Posted by: carolyn / through a widow's eyes | March 10, 2012

wtf, over?

In today’s email: a note w subject heading Re: Jeff Flanagan gathering.
Good lord. That was a while ago, my husband’s funeral. Silly me, curious enough to open the note before coffee, even. From one of his college friends, whom I met only once: “Came across this email and don’t think I ever replied. I wanted to go to this event, meet his friends, and add whatever positive energy I could. He was a fine fellow. I hope you and Anna are well and are doing well.”

He was a fine fellow.
There is no end to this. To tears, springing suddenly on any given morning.
I keep thinking there is.

An addendum, from several days later. I wrote back to this man, saying among other things: “Thanks so much for your note. He WAS a fine fellow, and it makes me very happy when someone remembers him to me. Some days it’s still so hard to believe he’s gone from us.

Anna is in her third year in college, doing very well. She is JUST like her father: Tall and slender; very smart; strong sense of values; a quiet, cutting wit. She turns 21 next week.

Losing Jeff was much harder for me than I had expected. It will be 3 years this summer and things are starting to improve. He left a big hole. We worked together for many years, and I’m finding it difficult to do the business without him. Figuring out some other ways to work, over time. I have a blog in which I write about being Jeff’s widow & Anna’s mom, link below, if you are interested to see sometime. I know it meant a lot to him that time you flew up for a visit. We do still see B. when he passes through town a few times a year. If you ever make it back to Maine please come see us.
And the next morning came his response:

“I don’t read blogs in general, not that I avoid them, I’m just not familiar; but I find in yours–a fine thing to read on a Sunday morning–a quality quite endearing, a beauty indeed, if grief and beauty do not comprise an oxymoron; but you certainly wear your grief with a beauty you may not even realize.

It was apparent when I visited, but I’m so glad that Jeff found a friend in you and that you found him and that Anna found you both. You remind me of my time with him–in joy, in ecstasy, in profound sadness–a precious, but fleeting gift, a privilege to share our lives with those who impart a positive worldview. I found that in him and in his family and now in yours.”

So beautiful. I am blessed. So grateful. For so much. Namaste.



  1. comment from T left on another site where I cross-posted this:

    Yes. Such unexpected happenings bring tears.
    I imagine they always will.
    Yet I am so grateful when someone remembers my spouse, says his name and appreciates how wonderful he was, to know that others appreciated him also.
    It’s a gift.

    and from me: Absolutely. I was so grateful that this guy took the time to write. Even though I may sound just a tad bitter, it is also sweet.


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