I suppose I really should have kept up with this thread a few times a day. Now I feel like I have more responses to answer than I can manage. I've certainly read every response, though, and will try to touch on what was said. Regarding C.S. Lewis, I am in luck, because I bought a volume with many of his important works late last year, and it has A Grief Observed
in it. I haven't been much in the mood for reading lately, but I will give it a shot (and if it doesn't work, I can always try again a few months from now). I thank you all for your honesty.
To FatherHLL, with all respect, I do not really agree with the idea that I know that there is a God, or that I am mad at Him. I've struggled with doubts about God for over 4 years now, though in the past my doubts were primarily due to intellectual issues. For the first time, I am experiencing doubts due to issues that are more emotional in nature. Am I mad? I dunno. Maybe you are right. But I don't really feel mad, so if I am, I'm fooling myself very well. I just feel frustrated. Let me say that there is a person in this world that most people would say I could and should justifiably be mad at. But even this person I am not mad at. I allowed this person to attend my wife's funeral, and I even let them hold my children (who they are very good with). But again, maybe you are correct. I suppose time will tell, as I learn to deal with and work through things.
My girls are doing fine, though they are not currently living with me. We felt it best for them to live with their grandparents for now, who live about 50 miles away frome me. They are financially in a better place than me, are able to give them their own rooms (with me all three of us would be sleeping in the same room), and are just in a better position in a number of other ways to take care of them. I am trying to get my life back on track, don't have much in the way of family/friends close by, and couldn't really take care of them 24/7 by myself. The plan is for me to go back to school (first night was tonight... math... yuck), get training and my degree, and work on some other things, so that I can be the Father and provider they deserve.
Regarding Mary, she was like me in that who she was changed over the years. I married her when she was about 20 and I was 23. We were both very much into Orthodoxy--praying, reading the lives of the saints, etc. Her main desire growing up was to have a couple kids and be a stay at home mom. Neither of us thought that she would be able to have kids--but it turns out she did. Both times that she went into labor things took turns for the worse, and they took her from the delivery room and were planning on a c-section. The first time her condition improved, and they returned her to the delivery room for a normal birth. Our first daughter, Athy, was about 4 pounds, 10 oz. at birth. Our second daughter did end up being delivered by c-section, and was about a pound heavier. At one point during the c-section I made the mistake of looking over the curtain at a time that they had not authorized me to do so. Big mistake. Messy business, those procedures are.
Mary was, well up until about 7 months ago, very humble, meek, and guileless. If either of us had an indulgence, it was usually books. She never really wanted fancy jewelry or stuff like that, not that we could afford it. I think she wore makeup (e.g. lipstick) maybe 4 times during our 6 1/2 year marriage. She was faithful and humble, but not with an attitude. She wasn't someone who would go around saying "I think Orthodox Christians shouldn't wear make up!" That was just her personal choice, and she wouldn't have dreamed of pushing it on to others. She was very personable, very good with people. A bit shy, but there was something naturally charismatic about her.
She enjoyed reading. We probably had over 50 Star Trek fiction books. She also liked Harry Potter, LOTR, and... (please don't hold this against her
)... Twilight. She would read Orthodox books, but generally stuck to the non-academic stuff, like the lives of saints and stuff like that. She disliked the music I listen to, and the movies I watched, so we would playfully pick on each other. She was always more into pop or r&b. She loved recording shows on the DVR to the point that it was full.
We really had grown apart in some ways over the years. But in some ways we were a mismatch to begin with. We didn't like the same forms of entertainment. I was into sports--both watching and playing them--and she had led a completely sedentary life due to her heart issues. She had even been exempted from gym in school. Our mutual love for Orthodoxy was really the main reason that we got married. Over the years, that changed. We changed. There were new reasons connecting us, especially our children. But in the end that wasn't enough, and she chose to go down a different path. It was her feelings that changed, she had fallen out of love with me. But my feelings hadn't changed for her. I had come to terms with the fact that she had moved on and wasn't coming back, but that didn't mean that I stopped loving her.