I feel a lot of that perception is based on the fact that financially, physically, and emotionally, Shelby and I are doing pretty well. I'm off of the anti-depressant (that only lasted a month, and I was fed up with it), Shelby is getting straight A's and is a very happy little kid, and we're both in very good health. To the outside world, no one even knows that anything ever happened. Not because we hide it, hell, I am VERY open about what happened, but because we aren't sulking around like our world has ended. I can't explain why it didn't take at least a year or two to get to this point, but why in the holy hell would I try to deny it?
I was actually asked at the gym the other day, after participating in a "painting" fundraiser, what my wife thought about my artwork that I had created.
Most people at the gym know the entire story. They knew Megan as well. I distinctly remember one of the guys doing the "inhale scream" when he heard this woman ask about what my wife thought about it. He was bracing for me to flip out, and his eyes were as big as saucers.
There was none of that. I actually laughed. Maybe it's my morbid humor, but I snorted, and said "Oh you didn't know? She passed away (I still hate that term, but polite society demands it) back in November" and pointed to my memorial tattoo. The look on her face was priceless. It's so odd when people you are less familiar with, but still friendly to realize that you are a widower and suddenly want to over-sympathize as if we were at her funeral mass, and not in a cool, loud, crowded Crossfit gym poking fun at each other for cracking ribs attempting muscle-ups.
I didn't launch into the entire back-story, and I didn't get in a funk in any way. I've actually started referring people to this blog if they are truly interested. Not because it pains me to talk about...it doesn't, but because I wanted to get her out of the funk she had just fallen into unexpectedly.
So really, because we aren't displaying any outward signs of grief, the world isn't treating us as if we're grieving, and it's causing us to move through even further. There's something to be said for that. Of course it was horrible in that first month or two to try to act like I was in a good mood, but for the most part, I stuck with it. I was so sick of people asking how I was doing that I basically convinced them that there was no need to ask. Once they stopped asking (and I met with other widows in Tampa for a weekend), I actually no longer had to try to act content...it just happened.
The fact of the matter is, I'm NOT classically grieving right now. I'm NOT mourning right now. I really, really miss Megan. I always will, and I think about her every day, but it doesn't consume me. I feel like her death has accelerated time, rather than stopped it. She truly is still around, and I know it. Hell, I'm back to having conversations with her in my head and dreams, and all we can seemingly talk about is how proud we are of Shelby and how happy she is for me. At this point, I have to recant a portion of my statement in my original post on here, where I said that "if she was guiding me, she's doing a really shitty job". I now think she was giving me time to work through things on my own, until she resurfaced and started putting her foot down and making sure I was in the right place at the right time to bring amazing new things into Shelby and I's life.
Has it really only been 4 months? Has it really been over a year since she started the process of rejection? I simply don't feel like it "just happened", but I tend to think those around me do. Maybe they don't have the luxury of getting to see and talk to her and realize that she wants us all to be happy, and now she's doing her damnedest to facilitate it.