Juggling The Past With The Present

Aren't these things supposed to become easier? That is what people keep telling me, " Oh, honey. It gets easier." Ok, that's nice... I'm still waiting.


Here's the thing. Sure, living with grief is becoming easier in most areas of my life. It's a numbness, I think. Grief is a part of my daily life. It's kind of like having to look in the mirror every morning and see big hips and wrinkles. I hate it, but I get over it and go on with my life. It's there, it will always be there, I've learned to accept that. 
 
Here is the problem...
 
I'VE accepted my grief. I've accepted I'm weird. That doesn't mean everyone else has - and that is where the problem lies, which brings up a few questions (for me, anyway). 
 
Is it time now for me to start working on being a little more normal? Are these new found flaws given by circumstance things that I need to "work on" or things I should "accept"? Is it healthy to embrace grief and the fact that I miss my husband, and live my life in a way that honors those things, or should I be trying to fix myself so that I can get as close to "how I was" as I possibly can and leave these things behind? 
 
If people don't like who I am now, is it my fault for being selfish in being comfortable in my grief and being attached to my husband forever, or is it theirs for not understanding where I'm coming from and not accepting who I've chosen to be - a widow who lives in honor of her husband? 
 
....I honestly see both sides. The way I live my life now could be viewed selfish to those who are alive. I do get that.
 
Thing is, as much as I wanted the word "widow" to get away from me in the beginning of this mess, and as much as I wanted to pretend Cleve did not die, I am now FINALLY embracing these things and it is liberating in a way that I'm not sure I can describe. Yea, it hurts to accept, but it is also freeing because now - now that I've accepted who I am and where I came from - I can use that to better myself and help others. The more I'm realizing this, the more happiness I am feeling and the more I want to embrace it and run with it.
 
Now that I'm "here", it seems that it makes people other than widows (POTW - I am officially making this a widow term) uncomfortable. It makes me more difficult to be around because the things I am openly able to talk about, like switching a screwed up headstone, makes people feel uneasy. 
 
Does this make me selfish? 
 
If so, I'm just becoming more and more selfish with each day. And what if I said I think I'm okay with it? I don't know what else to say, because... I don't want to change. If I die honoring my husband and making sure every person I can possibly find knows his sacrifice, I'll die content. If I die knowing that I gave back to the community I love so dearly - the Military community, specifically those wounded - I will die in what I define as success. 
 
So, where does this leave me? Possibly on a deserted island with a bunch of other Military widows like me, because I'm finding that they may be the only ones who will accept me. 
 
It's true, I would love to blend in with the rest of the world. I would love to re-marry and have children and prance off into the sunset through my white picket fenced yard, but the reality is that that isn't me anymore. I gave those desires to someone else and he is now gone. Now I am someone who wants nothing more than to live for him as long as possible. If that makes other people uncomfortable - even if those other people are everyone else on the freaking planet - then I guess I'll be alone with his memory. 
 
I am aware that times changes a lot. It changes me regularly. And maybe all of this will blow over. Maybe one day I'll decide that putting all of this in the past is what is best. Personally, I hope that I'll just find a way to juggle my past and my present a little more fluidly. The thought of my past being too far away scares me and I have no desire for it. 
 
I am now one of those people - like the Uncle on Napoleon Dynamite who is always reminiscing about his high school football days. 
 
Just call me Uncle friggin' Rico...!

Take it or leave it, man. I don't have the energy to fight who I've become. 
 
So, I dunno. I've been feeling content in many ways and lost in others. I love the people who are alive around me, and I also love someone who is gone. I've found a place that makes me happy, but some people are having a hard time handling my out-in-the-open widow-ness. For now, I'm sticking to what feels right. 
 
I am deeply sorry to anyone that feels they are negatively effected by that. 
 
 
This post was originally written on my blog, Wife (Widow) of a Wounded Marine

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