You would have been 68 today.

In my heart you are still alive and here.  I remember you everyday.  All of us who loved you do.  You are that close to us, so present you made yourself in our lives.  You changed who we were and loved us so much that we could never forget YOU.   Your joy became our joy as our joy became yours.

Your eyes sparkled with the gifts of family life:  babies, burps, bunnies…sounds and silence: never rushed or reckless, you listened and loved us in an unforgettable way.

Your clients still reach out to tell me a story about how you touched their lives and how you still do.   The grandchildren always talk about you with happy and reverent tones.

I knew how lucky, how very blessed, I was to have you in my life.   And I remember how we would look at each other with disbelief to think that we could or would ever come to an end of our time together–the love that we shared was so intense and passionate that we could not imagine ourselves in the pangs of death.  How could it end?

You were never afraid of death.  You consciously became more and more ready as you weathered the years.  More than two years later, I have found your preparatory letters, the living will, and all that I knew was confirmed.  You made yourself clear.  There could be no mistaking your will.  Nothing had been misunderstood.

Your passing remains an unsolved mystery of my unfinished journey.  The solitude is still and silent and does not provide answers to the unending questions.   Why did we miss the signs of your illness?  You were happy to the end.   That last evening you were sitting next to me on the couch mimicking our canary in a joyful duet.   Then you were gone.

I have continued and I don’t know how.  Some days are like a dream.   Nothing suffices the chasm of your loss.  There is still much to be enjoyed, but my desire is dimmed and diminished by your departure.

We had made each other the center of our lives.  How can one be gone and the other remain?      I am less and yet more than I was.  I have had to grow parts of me that I didn’t need before.  Yes, I have remained.

Death stands now before me and comes closer each day.  Life is inside me pulsing and sustaining each breath, each thought and beginning again.   The newness never stops.  New occasions teach new duties.  I remake myself over and over as life’s ebbing waves push me along a new shoreline I am meant to explore.

And I am held by your love now as then as I make my way forward, sometimes back, yet forward again.   I will always be searching to find you again.