I haven't thought about her too much lately. She hasn't been around. He remembers her still.

It's been nearly a year since his wife died. Her sudden death swept him into a world without her. She was his best friend and more. He told her everything. No one, nothing, has taken her place.

Sometimes a sister or a brother calls him to see how he is coping. Sometimes he's glad to tell them what's going on. Sometimes, he said, he cries. Some men die shortly after a spouse dies, he shared. I've heard of that, I agreed. His faith is strong, he said as he wiped tears from his cheek.

All I could do for him was pray silently and listen. I let him share whatever feelings and memories spilled from his heart.


Listening to someone in grief casts shadows.

I don't think about losing a spouse too often. Today, I could see shadows of a future grief.

Hope and pain, love and grief swirled among his words. Faith also. He talked of eternal life.

There was a time I would have been frightened by death's shadows. Not today. Jesus is near to the brokenhearted, scriptures tell us. Have you ever wondered how Jesus can stand to get close, really present with those in grief? I think he can look beyond the moment, beyond the feelings, and see a brighter future.

Shadows remind me to cherish each moment, each person, as a gift, God's fragile gift.

God will swallow up all death shadows someday and, together, all the righteous will rejoice. That thought gives me perspective.


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