Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Saying Goodbye to a Friend

Henry was our friend. We weren't everyday friends, but we enjoyed the occasional dinner, email exchange and of course Christmas card update. For all the years we knew Henry, his body was weak, but his mind, spirit and faith remained strong. After years of ailments, his flesh foundered and he passed away a few days ago.

Chris and I attended the visitation tonight. It was emotional. After all, Henry was only in his 40s. The words "tragic" and "abbreviated" kept floating in my head. As we entered the sanctuary, I choked back tears when I glanced over at a blond haired two year old racing matchbox cars directly in front of his father's casket. I tugged my eyes away from the toddler to stare at a video montage that displayed numerous photos capturing a father very much in love with his son. Grief flooded my soul and of course the "why?" word popped into my skull.

After the visitation, Chris and I grabbed a quick dinner. We reflected on the visitation and the prospect of one of us passing away. The conversation teetered between amusing and emotional. I made Chris promise he would not include any photos from the years 1988-1994 in any postmortem video montage (the bad hair years!). He promised me I don't have to bury him in any Notre Dame memorabilia. When the smiles faded, I told him how I'd feel if anything happened to him and all that he is and always will be to me. He responded with heartfelt words of love and devotion and a desire to never have to eulogize a wife too young.

At the end of the dinner, I was grateful. I was grateful I was able to have just one more dinner with my husband and hope for many more dinners to come!

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