I often feel like people don't understand the grieving process. It sounds strange because my husband came home but at the same time I am grieving the loss of somebody who used to be here who isn't anymore. I look at my husband every day and I see the man I married, but his actions show me that that man isn't here anymore.
It feels like I should be able to capture the man he used to be. I look around my house every day and see bits and pieces that, together, create that man. Sometimes it feels like I should be able to lay in bed and smell his scent on his pillow and bring him back because it feels like he might still be there somewhere. Sometimes when he is gone, sometimes when he is in the field or on a training mission, I lay in bed breathing in his scent and try to will him to be here, to come back to me.
I watch his familiar habits, the ones he still has, and collect them in my thoughts as if the whole of their motions can bring him back. His stray bits of paper, his pile of cammies in the garage that need to be washed, the visual bits and pieces of him, the bits and pieces that did not get lost.
There are familiar patterns about his day, that almost make it seem like he is here. I know that he is not yet. He's not yet home. But the collection of his habits, his little bits and pieces of the man he used to be are probably the most painful part of my day. Because he is likely not coming home. I love the man I have now with all of my heart, but I am grieving the loss of the man that I married. The man who isn't coming back.