In the summer of 2010 I stood with my sister beside our father’s headstone in a small town cemetery. More than two years had elapsed since his death, but this was the first time either of us had visited the grave where his ashes were interred.
“Do you still think about him every day?” my sister asked me.
I replied honestly that the sudden death of my husband just a few months before had eclipsed any grief I still felt about Dad.
After a moment’s thoughtful silence, my sister said “I guess the woman who still has her husband has the luxury of mourning her father.”
Monday will mark four years since my husband took his life. I’ve been so busy taking care of Mom, it snuck up on me. I’ve hardly had a moment to stop and reflect on this anniversary. In some ways, maybe that’s a blessing. On the other hand, I guess a woman who was not taking care of an elderly parent would have the luxury of still mourning her husband.