Posted by: carolyn / through a widow's eyes | March 5, 2011

Another good man is gone.

Death has taken another father, another husband, another well-liked man with a firm handshake, a larger-than-life smile, and lots more still to do here.

Gone is the man who once grinned into the camera, one hand resting lightly on the wheel of his boat, spiky forest green Maine islands behind him, glorious sun sparkling on the blue deep water. When you see photographs of this man, tanned and smiling on the tennis court, at a Red Sox game, or holding hands with his beautiful wife and you can see so clearly they’re deeply in love, you cannot believe he is gone. It’s hard to understand that someone so very alive could now be gone from us. But believe it. Death trumps all of that.

The funeral is Sunday. It’ll be a packed house. I need to go. I want to go. I’m not sure I’m strong enough to go. This will be the first funeral since. Since….

My heart is breaking all over again, for them and for me and for us and for all the friends I’ve made who know this grief too well and live with it every day.

I didn’t even know this man. Said hello a couple of times maybe. Our girls are the same age. He leaves behind also two sons, one grown and one not. All three are too young to lose their dad, as was my own daughter. I met and became friendly with his wife, the lovely, gracious G. with the bright infectious laugh, at a caregivers’ support group. Our husbands were diagnosed the same summer.

(Yes, there is laughter, and lots of it, at a group for caregivers of a seriously ill loved one. As another widowed friend says, our senses of humor have “taken a downward turn into the Land of Sick and Wrong.” Laughter may be the one thing that allows us to do the things we cannot do.)

I am so sad for what is only the beginning, for her, and for those children, of the longest, darkest path I’ve ever been on. I am still on it, months and months after losing J.  I do not see the end yet. There are small sunny patches in these woods but plenty of scary shadows and utter darkness still. It’s easy to lose your way in here.

I’m so sad even one more person has to travel this road. This family is only taking the first tentative steps, the ones they won’t even remember in a year. How I wish they did not have to. But if wishing could make it so, many, many things would be different than they are.

Godspeed, R.

Blessblessbless you and keep you, G, C, H, D.

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