I just met my mail lady. Her name is Jo. She had been out for 3 weeks. Her husband had just died. He had been having heart trouble for almost a year. He recently caught Covid. Sleeping separate due to the virus she checked on him, told him she loved him and said good night. He met his maker that night when his wearied heart failed to meet the challenge. She found the earth suit the next morning. That uniform only had 45 years in service. It should have lasted longer.
She was driving brave. I told her I was sorry and I know it was hard to be back after only 3 weeks. She said. “you do what you have to.” I asked “Where are you?” She instinctively knew what the question meant as other losers do and answered “I’m mad”.
“Mad at who” I asked. “Yourself, him, God?”
“I am just mad” she faltered. I explained to her that when I found my wife gone I was lost. I didn’t know where I was or where I was going.
Her route will give her a familiar path to follow each day and her children will give her a purpose to rise but her heart will wander for a long time. She will be mad, sad, tired, lonely and regretful. I hope those near her will visit often. Hold her quietly and patently wait for the hole in her heart to grow scar tissue. The skin she had grown accustomed to has had its final delivery and no one lives there anymore. Her thoughts will drive past it everyday but the light is forwarded to a new address. Normal doesn’t live there anymore.
I gave her a copy of my book The Reluctant Bachelor, she gave my pups both a dog biscuit. We swallowed as our eyes streamed and she drove on. Mine for her pain had reopened my wound hers anguish. Her tears were deceitfully clear, born from a bloody heart.
If there is a Jo or Joseph near you, don’t hide from them or smother them. There is nothing you can say, just be there and hold them. A hug is all they can hear.