There we were…the three widows.
One is 57, another 58 and another 61.
It was the 58 year old who was standing in the living room, facing family, friends and long ago colleagues of her husband. He had died of cancer just a few days earlier, at the age of 60. She was amazingly strong, telling stories of how they met, fell madly in love and married just three months later. She chuckled when she said they’d never done anything that spontaneous since. And that was 35 years ago. They had a life full of wonderful adventures. Two adopted kids who were the center of their dad’s world. Two kids now, who won’t have Dad’s wisdom to lean on.
I stood there listening to the stories and to tell the truth, I could only think about how in the days and weeks and months ahead, this new widow will come to grips with the reality of her loss. I wanted to hold her and tell her, the nights will be hard because the memories have a clear and quiet path to the heart in the darkness. I want her to know the decision making is no longer shared. It will be up to her now to make the right choices about family and life all together.
I saw the tears roll slowly down the cheek of the 57 year old standing next to me. That was her just ten months ago. Now she was remembering the pain and heart ache, just listening, as her friend reminisced.
Three widows. Three husbands, one 64, one 60 and one 53, gone from cancer.