To the person who comes after...a letter to my future husband

To the person who comes after......A letter to my future husband
I loved someone before you. He was my husband and my best friend.
And unlike when a person goes through a divorce or a breakup, I never stopped loving him and I never will.  
He will always be missed.
I will always grieve his absence.
We had two children. They are young. And they need to feel as though they can talk about their dad any time.
There can’t be limits as to when they bring him up.
If they ask to watch videos of him, we will watch videos.
If they want to look through the photo albums, we will look through the photo albums.
If they want to hear stories about their dad, I will tell them stories.
Pictures of him will remain on the walls of my house.
Conversations about him will continue to take place.
There will be times when tears will fall and our heart will hurt because he is gone.
His birthday will still be celebrated. Our anniversary will still be remembered.
His clothes will remain in boxes in my closet.
He wasn’t perfect, but when a person dies, they will forever be remembered as a hero.
In society it is understood that we don’t stop missing a grandparent, parent, sibling or child if they die. And yet, there is this idea that if a person gets remarried then they have to stop missing their deceased spouse. That they can’t talk about that person anymore. That they can’t cry because of their absence anymore.
I loved my husband with all of my heart.
Please don’t ask me to stop talking about him.
Please don’t ask me to stop missing him.
Please don’t ask me to take down the pictures of him.
Before I got married, if someone would have asked me if I would ever marry a widower, I more than likely would have said no. Mainly because of all that I just wrote.
I would have said I don’t want to compete with a dead person.
I would have said how can I marry someone who is still in love with their deceased spouse?
I would have thought I was their second choice.
And then I became a widow. And I instantly understood.
You aren’t competing for my love with a dead person.
You aren't my second choice.
I won't love you less than I loved Mel.
I won't compare you to him.
He is not on a higher pedestal than you.
I am not giving you the leftover pieces of my heart.
I will love you with all of my heart. 
There will be times when I am sad because I miss Mel but I am not wishing that he was sitting next to me instead of you.
I am not wishing I was holding his hand instead of yours.
I am not wishing it were him that I was spending the rest of my life with and not you.
I understand that he was a part of my life in the past and will always have a place in my heart.
But I also understand that you were always a part of God's plan for my life as well.
You may be the person who came after....
But you are the person who stepped in to raise two children as though they were your own.
And you are the person who wasn't afraid to love a widow.