He sat alone at the head of the table. One arm resting on the table beside his half-empty plate, the other arm supported his head. He chewed slowly. I watched him as he shut his eyes and rubbed them as if to wake himself up from a horrible dream – a dream where he was eating his dinner alone at the table at 9pm without his wife.
He spoke to me then. He told me as calmly as he could that it was so hard to be without her. He used clichés. He said it was like a bad dream, that maybe he’d wake up and she’d be with him again. I said very little, allowing him to find his own resolution. He said it would take time for him to get over it, to stop missing her. He told me how it sometimes just hits him; how he had just used the brown sugar for his dinner and she had been the one to fill up the jar.
My heart broke as he continued to speak. I wanted to find the words to encourage him, to take away some of the pain, to tell him it was okay to miss her.
He told me about how they needed each other and that’s how marriage works. The love and the need. He said that they did that so well – they loved each other, they needed each other. He said they had so many good memories, but that wasn’t exactly how he said it. He said that was the problem…making the good memories together after years and years of marriage, only to have them haunt you when she was gone.
I wanted to hug him. To tell him it would be okay, that it would always hurt just a little, that he would always have the good memories. I had no words.
What do you say to someone who has lost their life?
Not just the love of his life, but, very essentially, his life.
…what can you say?
Old post from my tumblr, dated September 26, 2012