The good: Church is helping me. I still miss him terribly and seeing our pictures and remembering our experiences are still so hard. I miss him. I tell God this everyday, and I cry. I weep because I miss being his wife so much. I miss being who I was when I was with him. But Church…is helping. God is changing me. My interests are changing, before my very eyes. I feel stronger. Not BETTER, but stronger. I don’t feel as weak as I have been feeling. I still wish I could be under the ground with him, instead of walking this earth, like I am right now…but those feelings are starting to heal. I am looking forward to the healing journey, because it’s a journey and not a stagnent place. I don’t know who I will end up becoming when I am finally healed through my grief, but I am looking forward to becoming someone. Someone who is forever changed by what Jon taught me, and showed me, and knew I could be.

The Bad: I want my friends to know something that I think some of them are missing. It’s ok, because I didn’t understand true grief until I experienced it. But the fact is, I will never be the same person I was before. I am forever changed, and not in a small way. My ideals, my standards, my entire life is completely different. I never realized that taking one ingredient out of the picture can change an entire recipe. But that is what has happened to me. I miss myself. I miss who I was when I was Jon’s beautiful bride, as he often called me. But I am no longer that woman. She is gone.

This means that a lot of things have changed and are continuing to change. As I re-identify myself in my new life, I will stumble, fall, weep, mourn, writhe and cry. I will laugh, smile, joke, sing, dance and love. But I will do it in a new way, and because of my new life. You cannot expect things to ever be what they were.

The Unfortunate: I am noticing a defining line between those I thought I was close to, and those that are quickly becoming close.

It’s isn’t an uncommon thing. Our friends who were close in our old life often have a hard time staying close now that things have changed. It makes sense, because certain friendships have certain dynamics between them. Sometimes, becoming a widow/er changes the very things that held those friendships together, and sometimes, people find that they no longer have anything in common. That’s ok. It happens.

And I think it is happening to me. Where I once loved to give advice, because of my ginormous ego, I am no longer interested in having one-sided conversations with certain friends, because they can’t see past what is going on in their lives enough to realize that there is more to life than who said what. And while there are those that are constantly stumbling in their words when they speak to me, or say the wrong things and realize it too late, the point is that they make an effort talk to me. To just see if I’m ok.

And it does hurt that there are those who can’t do that. Who feel so separated from what it is going on in my life, that they can’t even talk to me anymore. I don’t blame them. I realize that some of these relationships that I once had were actually pretty superficial, and were based on my ego being stroked because I could give them “my advice.” And in the same way, they benefited from my attention to their problems, because that is all that is important to them. And why shouldn’t it be? All of us are preoccupied with our own lives. I never realized just how prideful and arrogant I used to be, because I was such a know-it-all. And I never realized that the reason some people became friends with me was because of how I made them feel about themselves, or how I enabled them to prolongate their parades. I’m not saying that I am perfect, because I know more than ever that I am not.

But I am saying that for those relationships fading out of my life, I am ready to let them go.  I don’t have the energy or the time to worry about maintaining friendships that are…simply timed-out, so to speak.

And I hold no unforgiveness or grudges. I will always love and pray for these friends. The bible says not to “trade evil for evil” and I will not. With me, there will always be love and friendship. But I have to draw the line at certain things, for my own hope.

It’s Good. It’s Bad. It’s Unfortunate. But it’s also life.