Thank you, ***** ***** help. It's a tremendous challenge you are facing, and a bigger burden than you can expect to bear. The image of your husband may well represent the muscular armor-front he put up himself as he stayed with the kind of service he was used to. But it also seems to represent an inappropriately muscular-armor you are trying to show on your own front-to-the-children, as you try to "soldier on," as he might wish that you would do.
Could it be that the "court appearance" that you sense in your dream is the "court" of public and/or family opinion (especially if you still move in military family- and friend-circles) you are facing on your inner stage?
My wife's father died suddenly of a heart attack when her sister was 13, she was 11 and her brother was 9. Their mother didn't want them to grieve adequately, so they all ended up with grief bottled up inside for at least a decade (when my wife got into therapy, but the others didn't). I suggest that you see a hospice therapist or other grief therapist to talk over what's aching inside of you, and to explore whether some of your children may need their own opportunities to air their feelings so they'll have more support for working their grief through--since adolescence is such an important (and usually untutored) time for developing a personality that can cope with all the emotions. I think your dream image of him as uneasy & falsefront muscular is modeling yourself on a caricature of his military posture.
My family (now disabled wife & disabled daughter) had a hard time with these holidays too--even though my wife is 44 years beyond her first barren griefless Christmas after her father's death. I'm not assuming you've been as antifrief as her mother was--but that when you're dying inside, you need to let someone soothe you, even if it is a professional grief counselor. And it would be a great gift to any of your children to enable them to bond with a teacher, YMCA-coach, counselor, "big brother" etc. who could show them a softer side of masculine caring. For in human tribal societies we all have many fathers and mothers, and it's through the mixture of different fathers for different times and purposes that we incorporate all the wealth and wisdom that is father and is mother.
Please respond more so I can offer more, since you deserve it.