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Story Time: The widow and the widower

Posted on Tuesday, September 20, 2022 at 11:18 am

By Lorry Myers

My brother came for a visit, something I hope he does more often. I haven’t wrapped my arms around him since his wife’s memorial service just a few months ago. My sister-in-law’s passing was unexpected, but I have found that even when you are expecting death, it still comes unexpected.

No one is really prepared.

I am slightly ahead of Greg in this loving and losing process. My brother is newly into the walk of grief that I started over a year ago. I remember that at some point after my husband’s death, a fog settled in.

My brother has entered that fog.

When you live in the cloud of grief, it is hard to see the future and some days, the next step you need to take. The fog only allows you to see what is in the past; not what lays ahead. There are no instructions, no map to find your way out, and no clue when the fog will lift.

It is different for different people.

I listened to my brother’s shattered voice as he listed the challenges of life after love. The things you can’t find, the things you don’t know, the things you can’t forget. Greg talked about the mountain of sympathy cards he received, the sound of silence all around and his long sleepless, nights.

I can relate to that.

That night, Greg repeated stories I have heard before. He told me what he did yesterday and the day before. He spoke about lawyers and funeral food and tears on thank you notes. But, he had a hard time talking about tomorrow.

That fog keeps getting in his way.

His voice broke again, when he mentioned his children, or his home, or the way life used to be. I can tell Greg is tired, tired of the constant fog that makes it hard to breath. Hearing him talk, I know that if I reach to embrace him, he will fall apart and I will too. I also know, that’s not what Greg wants to do.

So, I don’t.

For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.