So, my late husband’s mother and brother have been in town for the past few weeks….
Yes, it is very difficult……
When my late husband was killed, I think I was in shock. These things only happen in the movies….in really really BAD movies….not in MY life.
But it DID happen….and I WAS in shock. I went about each day just doing what I had to do to get by. I didn’t want to be around anymore but chose to muddle my way through for my daughter’s sake.
It didn’t take long for me to learn who was truly a friend of “ours” and who was not. It didn’t take long to know that my family would be there for me no matter what, and his family would be there to remind me of THEIR loss…and how awful it was for THEM…disregarding that it was *I* that lost the person that I had daily contact with….that I had planned a future with….that I had a child with…..
Then it was just two of us….
Of course I understand that his family suffered a loss too, but the one’s that made it into THEIR loss were the one’s that we would see on holidays….and not even talk with in between. His mother and brother are the only ones that I can honestly say were there for me….despite their horrific loss too. And to this day, they are the ones that I drop everything for when they come into town.
And…..they are also the ones that it hurts so much to see leave….
And then….ohhhh, and THEN….I have the guilt on top of that hurt. The guilt that I have moved on, and am I being unfaithful to my current spouse if I have these heart-breaking feelings of loss over my spouse just because his family is visiting?
Orrrrr…have I been unfaithful to my late spouse all along since finding Pete and making a new life with 2 more beautiful children??
Which is it?
This is where I get confused. When I met Pete I felt I had to hide it from people. I didn’t want to hear that it was “too soon”, or that I was being “disrespectful” for moving on before a specific period of mourning….
In hindsight….I wish someone would have said something…..although they might have, and I was too blinded by my grief to have heard them. I suppose it wouldn’t have mattered what anyone said….I was moving on. I was keeping busy. I was trying to make a new life because the one I was planning was stripped away instantly on May 31, 2005.
I think that is something that I have a habit of doing….keeping busy, physically and mentally, and the horrible thoughts, the hurtful feelings, the negativity, the GRIEF can’t catch me.
And NOW….my life is still busy. It’s even more busy than it was before. But as soon as I feel things start to calm a bit, I add something else that will prevent me from thinking too deeply or feeling too deeply…hence the new puppy.
The new puppy came just in time….as the late spouse’s mother and brother came for their visit. The puppy has been a distraction, and the kids have not let my mother-in-law and I have even 2 minutes to really speak.
Am I ok with this? I thought I was. Until my brother in law stopped one more time before he had to head back to Florida. (my mother in law still has another week here) When I gave my brother in law a hug goodbye….ohhh….the ache I felt inside. It was unbearable. It was like he was taking yet another piece of my late husband away with him…..But did I cry? No…I did not. Why? Because I did NOT want Pete, my current spouse, to worry…to have doubts over my feelings for what I have now, as opposed to THEN.
You see….I DO miss the life I had. And I refuse to feel guilty over that. I just don’t want my husband to think I don’t value what we have….the fact is, the two cannot be compared. Two different people…two different lives….
Just because I miss what I used to have doesn’t mean I am not okay with what has taken it’s place, right? I mean, I have 3 beautiful children now instead of one. They will have each other when Pete and I are old and gray and need THEM to take care of US. (What?? One can hope, right??)
Sometimes I feel like people forget that Brian, my late spouse, and I did NOT divorce…..we did not separate by choice, we were separated by DEATH. Oh, there is such a big difference.
The difference is…..when you divorce, go ahead and compare the two lives….say how horrible the previous life was….beat the shit out of the previous spouse’s character…THAT is all okay!! But when death has been the cause? Oh no….it’s not ok to do that. It’s just NOT. You have respect for what you had. You don’t need to glorify it and say how perfect it was just because you are supposed to be respectful to the dead…no, it’s not that. You need to be honest about it though. And I can honestly say that what Brian and I had wasn’t perfect by any means, but if he were still alive today, I can pretty much bet that we would still be together.
So….just because I moved on, and it doesn’t matter how soon or not soon I did this, it doesn’t mean that what I had previously didn’t have meaning.
And maybe I didn’t give myself enough time to grieve…or….maybe I did. I really don’t know. I don’t know if I just kept busy with any distraction I could which prevented me from grieving…..or what? Can one have delayed grief?? Is it even possible?
What I do know is that often times I find myself wondering how I got to where I am today. I find myself analyzing if the choices I made were the best for me, or were they made for my daughter?? Did I make my choices with a clear mind? Did I even take part in these decisions? I look at my kids and think…how the hell did you get here, and WHEN?? Seriously….It seems that I am cloudy in my thinking sometimes…..and it can be very scary.
Pete and I are celebrating our 4th anniversary next week…..time sure does fly, doesn’t it?
We have come a long way, yet….we have an even longer way to go. There is no perfect marriage…..in the past, or the present….and that is ok too.
It really is.
And here’s a video that hit close to home….not only because of the losses I’ve had, but because of the words….the same words I had put on Brian’s stone, yet….I try to recall these words as I live my life now.
It’s really not the number of breaths in life you take, but the number of moments that take your breath away.
Here’s to all your breath-taking moments…and may there be plenty!!
Link up with Shell if you’d also like to “Pour Your Heart Out” today.