I'd say 'exactly. Do you want me to sit on the sofa wearing black and never go out?'
"People are so quick to judge. It's not right."
The mum-of-one has since found love online and is happily married for the second time to husband Paul, who she met through Plenty of Fish.
Natalie said: "It was a happy ending. Paul is a lovely man and from the start I told him the whole story.
"I explained I had a son and he might be sensitive to the situation, but Oliver took to him straight away. It just progressed from there and soon it became our new normal."