“Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo” – H.G. Wells

If there was ever a result of widowhood that I did not expect, it is the casualties of relationships that lie tattered in the roads behind me.

It’s hard to believe that something so harsh can be so inevitable, but the truth is; that is what it has become. If I had my choices, I don’t think I’d lose a single friend; but the word friend has become refined and redefined. And some people no longer fall under my own definition.

In all fairness, I no longer fall under theirs.

I once wrote that it is incredibly hard to live with a grieving person. This is a cardinal truth. The reason is because while we are in our OWN state of grief, be it active grieving or beyond, it is OUR OWN. It is not measured by someone else’s ideal of what a widow should be, or any person grieving someone they loved. Unless someone is resolved to accept a person’s grief journey with out prejudice, they will find it very difficult to interact and stay connected to an actively grieving person at many times during a relationship. There is not much to be done about it, other than to support them.

Death is so incredibly final. Up until this past Spring, I could not bring myself to admit that my Jonathan was gone. He’s never coming back to me. It hurts so much to say this and I know I’ve said it before, but it’s true.  Yes, I believe in a Judeo-Christian Afterlife, which ensures that we will meet again in a different realm, dimension, universe, etc., and we will be happy there. And yes, I am aware that I am HERE. I am not where Jon is, and that is precisely why this has been so hard, and is so hard for those grieving. Until you have lost someone you loved so deeply, no matter who they are, you cannot know what that is like. I could never have known. And I don’t expect outsiders to understand this. Those that haven’t deal with Death’s powerful grip on their lives cannot understand why it takes someone so long to let go of a lost loved one. They have moved on. Why cant the grieving? Why can’t a widow get over it already? Why is she still grieving? Why is he still single? Why do they idolize their spouses??

I don’t expect to have to keep up appearances and live up to impossible standards. No one has the right to tell anyone grieving that they cannot feel the way they feel, or react the way they react. Grief IS about the GRIEVER. It is not a sabbatical, or a retreat. It is not a picnic and it sure isn’t a vacation. It is an alternate state of being, where everything that once was is no longer quite the same. AND IT STAYS THAT WAY. It’s never going to go back. It’s never going to be the way it was. And I hate to disappoint people, but that takes awhile to get used to. Like it or not.

And in the same way, no one can expect a widow/er or grieving person to go back to who they were. I am no longer who I was. I used to be (in my opinion), very arrogant and forthright. I reveled in my false intellectualism and my pride as a wife and mother. Do I think those things are wrong, now? No. But I do think that the emphasis put on a projected facade, and then used to destroy someone else’s character, in the guise of offering opinions or “advice,” is a serious personality flaw. And like all things in life, I have learned a very harsh lesson.

I am no longer concerned with the petty, useless lifestyle I once lived. I don’t think my husband would even recognize me, anymore. But I do think he’d like the improvement. I do think he’d appreciate the new-found ability to recognize a defect that I no longer wish to be a part of.

Unfortunately, this is a cause for many losses on this journey. Mentalities that I no longer share with people have caused many riffs and odds, where there is no longer any common ground.

I’ve lost friends and even family members, because we cannot see eye to eye, and our lives are too different to connect. It’s a very sad thing, to realize that people I once counted on for support are tapped out. I don’t blame them for being who they are and wanting what they want. I only wish they didn’t feel the need to judge or slander instead of just saying: “I’m done with this.”

But I, too,  have drawn my own line in the sand. I no longer want certain people in MY life. Most grieving people don’t realize that we have the power to exclude those that are not supportive to our lives, and we are not obligated to continue friendships and relationships that are detrimental to our progress. It sucks to say it, but there are those we simply don’t need to be around anymore. It’s really just a part of life, and at what stage you are at in it. In my entire life, I have learned one valuable lesson: Nothing lasts forever. At one point, in almost all things, we will all have to say goodbye.

I recently came across a quote on Facebook that read something like: “Giving up doesn’t always mean you are weak. Sometimes, it just means you are strong enough to let go.”

I feel strong enough to let go of the things that hinder me. I feel strong enough to move on with my healing process. I know that I have true friends and I am so much more grateful for their friendship, because I see how rare and real it can be. I will heal, and everything else will happen as it will.