Yesterday morning, my older son’s stepmother and my ex-husband’s beloved wife, died. Last week in “Still Family,” I wrote about what a beautiful, accomplished and lovely person she was. Today I mourn her passing. Without her here, the world will have a little less style, intelligence, and warmth.
I feel sad that illness denied her the long life she should have had. But most of all, I grieve for the pain and loss her husband and children are feeling.
Death happens to all of us. Nobody gets out of here alive, and none of us knows when our time will be up. But to me, the hardest part is that loved ones get left behind, and there are no shortcuts to work our way through the devastating loss of a spouse, or a parent, or a child.
As I get older and witness more and more such painful losses, I find myself keenly aware that my husband and I live on borrowed time, time I don’t ever want to forget to appreciate.
One of the highlights of the life we share is the hour before dinner. Over a drink, we discuss our work in excruciating detail (no one else would possibly be interested in the minutia of our lives!) and talk about anything and everything that’s on our minds from our children- to politics- to music. When I think about our pre-dinner ritual and try to imagine one of us missing from the picture, my mind goes blank. And my heart goes cold.
I don’t look forward to that time, and I am so sad for my ex-husband, for whom that time has come. It feels too soon for him to have lost the love of his life, and for their children to have lost an amazing mom.
Nothing is forever, but knowing that doesn’t seem to make it any easier.