Tonight was an evening of celebration. I had a wonderful time with a bunch of friends celebrating a very special occasion. I’m sure someone else’s blog will give a complete rundown of the events, so I won’t here. But I did enjoy myself. This post is not about that joy and celebration, but more a feeling of loss, when later events happened.
For the past few years, I’ve always had a few bittersweet feelings at wedding and anniversary celebrations. These were events that would remind me of what I lost. This was the very first such event in the past five years that I did not have the deep feeling of loss. Two of my daughters were married and those events nearly knocked me flat emotionally.
It has been over 5 years since I last held my wife in my arms. 5 years when the wedding vows were fulfilled. You never really think about that clause “until death do us part”. At least not until it happens. Today at the celebration, I did not think about the loss I had, only the joy being shared. A good evening.
But then it happened. I was waiting for my youngest daughter to finish up a game, so I did some shopping at the 24 hour place. I ran into a man who I knew and, I haven’t seen him in over 5 years. He did not know of my wife’s death. The question “How is your wife?” blew me out of the water. I wasn’t expecting to have to tell that to anyone in this area. I live in a small community, I really thought everyone knew.
The comfortable day took a drastic turn with one short question. Emotions filled my every thought. I hesitated on the answer. It was like a punch in the gut. We then shared a few memories and parted. Slowly, the flood of feelings calmed. This is the way of life and death. The memories of our past can warm us as well as send chills down our spines. Those we loved live on through us, and in the stories we tell. In that I found some peace