I was honored that he would confide in me. Perhaps it was because he knew some of my experience. I wanted to note down the essence of his story, at least the story at this point in his life. Since I can’t do justice to his narration, I have put it in my own expression.
When one’s spouse passes away from cancer, and the love between the spouses was intensely deep, some things can be expected. A lengthy recovery time is one of them. A longing to be with the deceased spouse is another, which in some cases can be akin to a death wish. Another is the tendency to think of physical pains as pointing to early stages of cancer. Accompanying that tendency is a strong premonition that death may not be all that far away.
A consequence of what I have just described is that it becomes difficult to live the life that still is, or at least to live it well. Melancholy comes knocking on the door and may find easy entrance.. Things in life that were once occasions for joy and happiness lose their sparkle. Why, for example, go out to eat when the one whose presence made it a pleasure is no longer here. Eating out, but doing so alone, only draws more attention to the loss. Why go shopping to buy things when the one for whom and with whom shopping was enjoyable is physically departed? Why take trips like once was the case, when so much of the pleasure of the trip was being with the spouse?
His story confirms what I have been thinking, that when the spouse passes to the Lord’s presence, more than just the spouse passes away. The Lord may comfort orphans and widow/ers, but such comfort has to be accepted, internalized if you will, for the wounds to be healed.