February 7, 2020

A title eludes me for this one...

I went to SteinMart on Sunday - technically, I was killing time before meeting The Husband for lunch in town.

I decided to see what I could find that would work for the weird weather we've been having lately.  It is either decidedly winter weather or it is decidedly spring weather.  Last Friday, we had a tiny bit of snow.  Sunday it was in the low 50s.  Wednesday it was in the mid 60s and today the high was in the low 40s with crazy wind.  As I said, weird weather.

Basically, day to day lately, we all are at a loss as to whether we should wear spring/summer clothes or fall/winter clothes - or some combination of both.

It's been a real conundrum, I tell you.

At any rate, that's the long way around to get to the point of this post.

As I was checking out, I noticed an older gentleman hovering around.  He had an air about him that tugged at my heartstrings for some reason.  After I had paid and was tucking my wallet back into my handbag and gathering my belongings, I heard the cashier ask him how he was doing (apparently, she knew him personally).  He replied, in a shaky voice, that he was okay.

The cashier, sounding very concerned, asked why only okay.  He replied that he had lost his wife a few days ago.  The cashier apparently knew the wife had been ill and was devastated for him

I sneaked a peek over my shoulder as I pushed open the door, the pain and grief that etched his face brought tears to my eyes - and, to be honest, as I type this out, I still have tears.  I wanted to say something, give him a hug...just something.  But I didn't - because I didn't know how he would react to a complete stranger intruding.  I wish I had though.  It may have given him a bit of comfort to know that his grief was shared - even with a stranger.

If I had to guess, and I'm a horrible guesser, he had probably been married to his wife for forty or fifty years.  But even if they had only been married two years, his grief was palpable and all encompassing.

Based on the short glimpse I had, I could tell that he was at a complete loss for how to go forward.  And my heart aches for him.

I had a feeling that he didn't know what to do with himself that day - or really any day since she had died.  I also had a feeling that he and his wife frequented this store often and he wound up there out of habit and an intense need to share his loss with anyone who had known his wife.

And tonight, as I sit here typing away, I can't help but think about this man and his loss.  And I grieve for him and his wife - both of whom I've never met - but I will remember the love he had for his wife - and his absolute, utter grief - forever.

To have spent that much time together as a couple and then suddenly *poof* the other half is gone.  And there you are - left to figure out how to go on.

We do though - go on.  But that doesn't mean it's easy.  It can't be.

Needless to say, when I met up with The Husband that day, I gave him a giant hug and told him how much I loved him.  Because you just never know what the next moment might bring.


  1. I just learned that a dear friend has aggressive prostate cancer. I am saddened and resonate strongly with this post, Gigi. You just never know from one day to the next what is coming. :-(

  2. It is so true that we often never know what is going on in someone else's life, nor do we know what tomorrow will bring. Thanks for the reminder to hug everyone tightly.

  3. You've got me in tears as well. Grief is very hard and changes you forever. I have two girlfriends who've lost their husbands recently; it breaks my heart to see them hurt. (all in their 50's) It makes me remember when my Grandfather passed away at 75 and seeing my Grandmother being so stoic about it all; I don't know how she did it. She lived until the age of 96 without him and it seems so unfair.
    Big hugs to you.

  4. After my Dad passed away so suddenly last year, I have a very soft spot in my heart for widows and widowers. Even if you are expecting the loss, it is devastating and picking up the pieces and just going on each day is hard. I will be praying for this sweet man.

  5. That is heart breaking. Years ago an elderly man from our parish who my parents knew lost his wife to cancer. I would see him in the grocery store and he just looked lost. It was so sad. Loss is hard. One never knows. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. This is heartbreaking but I love the compassion you felt for him. He was lucky to have that love (I am too) and I will give my husband a big hug this morning when he wakes up.:)