The Guilt of Living Again

One week from today is Christmas Day, the fifth since he died. After that comes the fifth anniversary of his death.  It’s also the first Christmas with my now husband and the first in our new home. While I try to focus on that and all the good that is now my life, there is a generous portion of guilt that comes along with it all.

I wondered what it would be like to be in a new and different marriage, after being married to him for twenty-two and a half years.  Those of you who have been married a long time know what I mean. You become like a well oiled machine and you know, or think you know, what the other will do, or what’s to come. It’s like a pair of old, comfortable shoes.

A new marriage is definitely like a new pair of dress shoes. It’s all shiny and new and a bit uncomfortable at first, with some pain involved.  And there’s a wedge in this shoe called guilt.

Not to get too involved in specifics for personal reasons, but I must say that while I’m incredibly happy with my life now, guilt comes along with it.  There are times I want to tell my now husband just how happy he makes me, or how very much I love him, but how do I do that without negating my love or the happiness I had with my late husband?  Not to mention the guilt of even feeling this way again!  Should I be this happy and this much in love? Well, yes, I know it’s perfectly fine, yet part of me feels guilty for feeling this way, especially when I think back to some of the not-so-great parts of my decades’ long marriage.  It creates a bit of a conundrum and swirls in my mind.

Luckily, again, he gets it, and I don’t always have to put things into words, but there are times I really want to!  My head knows they are two very different people and two very different loves and relationships, but my heart feels the guilt. And while it’s easy to not compare them as men, it’s not easy to not compare other aspects, especially since I didn’t choose the end of one.

So, once again this Christmas, I’m going to try to focus on the blessings and the gratitude for the love once shared and the love now shared, and try to convince my head and heart to accept and enjoy what is and believe that he wouldn’t want me to feel this guilt.

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