I don’t know how to exist without him. This is the thought circling inside my mind today. I don’t know how I am supposed to enjoy this life and make it good without him on the journey with me. I don’t know how to raise our children alongside his absence all the while experiencing the gaping void. I don’t know how to exist without him.
The wake I attended over a week ago was for a close relative’s mother who died suddenly without warning at the age of 62. When I met this woman’s spouse, he looked at me with watered eyes and said, “You know.” I whispered, “Yes, I know.” He singled me out from the crowd and pleaded, “In a minute, Jennifer. She was gone in an instant.” My heart was tearing as I could relate to this massive yet unanswerable question with all too familiar experience. “Yes," I agreed. "In a moment.” Without ever wanting to, I understand the defintion of a moment.
In the hallway, my friend hugged me and confided, “You know my heart more than anyone else in this room.” Our embrace meshed with tears.
I felt life surrounding death inside the funeral home, as if Shawn were nearby telling me, “I’m helping out with this one today, Jen.”
This is my new life without him. I don’t want to welcome others into the terror of despair I now know second-hand. But, I also don’t want to be in this isolated place alone. It is here that we truly meet one another. I believe it is in the loneliness of loss that we are introduced to the eternal qualities of our soul. This place of desolation is where we are put to the truest test to help. I may not know how to exist without him, but I do know how to relate to those who enter this side of life between heaven and earth.