Linda I know what you mean as far as feeling like a freak of nature. I was 46 when I became a widow after 20 very loving years with my Chris. He was 3 years younger than me and held his age beautifully. I do not understand this dating thing at all. Before I was married I never dated much, certainly not like my two sisters or friends did. So I will stumble along. I am finding out that I am considered a fairly young grandmother of 3. So many of the men my age have children at home and I am not so sure I want to relive going through the trials of raising a teenager again. My husband did not die a heros death like yours did but he died a victims death so I had anger issues to resolve. I am not sure what you mean by pariah?
I, too, feel a bit strange in todays world being alone. But I grab onto those whom have gone through the same experience and boy, are they a breath of fresh air. The great thing about you is that you have no bitterness in your heart and life is beautiful. Its a reflection coming from your smile and it beams across the horizon. People are attracted to genuine smiles and you will have more on your plate than you bargained for.
I hope John spelt it correctly, 'nature', not 'naturist', unless he has a rare ability to pass oxygen into the atmosphere while greening himself in the sun, in which case, we might pass a plate around and give him one of these for those few formal occasions such as church when a fig leaf is kind of inadequate.
Will this be letting an elephant into the matrimonial home? And it lives for such a long time too, as long as a long marriage perhaps, and it remembers every thing that slights, nicks and pricks. Or will it be letting in two elephants, one for each spouse? Will there be a need for elephant whispering during those F2Fs before anything settles down, "What is a hero? Are there grades of hero? What size hole-in-the-soul does a hero leave? Can it be filled? Must it be filled? Are you a hero? Does it matter?"