Today I had lunch with a friend of mine who had recently lost her husband of over fifty years. One thing that makes her so beautiful to me is that she doesn’t try to hide her feelings. Even though we did a lot of talking and laughing today, there were also moments when tears came to her eyes as she talked about losing this man who had been her constant companion for so long. After his death, she spent time away, visiting in her children’s homes for a few weeks, but then told them she needed to come back, to learn again how to be comfortable in her own skin. She said she just doesn’t know how to be anymore, that she wanders aimlessly from room to room, starting things and not finishing them, not knowing what to do with herself. She can be out and busy about her day, then feel antsy to be home at a certain time because that’s when her husband expected her and was always so happy to see her. She does not need to be there now. She said that often when she goes to bed at night, the pain of losing him hits her afresh, and she thinks she just cannot bear it. She cries or shouts out, but there is nothing she can do to bring him back.
Oh God, how hard that must be. Help us to have the kind of community that holds us in its embrace as we pass through the dark places.