This wound up being a packed afternoon with two out-of-town visitors. Right before Audrey’s nap, a new widow friend came by.
While Audrey slept, we sat on my bed talking. Not only is B. a young widow- we are the same age- but she also knew my husband and our husbands knew each other. Even though we only met once briefly at the funeral- we chat online or the phone quite a bit. And even though the circumstances of our loss are quite different, the ultimate loss is the same so there is always much to talk about. We talked like that until Audrey woke up- about in-laws, about final words, regrets, holidays, and when to move the clothes out of the dresser.
After B. left, a close cousin of Dan’s came by- she was in NYC for a wedding and just called this morning to see if she could stop by. She hadn’t been able to attend the funeral, so even though I was looking at a full day of visitors, I wanted to see her. Dan and I were especially close with her family whom we stayed with on numerous visits to Chicago.
Esther and I played with Audrey- she had brought new toys- and in between we talked about Dan’s death. She looked at the photos I have framed on the table with flowers. We ate dinner together with Audrey and I told Esther more of the details surrounding Dan’s death that she hadn’t heard. She fed Audrey rice and gim (seaweed), and we talked about Esther’s family and the funeral. Later, we put Audrey in her pajamas and I showed Esther the last photos Dan took of the place of his death on his iPhone. I look at them often.
Only twice did we cry- once when she was leaving. We held each other and cried for quite a while while Audrey was running around in her room getting books for story time. “Keep in touch.” “We’ll come visit.” “Us too.” And earlier, while I was clearing the dinner table- I simply said, “He was the best, right?” She shook her head and could not go on. I saw myself in the mirror behind my kitchen sink with tears down my face and eyes I barely recognize.