There I was, sitting with some women I didn’t know. We were making conversation and everything was well and good. I’m social and pretty extroverted. Yet then as it often does the conversation took an unpleasant left turn. The ladies I was with were all married and had children. Generally I got the idea they liked their husbands. However, they made derisive comments here and there about how they were enjoying themselves because they’d left their husbands at home. Granted, I enjoyed a girls’ night out occasionally when Chris was alive but I cannot say that I ever enjoyed something more because I’d left him at home. Another time the topic of leg shaving came up and how infrequently that happens in the winter. We could all relate. One then quipped that “at least” it helped keep her husband away from trying to touch her. Though certainly not personal, it was another barb in my skin. Trust me, I remember what it was like to have times when I wasn’t “in the mood”. I also know what it’s like to have had my husband and all the things that go along with marriage gone for the last 3.5 years. In my mind if a woman has a husband that loves and desires her, that’s not a bad thing… No one at the table knew my history. The fact that I’m a widow had been left unsaid and I wasn’t planning on bringing it up if possible. Mind you, it doesn’t bother me to mention my husband’s death because I’ve had some time to process it. If I brought it up to strangers at a party it might make me a social leper, though. It’s not really light party conversation. Why are others so disturbed to hear of my husband’s death at 28? I have a dual theory: they are afraid to hear of Chris’ death because it makes them face the mortality of their loved ones. The second part is this: they don’t know how to react. They haven’t been taught/haven’t learned to deal with and process their own painful emotions surrounding death. Thus they don’t know what to do with the information of someone else’s personal tragedy—even if that other person is not upset at the moment. It freaks them out. Chris was my best friend in the whole world. I wanted to see him and talk to him every day. I never grew tired of him except on the rare occasion we had a disagreement, and then only for a couple hours. When I say that I am not exaggerating. You could ask anyone that knew the two of us and they’d confirm it. I’ve come to realize that’s not the way everyone’s marriage operates, and it’s noticeable in the way people speak about their relationships. I’m not here to say these ladies don’t have solid marriages—I honestly don’t have a clue. But I do know I see things very differently this side of things. I take marriage and all the things it entails, big and small, far less for granted than ever before. How could I not? In a great marriage, you will never feel like you’ve finished the conversation. You will never feel like you’ve shared all the experiences you wanted to share together. You will never finish serving. You will never feel ready to stop loving one another. Two months, eight years, or 70 years, it will not be enough. One day, one of you will be gone and one of you will still be here. You’ll be left to figure out how to continue living… And you know what? On that dark day when you are here without your beloved? I hope someone comes alongside you to whisper in your ear, “I care. You are not alone. You can do this. You are loved.” Perhaps that will come in the form of a physical person and I truly hope it will as that is easiest for our finite minds to comprehend. Perhaps it will not come in the form of a physical person but simply in the whispers of Father God to your heart. Either way, He loves you and He will not forsake you even in the times when it seems as if all is lost.