If your hands were in mine, I'd be sure we'd not sever
Oh, the priests and the friars approach me in dread
For I love you still, my wife, and you're dead."
Bob once loved Alice. How far this relationship went, whether Alice knew how Bob felt, how happy a couple they actually were (if they were a couple) are all unimportant.
Alice dies. (Or gets married to someone else, although this isn't as common a version as it used to be.) The point is that the relationship between Bob and Alice, or the possibility of a relationship between Bob and Alice, is over.
Bob will never get over it, will never find a new girl no matter who shows up. Alice was the one for him, and if anyone says he "loved" Alice, he will waste no time correcting their tenses. May be regarded as Excessive Mourning — though it may not, if he otherwise soldiers on.
Often invoked in I Will Wait for You to confirm that the love really is that steadfast. See also, The Lost Lenore. It is common (and indeed, in many cases, expected) for a Yamato Nadeshiko or other variety of Proper Lady to never remarry after the death of her husband.
As a Death Trope, this page contains unmarked spoilers!
- Sesshomaru does this for Kagura in InuYasha—while he does not cry, he becomes so infuriated when Moryoumaru insults Kagura that he attacks him viciously and breaks his sword Tokijin with the force of the blow, putting his own life in danger in the process. More notably, afterwards Tenseiga transforms into a fighting weapon because of Sesshomaru's feelings for Kagura. When he receives the finished sword, he thinks of her again and accepts it because "whether her death was in vain or not is for me to decide".
- Part of the primary concept of the manga Bokura ga Ita, although the relationship between Yano and his dead girlfriend Nana was more complex than it first appears.
- In Maison Ikkoku, a major problem preventing Godai (and the other suitors) from pursuing Kyoko is that Kyoko feels this way about her first husband.
- A darker version in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gendo Ikari is quite willing to commit planetary genocide in order to reunite himself with his dead wife.
- In fact, in Neon Genesis Evangelion: Campus Apocalypse, all alternate universes are in peril thanks to original flavor Gendo.
- In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Simon vows to never forget his late wife, Nia, and in Lagann-hen he spends the rest of his life Walking the Earth in order to fulfill her last wish to make the world bloom with flowers.
- In one Ranma ½ manga arc Soun Tendo, in one of the few times that he is allowed to show any depth of character, is revealed to be deeply devoted to his dead wife.
- In Rumbling Hearts when a character goes into a coma. They don't show the mourning until after they showed him fully recover, though...
- Neviril from Simoun is a victim of this after her lover Amuria dies, which plays a big role in her refusal to pilot a Simoun with Aeru (aside from the fact that Aeru is also quite pushy). In the Distant Finale, it's revealed that this also happened to Rodoreamon, with regards to Mamiina.
- In Twin Spica, Asumi's teacher Yuuko is like that after her boyfriend Takano dies aboard the exploding rocket which also caused the death of Asumi's mother. After several years of mourning she decides to go on and then finds someone else to marry pretty quickly. Sadly she never realized that all this time Takano had been roaming the town as a ghost named "Lion-san."
- 5 Centimeters per Second combines this with Unlucky Childhood Friend, to heartbreaking effect.
- Van of GUN×SWORD is still "head over heels in love" with his murdered fiancee, Elena, three years after her death, and isn't interested in other women. However, the final episode hints that he may be moving on to Second Love.
- Mashiro's Uncle in Bakuman。 is this for a girl he fell in love with during his school years.
- In his case, while his correspondence with her never got any further than that due to their inability to tell each other how they felt, he believes that he got this far because she served as his inspiration, as he hoped to become a success before telling her how he felt, and he believes (correctly, as it turns out) that she's still watching him.
- Strawberry Panic!: How Shizuma lives after Kaori dies.
- Fujitaka in Cardcaptor Sakura, who never stops loving his dead wife Nadeshiko.
- This mixed with Love Makes You Evil is the driving force behind Kaname Tousen's motives in Bleach.
- After Rei Asaka's death in Oniisama e..., everyone grieves her intensely. In regards to her Love Interests, Nanako spends at least two episodes in an Heroic BSoD and her POV is constantly tinted with sadness afterwards, whereas Fukiko decides to never ever fall in love again, half due to this and half due to her crush Takehiko getting back together with his girlfriend, Rei's best friend Kaoru.
- A mild example from Tiger & Bunny. Even years after his beloved wife Tomoe's death, Kotetsu still wears his wedding ring and is completely unaware that one of his female teammates has an enormous crush on him. He also keeps a portrait of Tomoe, which he occasionally confides in and visits her grave whenever he can.
- In Claudine...!, Rosemarie never stopped loving and caring for Claudine after his death and the last few panels of the manga shows her visiting his grave in the snow.
- In Shiroi Heya no Futari, after Simone perishes at the hand of her Crazy Jealous Guy, Resine takes the decision to not fall in love ever for as long as she lives.
- Watanuki of ×××HOLiC does not react well to Yuuko's death. It hits him so hard that his personality drastically changes, with him going so far as to incorporate some of her quirks and habits into his own character, and basically just clinging onto whatever he can of her. The last chapter released indicates he's still not willing to let go, even after 100 years have passed.
- King Neptune in One Piece is apparently this to his late wife Otohime. In a scene, he believes that Robin is hitting on him and refuses her (non-existing) approaches by saying that he will still be loyal to his wife. That scene is mostly played for comedy, but the point still stands.
- In Naruto, Obito's love for his childhood crush Rin led him to become Tobi and participate in an Assimilation Plot that would put the entire world under an illusion and essentially allow him to see her again, despite the fact that she has already passed on to the afterlife. He's literally rejecting reality and substituting it with his own just so he can see his dead crush.
- Platonic, non-death version in Gundam Build Fighters. We find out in Gundam Build Fighters Try that in the intervening seven years since the events of GBF, Reiji has not yet been able to return to Earth from his home world of Arian, and thus has been unable to keep his promise to Sei. Sei had prepared a special Gunpla for him upon his return, the Build Burning Gundam, but as each successive year passed with no sign of Reiji, an increasingly saddened Sei finally went and sealed the Build Burning Gundam away in his World Championship trophy and, according to China, 'his good memories of his precious best friend with it.' Though Sei and China got together and Sei continues to build and battle Gunpla, it's heavily implied that he never again took on or built for another partner the wey he did with Reiji.
- In the finale of Future Diary, Yuki is so devastated by the death of his beloved Yuno that he spends 10,000 years floating amongst the ruined remains of the world, staring mournfully at the final entry of his cell phone diary stating that she died. Thankfully the Gainax Ending turns this around into a happy ending.
- This happens to Suzaku Kururugi in Code Geass when Euphemia died in the hands of Zero. After he learned that Zero is his childhood friend Lelouch and put him into custody under the Emperor's command, he never moved on and tried to do Euphy's wishes which is to help his fellow Japanese. He's still angry at Lelouch for killing her and later, agreed with him to do the Zero Requiem.
- Though Lelouch felt really bad for killing Euphy, he's completely broken down when Shirley was killed by Rolo. This sets him on the path to do the Zero Requiem with Suzaku.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Lyle Dylandy the second Lockon is saddened with Anew Returner's betrayal and death that he left Kataron and officially joined Celestial Being at the end of the series. He also has a picture of her in The Movie.
- In Danganronpa 3, Chiaki Nanami's death is what finally motivates Izuru Kamukura into abandoning his Bystander Syndrome. Kamukura picks up her hairpin before he leaves, and three years later is still carrying it around. He also left flowers on her classroom desk, and three years later he still regularly replaces them with fresh ones.
- Elongated Man's wife dies in Identity Crisis, and he spends the rest of his rather short life mourning her.
- While outside of his own book writers did their best to ignore that Tim had ever even known Stephanie following her murder the pages of Robin made it clear that the circumstances of her death permanently damaged his ability to trust the other Bats, he started closing himself off from his allies, is never seen cooking or skateboarding again, his next two relationships with women he liked and considered pretty were attempts at appearing to have attained some level of normalcy rather than being caused by his attraction to the women in question and he broke them off due to still loving Steph.
- Many superheroes have this as their defining tragedy. The Punisher never gets over the murder of his wife and children (no matter how many criminals he kills). Green Lantern John Stewart claims he'll never fall in love again after the death of his wife Katma Tui. Etc.
- While Scott Summers isn't quite Jeansexual, he's come close at times. And as All New X-Men aptly demonstrates, he never got over her, either—though, mercifully, he doesn't try to mack on Teen!Jean, even when she starts subtly hitting on him, gently but firmly telling her that it's not going to happen.
- In the last issue/book of Circles, as Paulie dies of AIDS and Douglas is left alone, falling into a dettached, "going through the motions" state. Thankfully, the rest of Kinsey 6 is successful in making his life meaningful again, though Douglas makes it clear that "there will never be another Paulie".
- In Snowmaiden, the elvish lover of the titular human maiden mourns her after she dies of old age, as is standard for Tolkien's elves, but takes it Up to Eleven by refusing to return to his people, instead roaming the places where he was happy with her. He eventually meets someone else, who may, or may not, be his true love reborn
- Unlike most superhero based stories, Child of the Storm actually averts this. Thor, once he regains his memories, does grieve for Lily, does miss her and quite clearly a large part of him still loves her. That said, he's still in love with Jane and has made peace with the fact that Lily's dead and gone. This is rather complicated by the persistent hints that she's neither dead, nor gone.
- A Man of Iron: In Tywin's first POV chapter, it's shown this is the case regarding his late wife. The first thing he does when he wakes up each morning is look to her side of the bed, in the hope she might be there this time.
- In Dragon Age: Inquisition fanfic Walking in Circles, a non-fatal version of this trope happens to Solas after Evelyn becomes Tranquil.
- In Second Chances, Marinette is still suffering from the trauma of Nathaniel's death even a year later, and finds herself conflicted over her growing attraction to Adrien because she hates how the idea of a "second husband" seems to imply that husbands are replaceable or interchangeable.
- In The Bridge, this is what divides the split forms and personalities of Kaizer Ghidorah from Monster X. Once a normal Xilian man, his wife died in the day he became a kaiju fighting King Ghidorah. Monster X developed amnesia, but soldiered on to form a genuine friendship with Gigan, Megalon, and Irys, finding a Second Love in the human world with Aria Blaze; and kept his bonds to both even after regaining some memories. Kaizer Ghidorah never stopped obsessing over their old life and late wife, utterly loathing all of them and going berserk in their presence.
- Subverted in Moving. After Martha's suicide, Karen falls into a near-suicidal depression that leaves her aimlessly drifting from city to city. Eventually, she picks herself up.
- Our Own League fan novels: As part of his Adaptational Backstory Change, the unjust execution of his lover Sha'laina changed David Hyde from a pirate undergoing Love Redeems to Black Manta, a Supervillain with a vendetta. In Teen Titans: Witch-Hunt, it is first assumed Manta is working for Circe because she cast a love spell. Turns out, he's getting paid a crapload of treasure, but only because the sorceress found Manta's loyalty to Sha'laina makes him immune to such magic.
Black Manta: (To his son, Aqualad) There ain't enough Copperfield crap in the world to make me forget your mom.
- Young Sherlock Holmes: Sherlock takes Elizabeth's death hard.
- In the Bollywood movie Mohabbatein the hero's girlfriend killed herself because they couldn't be together. A decade later, the hero is still in love with her and can "see" her whenever he closes his eyes...
- Robin Williams' character Sean from Good Will Hunting.
Sean: Maybe you're perfect right now. Maybe you don't wanna ruin that. I think that's a super philosophy, Will; that way you can go through your entire life without ever having to really know anybody...
Will: ...you ever think about gettin' remarried?
Sean: My wife's dead.
Will: Hence the word: remarried.
Sean: She's dead.
Will: Yeah; well, I think that's a super philosophy, Sean. I mean, that way you could actually go through the rest of your life without ever really knowing anybody.
Sean: Time's up.
- A major character point for Carl in Up.
- Malcolm's wife in The Sixth Sense, though this is Mistaken for Cheating for much of the movie until we learn that Malcolm was Dead All Along.
- A major character point for Rocky in Rocky Balboa. With characteristic eloquence, Sylvester Stallone says of Adrian:
"Yeah my wife's gone. But she ain't, you know, gone."
- In What a Girl Wants, Daphne tells her father that her mother never dated anyone else after they broke up. Daphne is eighteen years old, and her parents broke up before she was born.
- Alexandre is like this in Tell No One; eight years after his wife Margot was murdered, he still hasn't moved on. Except she's still alive.
- Noriko in Tokyo Story is doing this for her husband, who was killed in World War II eight years previously. Although, as she confesses to her father-in-law Shūkichi when he urges her to remarry, it isn't quite that simple. In fact, she feels terrible loneliness, but is racked with guilt about her desires to move on after her husband's death.
- Mercedes in The Count of Monte Cristo still has her string engagement ring when she confronts Edmund Dantes, who was thought to have died but was really sent to a Hellhole Prison, later in the story.
- Cloud Atlas: It's implied Sixsmith lived forty-five more years, but never loved again after Frobisher. Ouch.
- In Highlander, immortals (Always Male as far as the films are concerned) invariably have the dilemma of outliving any significant other by several centuries. Sean Connery's character, Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez, ends up marrying three times. After his third wife died, he played this trope straight, encouraging his protege, Connor MacLeod, to avoid romantic attachments in the first place, hoping to spare him this pain. Connor, naturally, doesn't listen, and per Ramirez's warning, Connor's wife, Heather, dies of old age while Connor... doesn't. After this, Connor avoids getting romantically involved with other women and lights a candle on Heather's birthday each year, repeating this pattern until a Second Love does show up... five centuries later.
Rachel: You never let anyone love you.Connor: Love is for poets.
- A Song of Ice and Fire:
- Tywin Lannister is hardened by his wife Joanna's death to the extent that he never smiles again, and treats Tyrion (whose birth caused Joanna's death) like absolute shit.
- King Robert Baratheon never stopped loving Lyanna. Even when he married Tywin's daughter Cersei (which he had to do for political reasons), he called her "Lyanna" in bed on their wedding night. Unsurprisingly this caused a lot tension between them.
- Ser Loras Tyrell, following King Renly Baratheon's death. "When the sun has set, no candle can replace it." Tough all over, innit?
- All of them are trumped by Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish whose years-long, unrequited love for Catelyn Stark has caused him to take the Yandere trope Up to Eleven.
- Ellaria Sand tried to move on after her lover, Prince Oberyn Martell, brutally died in a Mutual Kill against Ser Gregor "the Mountain" Clegane. She even refused to participate in Doran Martell and the Sand Snakes' revenge plot, knowing that it would cause another Cycle of Revenge which got Oberyn killed in the first place. This is sharp contrast in the TV show where she wants revenge on the Lannisters by via Revenge by Proxy on Myrcella, who had nothing to do with Oberyn's death.
- Catelyn Stark as well by the time Ned's head got chopped. It gets worse when she was resurrected as Lady Stoneheart who seeks vengeance against those who killed her family.
- In the Chivalric Romance Floris and Blanchefleur, Floris is told that Blanchefleur is dead; it grieves him but does not shake his love.
- Sherlock Holmes: Invoked by the villain of the "A Case of Identity" story. He disguises himself and dates his stepdaughter so that she would fall in love with him. On their wedding day, the villain has his fake persona disappear so that she would be devastated and never be able to love another man again. Without the chance of her marrying anyone and moving out, he can continue leeching off the stepdaughter's income and inheritance.
- Pretty much Dante Alighieri's whole body of work but especially The Divine Comedy is built around one of these. Not Truth in Television only because he seems to have confined it to his literary side.
- Clive Cussler's The Mediterranean Caper. Teri von Till feels this way about her long-dead husband, to the point of depression. Dirk Pitt tries to convince her to move on with her life.
- Mercedes Lackey's works:
- In the Liaden Universe series by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, Liaden lifemate marriages do not provide for divorce nor allow remarriage, even after a spouse's death. And true lifemating can often lead to the nondeceased soon following the deceased party into death.
- In the Deryni novels, Kelson puts off the thought remarrying for a couple of years or so after Sidana is slaughtered at the altar by her brother, and procrastinates a further two or three years after Rothana refuses him after Conall's execution. In this interim, Kelson is pressured by his mother and his courtiers to provide for the succession. Rothana finally picks out another woman to marry him (his cousin Araxie Haldane) and persuades each of them that their marriage would be for the best.
- The Time Traveler's Wife:
- Clare never gets over Henry, doesn't remarry, just waits around to see him one last time when she's 80.
- Henry's father goes to pieces after the death of his mother and drinks himself to infirmity.
- In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, there was the Medstar Duology by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry, a pair of books taking place during the Clone Wars and featuring several just-off-the-battlefield surgeons and a Jedi healer, among others. The Jedi healer made friends with several other mains, and died not more than a few years after those books. Twenty in-universe years later on the Death Star (in a novel called Death Star), it turns out that one of those surgeons, having been coerced into continuous service is still around and was very attached to that Jedi. He does state that he doesn't know if it was love or not, but he thinks of her often, particularly when trying to navigate ethical dilemmas.
- This is also how General Grievous gets his name; his co-general was killed during a battle.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, it turns out Severus Snape was Lily Evans's Unlucky Childhood Friend, and the guilt and grief he felt over her death (which he partially caused, during his time as a Death Eater) motivated him for the rest of his life.
- Lemony and the first Beatrice in A Series of Unfortunate Events.
- Nicolas Spark's A Walk to Remember IS this trope. Landon and Jamie fall in love and get married at age 17 because Jamie's dying of incurable leukemia. Decades and decades later, Landon has not considered anybody else, once, and has not taken off his wedding ring.
- Though he never treated her all that well when he was alive, Amelia in Vanity Fair mourns her dead husband George for years, ignoring the feelings of another suitor and eventually driving him away. It isn't until Becky tells her that George had been planning to run away with her (Becky, that is) just before he died that Amelia finally gets over him.
- Aegnor and Andreth in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth mythos. Aegnor, an elf, and Andreth, a mortal woman, fell in love, but Aegnor pretended not to return her affections because he believed love between elf and mortal could not work out. Andreth was bitter over this, until Aegnor's brother Finrod revealed to her that Aegnor had vowed that he would never marry because he could never love anyone else. This continues even in death, as Aegnor refuses to leave the Halls of Mandos (kind of an Elvish purgatory) and be re-embodied in Valinor because he doesn't want to live in a world that doesn't have Andreth in it. In the meantime Andreth refused to marry any mortal man and, ironically, outlived Aegnor when he was killed in battle.
- Another example from The Silmarillion manages to both play this straight and avert it: In the tale of Beren and Lúthien as a mortal Man and Elf princess, there were already severe complications to their relationship. Eventually, Beren is slain by the great wolf Carcharoth, and Lúthien out of love for him dies from grief. Unfortunately, because the souls of Men aren't allowed to remain in Valinor and are forced to pass beyond the circles of the world, and Elves are forced to remain and can't pass to wherever it is Men go, the lovers are faced with being eternally separated again in the afterlife, at which point Lúthien out of love sings a lament over their fates, the suffering of Men and Elves at Morgoth's hands, and the prospect of spending an eternity without her love. This gets averted when her song moves the unmovable Mandos to pity, and he personally pleads their case to Manwë. Beren and Lúthien are allowed to return to Middle-earth to live out their lives together as mortals, and when they finally die their second deaths, pass from the world along with the rest of the race of Man.
- Thingol's wife Melian (a Maia spirit) is so heartbroken by his death, that she departs the world never to return after her husband is slain by dwarves over the silmaril, dooming Doriath to eventual conquest. Turgon's wife perishes crossing into Middle-earth from Valinor, and he mourns her the rest of his life. Húrin and Morwen are separated for decades, and Morwen never gives up her torch for Húrin, reuniting only in time for Morwen to pass away. Théoden never remarries following the death of his wife birthing their son, Théodred. Let's face it, Tolkien's works are filled with spouses who mourn their lost loves for the rest of their lives. It would probably be easier to list examples in which this doesn't happen.
- A really tragic example (though without a death) is John Eames and Lily Dale from Anthony Trollope's The Chronicles of Barsetshire. She falls in love with a cad who abandons her so he can marry a rich girl. She decides to remain perpetually single, and Eames, who loves her, also remains single for her sake.
- In the novel Back to the Moon, Jack is hesitant in his budding relationship with Penny because he is still mourning his dead wife Kate. In fact, his entire reason for doing anything in the story is out of loyalty/guilt over what happened to Kate.
- In Charles Dickens's Great Expectations, Miss Havisham became a hermit in her own home after being betrayed and jilted by Compeyson, remaining dressed in her wedding dress with the clocks stopped at the time she was betrayed, and the rotten wedding feast in place.
- Heathcliff for Cathy in Wuthering Heights, to the point where he even digs up her body YEARS after the fact.
- In Shadows of the Apt, Tisamon. Even though he thought she betrayed all of them. Some time after he learns they had a child — once he calmed down — he gives her a sword he had intended for her mother and had been carrying around for seventeen years.
- In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero's Daughter, Eramus is still in mourning for his first wife. So much that when she came back, he kept rejecting her. Cruelly.
- In the novels, part of the reason why James Bond's Girl of the Week relationships last so briefly is that one woman he truly loved (in Casino Royale) - Vesper Lynd - was a traitor, who proceeded to kill herself. When he opened up to Tracy Vincenzo in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the Cartwright Curse struck, turning him into a total wreck.
- Warrior Cats:
- Fireheart has a crush on Spottedleaf. The two never talked about having a relationship while she was alive, but after she dies, he mourns her for a long time. Whenever he sees her in his dreams, it's mentioned that he always feels the pain of her death as if she's just died. It's only after seasons later, when other cats tell him to open his eyes up to the present - and Spottedleaf herself visits him in his dreams and gives her blessing for him to have another relationship - that he falls in love with Sandstorm.
- This also happens to Graystripe and Silverstream. After she rescues him from drowning, Silverstream and Graystripe start to sneak off to see each other, and fall in love. Silverstream later dies giving birth to his kits. Graystripe never really gets over this, even when he got a new mate, Millie, he admits that he's still in love with Silverstream, and that he dreams about her frequently; and wishes that he didn't have to wake up from those dreams.
- In The Hunger Games, Katniss's mother goes into a near-catatonic depression after the death of Katniss's father, leaving Katniss to support the family. Even when the mother becomes functional again, she never really gets over his death.
- In Cloud Atlas, it's implied that Sixsmith lived forty-five more years, but never loved again after Frobisher. Ouch.
- In the Honorverse, President Eloise Pritchart essentially goes into emotional shutdown after losing the love of her life, Admiral Javier Giscard, in battle. Though she continues to function both as a President and as a human being, she never really recovers; she clings to her Not Love Interest Thomas Theisman in the wake of losing him, and the narration makes it painfully clear that she will never be the same and that Javier was the great love of her life.
- In Wet Goddess, Ruby always remains the first and foremost in Zack's heart.
Zack [25 years later]: So here we are again, and not a day has gone by when I haven't thought about you, Ruby.
- In L. Jagi Lamplighter's The Raven, the Elf, and Rachel, Rachel's (somewhat melodramatic) vision of her future when she fears a Baleful Polymorph can't be reversed.
- Elphaba's father, Frex, in Wicked, after both his true loves, Melena and Turtle Heart, die. Turtle Heart dies first, and Melena a few years later.
Frex: I haven't loved anyone else since your mother died, except of course my children.
- Chronicles of the Kencyrath
- Ganth Gray Lord for his the Dream-weaver. It was Love at First Sight, and he spent years haunted by her before she became his consort. They were only together for a short time, a two or three years at most, and he never got over her mysteriously leaving.
- Lady Brenwyr on Brandan, for her Lost Lenore Aerulan. We first meet Brenwyr 34 years after Aerulan's death, and she's still heartbroken.
- According to the Vita Nuova, it takes a year after Beatrice's death for Dante to even think about other women. Even then, one dream about his lost Lenore is enough to make him repent of writing poetry for any other women and dedicate his life to offer her praise never written before.
- According to Pocket Monsters: The Animation, Delia's unnamed husband ran off years ago and she has mostly gotten over him, however she hasn't formally divorced him. Delia routinely gets flirted with but she isn't interested in another relationship.
- Game of Thrones: Robert Baratheon has never gotten over the loss of his betrothed, Lyanna Stark, to the point of drunkenly calling Cersei Lyanna on their wedding night, igniting her spite against him.
- Hercules: The Legendary Journeys: Hercules felt this way about his wife, Deianeira, who had been murdered by Hera. In one episode he politely turned down the proposition of a band of Amazons, saying he was still in love with his wife. He does eventually get a Second Love in the form a Ceryneian Hind named Serena note , but Ares kills her, putting a different trope into play.
- In New Tricks, Jack is still very much in love with his wife who died 9 years ago, and when asked about a woman who was showing an interest in him, simply replied "I'm married."
- Monk is still married. His wife is dead, but he's still married. Absolutely.
- So is Patrick Jane of The Mentalist. Though in Jane's case, there have been other women whom he's met after his wife that he's shown to have feelings for. Sadly, none of these have gone well so far.
- This is implied for William Adama after Laura Roslin died in the Battlestar Galactica finale.
- The father in the TV version of 10 Things I Hate About You continues to wear his wedding ring after he is widowed, and claims to be married when a woman flirts with him. (Though he does later go on an enjoyable date with this woman.)
- Babylon 5:
- From the series finale: "Every morning for as long as she lived, Delenn got up before dawn and watched the sun come up." Note that she outlived her husband by at least eighty years.
- Susan for Marcus: After he dies to save her life, she leaves Babylon 5, never falls in love again and doesn't mention his name until the series finale...twenty years later. It's especially tragic as she never admitted she loved him while he was alive.
- Lennier seems to have this reaction to Delenn and Sheridan's marriage. After swearing himself to Delenn's side as her trusted aide, he begins to fall in love with her, believing that his is a "pure, perfect love" but that she is "fated for another". As this admission occurs right as Sheridan and Delenn's relationship is starting to blossom, it is implied that Sheridan is this "other", though he confronts neither Sheridan nor Delenn openly about it. Outwardly, he accepts their relationship, and claims to accept it in his heart, but ultimately his jealousy towards Sheridan grows stronger and leads to Lennier's unfortunate downfall. He separates himself from both of them and seemingly never moves on from the heartbreak.
- On ER, we never see Elizabeth Corday show a hint of interest in anyone else after Mark Greene dies.
Elizabeth: I'm not afraid of being with him - I'm afraid of being without him.
- In the Doctor Who episode "The Impossible Astronaut", River Song says that her worst fear is having to do this after the Doctor no longer knows her (because of the Timey-Wimey Ball their relationship is happening roughly in reverse for each of them, she knows the Doctor more after each visit, but he knows her less because she's meeting him earlier in his timeline). This makes her first (last?) appearance and Heroic Sacrifice in "Forest of the Dead" all the more poignant.
- That Mitchell and Webb Look manages to invert the premise of Rebecca with Mister DeWinter constantly brooding on what his second wife is going to be like, much to Rebecca distress and confusion.
- Another has a 'life insurance' policy that offers to replace your dead spouse with a beautiful young immigrant who will behave impeccably sweetly out of gratitude for their nice new life
- Person of Interest: Harold still is Grace's fiance, his "death" in 2010 notwithstanding, and she has trouble referring to him in past tense.
- On How I Met Your Mother this is the reason that the titular mother waited for Ted, her first love Max died on her 21st birthday and she spent the next eight years morning his death. It wasn't until she met Ted that she really got over it. While she had a boyfriend in between, she still hadn't got over it.
- NCIS: Gibbs has undying feelings for his late wife and daughter. Although he has made several attempts to start anew, his romantic relationships since have always fallen apart, some of them after he married and then divorced the woman.
- In Bless Me Father, Mrs Pring married her husband whom she had two weeks together with. He then went off to fight in World War I in which he was killed. The two weeks were enough to father a daughter with her. Mrs Pring has remained loyal to her husband in the forty years since, never remarrying.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel
- Buffy has shades of this. While she does try to move on in season 4 with Riley, it's clear that she's still pinning for Angel. And if the Angel episode "I Will Remember You" is any indication, she's willing to dump Riley at the drop of a hat if it looks like Angel's willing to be with her again. Whether you like these two together or not (or believe they're "soulmates", or whatever) you have to admit that Buffy's actions are pretty unhealthy. One of the many reasons she turns Spike down is because he loves her without his soul, which in turn questions why Angel didn't love her without his (hinting that maybe he didn't love her as much as she believed). The fact that she unintentionally compares all her other love interests to him doesn't help. "End of Days/Chosen" reinforces just how ridiculous she's being, even though she does turn him away.
- Angel isn't much better. He's clearly pinning for Buffy for the first two seasons. By the end of season 2 it looks like he's finally moving on with Cordelia, but even afterwards it's implied that he's still holding a torch for Buffy. By season 5 he's having Buffy followed by Wolfram & Hart spies - and has a fling with a werewolf while this is happening. A short, blonde werewolf...hmm...
- John Winchester in Supernatural is a classic example of this trope. His inability to save his wife, Mary, and his devotion to hunting down the thing that killer her has made him an obsessive (and occasionally abusive) Hunter. It's been implied more than once that their marriage wasn't all that happy while she was alive, although he glorified it in retrospect.
- Teen Wolf: Sheriff Stilinski - Stiles's father - has never recovered from his wife Claudia's death and still struggles to talk about her. Although Claudia died at least six years before the show, he continues to wear his wedding ring and shows no interest in dating again, despite having a lot of chemistry with Scott's mother Melissa.
- Sort of played with in the backstory for Dr. Noonien Soong in Star Trek: The Next Generation. When his wife, Juliana, died, he created an android replica of her. Although the android Juliana had the memories of (and believed herself to be) the original, Noonien ultimately realized it was not the same as actually having his wife back and retreated into his research out of guilt. Unaware of her Replacement Goldfish status and thinking Noonien was simply becoming Married to the Job, the android Juliana left Noonien, and he spent the rest of his life playing this trope straight.
- The Punisher (2017):
- Frank Castle, obviously, as he's mourning the loss of his family
- In a temporary example, Karen Page has visibly never recovered from Matt's recent "death" in the destruction of Midland Circle at the climax of The Defenders (2017). She's taken up drinking, keeps a photograph of herself celebrating St. Patrick's Day with Matt and Foggy on a table where she has to look at it when she sits on the couch; and her decision to provoke Lewis Wilson seems to be out of a desperate need to get an adrenaline high to take her mind off the pain.
- A lot of Kamelot songs are about this trope, for instance the album Epica features a love story which ends with the subject of the singer's love songs early in the album committing suicide, and the singer/main character of the songs goes into a deep mourning, which even spills over into their next album.
- Worth noting that one of their songs is even titled "The Mourning After."
- Ludo's Broken Bride album is all about this.
- Fairly common in folk music, both classical and neo. There's "The Resurrected Lover," "Lover's Last Chance," "The Long Black Veil," "Steer By The Stars," "When I Sing About You"...
- "He Stopped Loving Her Today," possibly the greatest Country Music song ever, was about a man pining after his lost love until he dies.
- "Baby's In Black" by The Beatles. Possibly written about pre-fame member, the late Stu Sutcliffe's mourning girlfriend in Germany, Astrid Kircherr.
- Project Pitchfork's appropriately named "Lament":
I miss you too much, I can't go on without youEveryday is wrong, the whole world is dying in this songThe blues of the world swirled around my heart and screamedWe are apart, forever apart
- The Burning Hell's "Grave Situation, Part 2" seems to be about this, from the perspective of the dead guy.
- Judas Priest's "Close To You":
And as I stand here by the graveAnd the wind calls out your nameI know that time could never healThe emptiness I feel
- Abney Park's "Stretched on Your Grave" is, word for word, the poem that serves as the page quote.
- "Final Breath", a Touhou Eurobeat remix by Odyssey:
If I told you I loved you, would you still have survived?Every day gone without you is tearing like a knifeAs a mortal, I dance on the precipice of deathTill the day we're united, I draw my final breath
- Pulp's "Disco 2000" is a song written from the "married to someone else" point of view of this trope; the singer is convinced that he and his love are right for each other, even if they were nothing more than friends and she's now married with children. By the end of the song, he's so determined just to meet her again that he doesn't care if she brings her child to a meeting he's suggesting.
- Magnus of The Adventure Zone: Balance is uninterested in romance because he still loves his late wife Julia.
- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has a particularly tragic case of this in that the lady in question isn't actually dead — and by the time he finally figures this out, he's already killed her due to having no time before the Judge, who he wants revenge against, comes back into his shop.
- Euripides' Alcestis.
- A case where the love interest doesn't die, but leaves and irreparably damages the character: Kathy in the Vanities musical, as told in "Cute Boys with Short Haircuts", loses her BF after he knocks up another girl and ends up marrying that one, thus derailing all her future plans. By the third act she is a Broken Bird holed up in an unknown friend's Manhattan apartment.
- It's briefly mentioned in Two Gentlemen of Verona that Eglamour swore perpetual chastity after the woman he loved died.
- In The Rose Tattoo, Serafina treasures the memory of her late husband of twelve years as "the first best, the only best." She jealously keeps watch over his ashes (which she keeps in defiance of Catholic doctrine) and is proud to say that he was "never touched by the hand of nobody" except her, which is unfortunately untrue.
- Aribeth in Neverwinter Nights is driven insane by this trope and becomes extremely susceptible to mind control.
- If you pursue the Romance Sidequest in Dragon Age: Origins and die in the end game, the epilogue reveals that all your potential Love Interests have an extremely hard time getting over you, but Zevran in particular is said to have never loved anyone again in his life.
- It's even mentioned in Dragon Age II if you romanced Alistair, made a Heroic Sacrifice at the end, and he stayed on as a Grey Warden. When running into Hawke in the second act, he refers to the Warden as 'the love of his life' even though she's been gone for four years at this point.
- The same thing happens in Zevran's cameo, which occurs near the end of the sequel and thus seven years after the original. As the Warden died soon after another woman he loved, maybe he's given up fighting the Cartwright Curse.
- Subverted as far back as Final Fantasy II: A dying prince ends his Will They or Won't They? situation with a princess by coughing a "tell her that I love her" at the party, but then realizes that she would follow this trope and tying her to a dead man would be nothing but selfishness. He forbids the party from saying anything, and they obey, even though the princess is expecting word. It's implied that the princess ends up with his brother.
- In Final Fantasy VII and Dirge of Cerberus, Vincent is living this way because of Lucrecia, spending long hours in the cave where she had sealed herself inside a crystal and talking to himself.
- If you romanced Kaidan in Mass Effect, then when Shepard dies at the start of the second game he goes into a two-year depression where he refuses to date anyone else because he loved Shepard too much. It gets better when Shepard is brought back to life and can rekindle their relationship in the third game, but it's implied that the same thing happens to him again if Shepard dies again at the end of the third game. Although a rather extreme and bizarre example is when he is romanced by a male Shepard given the fact that you can only romance him in this game but still share the same prologue with a female Shepard that romanced him from the first game.
- This could happen to Shepard if she romanced Thane in the second game who will be killed by Kai Leng in the third game. As long as she didn't pursue another love interest, the game will treat it as if she never moved on with his death and the Citadel DLC gave her the chance to properly mourn for him.
- Fire Emblem:
- Zihark of Fire Emblem Tellius outright admits that he probably won't ever fall in love with another woman after he broke up with his laguz girlfriend. True to his words, he later turns down Meg's marriage proposal, and pretty much stays single for the entirety of Path of Radiance and its sequel.
- Prince Kurth from Fire Emblem Jugdral, who refuses to marry despite all the nagging from his people after he falls for a married woman (Lady Cigyun of Velthomer), makes her his lover, and she disappears after the whole deal blows up in their faces and her husband Viktor is Spurned into Suicide.
- James Sunderland of Silent Hill 2 represents a disturbing variant of this archetype. Not only will he never get over his love for his dead wife Mary, it is implied that his obsession with their relationship and her memory leads him the recreate the world around him in her image, even to the extent of possibly recreating Mary herself. The entire story arc of the game revolves around James coming to terms (or not) with his inability to forget Mary, and the events leading to her death.
- Booker Dewitt from BioShock Infinite. His wife died almost twenty years earlier and there's no indication he's ever remarried. Not the mention he received a double blow with also losing his daughter.
- Shulk of Xenoblade Chronicles goes through this after losing Fiora to Metal Face. Of course, it also gives him motivation to go and kill every mechon ever.
- Inverted in that Fiora is not actually dead, but reincarnated as a mechon. After finding this out (and jumping off a cliff), Shulk begins a relationship with her.
- In MOTHER 3, Flint never really gets over his wife's death.
- In Dishonored 2, Empress Jessamine Kaldwin's assassination fifteen years prior still have left deep emotional wounds in her royal protector/paramour Crovo Attano and their now adult daughter and heir Empress Emily Kaldwin.
- The titular character in Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice has her one great love, Dillion, and a significant chunk of her internal conversation revolves around how strongly she feels for him. He's already dead at the start of the game.
- Godot, aka Diego Armando of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations is one of these — the game doesn't actually discuss whether he'd have another girlfriend, but his attitude about Mia's death, and the lengths he'd go to "avenge" her make him definitely appear to be one of these. Interestingly enough, both of them might have fitted this trope (while she was alive, he went into a coma, not to wake up until she died) but she was of the more well-adjusted variety if she fit this trope at all.
- In Fate/stay night Heaven's Feel Normal End has a depressing example that flashes through the rest of Sakura's life in Shirou's home after he dies at the end of the Grail War, constantly waiting for him to come home.
- In CLANNAD there are multiple cases of this depending on the route but the most famous is when Tomoya's wife, Nagisa, dies in childbirth.
- In one Bad Ending of School Days, after Kotonoha commits suicide in front of them, Makoto and Sekai break up, and Makoto never gets together with anyone else.
- At the very heart of Steven Universe; all the Crystal Gems minus Steven are still grieving and recovering from the loss of their beloved Rose, though for Garnet and Amethyst, it's in a platonic variant. Both Greg and Pearl were in romantic relationships with her, and are still doing their best to move on while raising the child she left behind.
- Joanna the Mad - Queen of Castile - for her husband, Philip the Handsome. She took to carrying his coffin around with her and sleeping with it. Her son, Carlos I of Castile (Charles V Holy Roman Emperor) played this up a little when assuming rule on her behalf. She clearly had a screw loose, in addition to being a woman - two major handicaps for any sixteenth century would-be monarch.
- Joanna's problem was actually less that she was a woman or even seriously mentally ill; As Joanna's own mother, Queen Isabella of Castile aptly demonstrated, women (yes, including married women) could even back then easily reign in their own right or even exercise more influence than rulers of the opposite sex. Joanna's problem was more that when she was born, she was only third in line for the throne after her two older siblings Juan and Isabella and thus never properly prepared to rule to of the most powerful monarchies in Europe at the time. Instead Joanna grew up as a very shy and reserved girl with limited social contact whose only purpose at the time was to be married to a man she had never met before, and she must have been rather ecstatic to discover that her fiancé was essentially the Big Man on Campus among European nobility. The untimely death of her siblings made her unexpectedly successor to the thrones of Castile and Aragòn, but she apparently didn't have much interest in ruling the Iberian peninsula as much as simply living a family life, a matter she complied with by simply giving most matters political into the hands of Philip, who unlike her, had had a political upbringing. In contrast to Joanna, who was fiercely devoted to her husband, Philip was, like most nobles at the time a playboy who certainly didn't always place a strain on his libido (although he also clearly appreciated his wife), a fact that apparently made Joanna quite jealous for a while and provided the necessary excuse that her father in particular needed to declare her mentally ill to take hold of her possessions in his quarrels with his son-in-law. In other words, Philip's death simply shattered a reclusive woman's personal life as well as threw her unprepared into conflict with her own father. It should also be mentioned that Joanna summarily abandoned her children after her husband's demise and Charles, a man widely known for taking his responsibilities very serious, beyond deeming her irresponsible, must certainly also have felt a bit resentful towards his mother when making his decision.
- Related to the example above, Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire had an arranged, yet loving marriage to Isabella of Portugal, a fine example of Silk Hiding Steel. When she died after the miscarriage of their 6th children, Charles V was away on a conquest. Her death shattered him so much he wore black for the rest of his life and never remarried. Charles V later abdicated and died in a monastery.
- Later on, Charles III of Spain lost his wife, Maria Amalia of Saxony, in 1760 (after giving him 13 children). He lived on for other 28 years, in which he never remarried, got a mistress or even a (in modern terms) one-night stand. This in an era where political alliances were still held by marriages and every king (Charles III's father included) routinely went through two, three or more marriages in his life.
- British monarchs:
- A strange one: George II was famous in his time for having both a loving relationship with his wife Caroline of Ansbach and a parade of mistresses. Caroline, a clear-eyed and realistic sort (she was also popular among the British political class and people as a wise—and devoutly-Protestant—advisor to her sometimes-clueless husband), didn't really mind his philandering as long as she approved of the mistresses personally, and so George took pains to ensure that Caroline vetted all of his paramours. When Caroline predeceased him, passing in 1737, she begged him on her deathbed to remarry when she was gone; sobbing, he cried, "Non, j'aurai des maîtresses!" ("No, I shall have mistresses!") to emphasise that none could replace her as his wife and queen. He stayed true to his word; he never remarried, and only had mistresses for his remaining (almost) 23 years after Caroline's death.
- Possibly the most famous example in royal history: Queen Victoria was (famously) deeply, deeply in love with her husband Prince Albert. (Here's the obligatory Hark! A Vagrant strip poking fun at their relationship.) When he died young in 1861 at the age of 42, Victoria went into mourning for the rest of her life—all thirty-nine years of it. She was never seen out of widow's weeds ever again, and commissioned her famous small diamond crown specifically to accommodate this (the small size meant she could wear it on top of the veil, and it was made of silver and diamonds because those were appropriate materials for mourning). In the early years, she even failed to appear at the required social and state occasions, bringing the monarchy to its highest level of unpopularity since the Civil War; it's often said that only the Prince of Wales' personal popularity prevented Britain from becoming a republic during this period. Of course, Victoria had strong personal reasons for ignoring this; as she herself said:
- There are some people who genuinely consider the death of a partner to be very different from the dissolution of marriage; most however, consider the death of a spouse to be akin to a forced dissolution.
- Princess Nino Chavchavadze, after her husband died ridiculously soon after their marriage.
- Related to this you have Grigol Orbeliani, who was in love with Nino and courted her but respected her choice to never re-marry. However, because he loved her so much, he never got married not even when she passed away 30 years before he did
- Sir Patrick Moore. His fiancée was killed in 1943 when a bomb hit the ambulance she was driving.
"That was it. There was no one else for me. Second best is no good for me. I would have liked a wife and family, but it was not to be."
- James Buchanan, the only U.S. president to never marry, after his fiancée Ann Caroline Coleman's death. "Marry I could not, for my affections were buried in the grave." He seems to have eventually had romances and even reconsider his position on marriage, but never actually went through with it. Although many historians are pretty sure he was gay.
- Man recreates dead lover as a sex doll.
- Princess Helene of Wittelsbach aka Nene, older sister of the famous Elisabeth of Wittelsbach aka Sisi, remained unmarried after the death of her husband Maximilian of Thurn-and-Taxis, refusing other possible engagements and focusing on helping manage the Thurn-und-Taxis family business and philantrophy instead.
- After the tragic murder of Sisi, it's said that her hubby Franz Josef felt similarly, despite how unstable their marriage was; in her memoirs, his relative Princess Zita from the Habsburg clan wrote that she heard him say "Nobody will ever know how much I loved Sisi".
- Another Lizzie here: Saint Elisabeth of Hungary, said to have gone into a huge Heroic BSoD once she learnt that her husband and Victorious Childhood Friend Margrave Ludwig of Thuringia had died in the Crusades, repeating a Madness Mantra by the lines of "He is dead. He is dead. It is to me as if the whole world died today!". She then went Rebellious Princess by doing anything in her power to not re-marry, from leaving Thuringia despite her brother-in-law's orders to telling people "Either leave me alone and let me become a Franciscan tertiary, or I'll cut off my own nose and disfigure myself so no one will want me!" She got her wish and died single at age 24.
- Eliza Emily Donnithorne, the possible inspiration for Ms. Havisham, was dumped by her fiance on their wedding day, and shut herself in her home for the rest of her life, drawing the curtains and leaving everything in its place to rot.
- Joe DiMaggio married Marilyn Monroe in 1954, but they divorced in the same year. They became close again in 1961, and it was rumored that they might remarry. When she died in 1962, he arranged her funeral and would send half a dozen roses to her grave 3 times a week for the next 20 years. He never remarried or talked publicly about Marilyn or exploited their relationship, unlike others. When he died in 1999, his last words were "I'll finally get to see Marilyn."
- Sgt Lena Mae Basilone never remarried after her husband, Gunnery Sgt John Basilone, was killed in action at Iwo Jima. The two never had any children, and when she passed away in 1999, the obituary pointed out that she still wore the wedding ring from when they were married.
- She would later sponsor the Gearing-class destroyer "USS Basilone", and was present for the christening.
- Science Fiction/Horror writer Jack Butler lost his wife to cancer, but 20 years later still talks about being married in the present tense. In a magazine interview he once told a story about how his oldest daughter tried to get him to date again, and how he couldn't understand why she didn't get the concept of "married."
- Hungarian poet Miklós Radnóti was murdered during the Holocaust in 1944. His widow, Fanni Gyarmati lived for almost 70 years after that, dying at age 101, but she never remarried and never moved out of the apartment where they lived together.
- In ancient China, memorializing women who never remarried eventually became an official government policy. If one managed to remain a widow for life and prove it with credible evidence, the matter could go all the way up to the Emperor, she would get a plaque, and her family would receive a prize as well.