I love Glen.
I’m in love with Glen.
I’m still so ridiculously in love with Glen. I’m just as much in love with him as I was the day we were married. Perhaps more.
I’m in love with Glen -> that statement is what I have been struggling with as I have considered “moving on” in my romantic life. The term “moving on” is truly one of the most hurtful phrases that is used with widowed people. “Shouldn’t you be moving on?” “I’m glad to see you are moving on.” “It’s been almost _ years. I really think you should move on.” Those are not statements that you get to say to a widow. EVER. Those are things you might say to someone whose spouse left them or after a bitter divorce or a bad breakup. Perhaps. When the love of your life dies unexpectedly, in the midst of daily life, you never move on. My love for Glen runs so deep and so wide. I will never be able to escape it and I am finally ready to quit trying. So today, I surrender to it. I surrender to the reality that I will never be out of love with him. I am going to have great days and then I am going to have days where the absence of his love takes my breath away. This realization is a fork in the road where I have a choice. After not having a choice on many of the events in my life recently, choices are a big deal to me.
I can choose to never let anyone love me again. Choose to never let anyone in and believe that my baggage is way more than anyone would want. I mean seriously, a widow through a tragic car accident, a severe traumatic brain injury, two kids, unable to work or hold a fulltime job, and the list goes on. I have so many versions of that list in my head. I have tortured myself into believing many versions of that list. I could choose that option
I can believe that Glen knows I will forever love him and that falling in love again is something that he wants for my life. I have always known he would want me to fall in love again but as I have said before, knowing and doing are two completely different avenues.
My falling in love and subsequent being in love is more difficult than I ever imagined. Difficult because I am not the only one that still loves Glen. Friends and family saw how truly happy he made me. They want him back too, they want that back. At long last, the one truth I have come to terms with now is that no one I date will be Glen. Seems fairly obvious but seriously, I cannot date Glen and I may not date someone like Glen. People saw how happy that he made me and so naturally that is who they want me to be with again. At the risk of being obvious again, I will not be dating Glen. The time that Glen and I met was so perfect and meant to be. Our first marriages occurred in the same weekend of the same year and were over before we had a chance to believe in marriage. We had both been injured. Love had backfired on both of us. Our trust was broken. In each other, we found the assuredness and love that neither of us had experienced before. Our love was so very pure and it was no wonder that our lives intertwined so beautifully, so easily.
Now? Now I am different. Now I have seen what love and marriage can look like and my expectations are kind of high. Just sayin. I know that it is so difficult for people to see how I am different. But it’s true. I am not the same me. How could I be? I am me. Right now. In this moment. Isn’t that really what we all are anyway? A summation of every experience and every day and minute of our life up until that very moment? What happens next is up to us. Then we become the person we are at that very moment. You are not a result of everything that has happened to you – that is passive. You are a result of what you have done with all of the things that have happened to you – that is living. How you react, is up to you. How you react is who you are.
Therefore, today I am choosing to love again. I am choosing to believe in love. The man who will let me fall in love with him will be a man who understands loss, understands suffering, understands my ups and downs, understands that I am still in love with another man, and loves me all the same. A man who knows that I may not always be able to give him all that he deserves because having a brain injury is exhausting and all-consuming at times. I work at it, though, and my brain will continue to heal and the most important thing is that he will know that I will always try to give him all that he deserves. Always.