What does mourning look like?  How can you define the emotions that come and go on an unexpected schedule? A song plays on the intercom in a department store and you find yourself heading for the ladies room to gain control of the tears. Watching a couple in their senior years walk down the street holding hands, and emotions surge. The sudden realization of the silence of the room you shared with your love. The snoring used to bother me, but I find now I wouldn’t mind at all just to know he was there.

People so very kindly inquire, “How you are doing?” and how do you answer? I’m fine? I’m not fine. Do they really want to know how I am? I miss the one who was always there for me. Would they be embarrassed to know I saved out the one warm plaid shirt jacket he used to wear on chilly mornings from the things that went to the Rescue Mission? The day his  son came to get his ashes to take on his fishing trip to scatter in my husband’s favorite fishing hole in Alaska I sat looking at the box and realizing it was all that was left after 31 years. I almost didn’t want to hand it over, but knew I must.  It is what Frank would have wanted.

After all the family left, I found myself alone for the first time in my life. I shared an apartment with my mother until I got married the first time. When that sadly ended, 21 years later, I had three children to take care of.  Nine years later I married my Frank. But the children are grown and living lives of their own. Our dog Chessie is almost 15 and I’m grateful she is still with me as a loving companion. Furniture went, books went, some pictures went to new homes as I slowly make the house my own, but sometimes I sit at his oak desk, which I couldn’t part with, and look at pictures of trips we took together and remember. I have the cards he gave me over the years for my birthday, Valentine’s Day, our anniversary, cards that said what he couldn’t say. My loving Lord sustains me, along with the prayers of friends and family. And for now, that has to be enough.