Death in the Family

Tomorrow, Al and I are headed downriver for a sad occasion. Not my immediate family, but a close family member, has died unexpectedly. My parents are here from Florida and we are all a bit numb. It was a shocking death. He was healthy and only a year older than I am. He hadn’t even retired yet. He left behind a devastated wife, two daughters, grandchildren, a sister…so many losses.

Death is unimaginable until it knocks on your door. Al asked what I would do if it had been him. I said I’d move west close to one of our sons. The one who has a grandchild first. I’d have a smaller place, cook less, read more, and grieve every day. Life, I think, would lose its color. It would be black and white for a good long while.

One thing I’m quite certain of, I would never marry again. I will never live with a man again. Or anyone. I will be alone and I will live alone. I’m a loner at heart, and so is Al. I think that’s why we get on so well together. Nobody else would fit the hole in my heart. My relative, who is my age and not only a relative but a friend, must feel this way too.

It will be difficult feeling all the sorrow, pain, anguish. Because it comes at me, it enters my thin skin and crosses into my blood as I pick up the emotions all around me. I have plenty of my own, but that’s just the way it works. Never easy for anyone. Least of all the one who has lost her beloved.


  1. I’m sorry to read this, Cindy. We’ve had a loss, too, which wasn’t totally unexpected but wasn’t supposed to happen for a while yet – 60 year-old friend battling cancer died of a stroke on Tuesday. Tomorrow evening was supposed to be a huge birthday celebration for him but now it will be a celebration of his life. His wife is my age, our kids are the same ages….I don’t think we are ever ready.


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