Saturday, December 10, 2016


He walked passed me twice, his eyes averting my direction. I was a mess sitting in the lobby of the hospital-a high traffic area; tears streaming down my cheeks while choking back audible sobs and snorting. Grieving comes in waves. I have learned I can never prepare or predict when it will roll in. While waiting to check in for lab work, the doctor who diagnosed my husband's cancer walked passed me. I said hello and without hesitation he hugged me, and then asked how everything was going.  I was unsure he heard the news about my husband.  "You, you know Jerry passed away, right?" I asked.

Shaking his head, his eyes lowered in the direction of the lab request I held in my hand, "Are you OK?"

Assured I was fine. He walked off. There was so much that was unsaid. I sat. I cried. His voice has remained in my head for six months both reassuring and ultimately disturbing, "Don't worry, he's not going to die from this. Look, he's  not going to die from this." He reassured me over and over during that first appointment and then each time we saw him thereafter.

My shoulders heaved, my eyes lowered to the floor. I had no tissues. My nose ran and the flow of tears was steady. Hospital visitors, patients and staff walked by as I tried to muffle the sounds of grief.

A stranger stepped forward, "Would you accept a hug?" The woman probably in her forties had been on her phone chatting with someone when I first entered the hospital and then later texting. Her arms wrapped me. She whispered comfort into my ear, "It won't always be like this. It will get better." This compassion was touching.

As I moved closer to my turn at the lab, still crying, I shifted in my seat seeking comfort, I noticed a full sized Christmas Tree on display nearly touching my elbow. Fabric stars with names hung from the branches. I scanned the tree and found a star in honor of my husband. I smiled. He is with me always.


sunshyntangerine said...

What an amazing sign. It is so wonderful to read your story and know of the kindness that can still grace us in the most unsuspecting moments. I wish I could tell that thoughtful and comforting woman thank you. I love you my sweet Auntie.

Nancy Eddy said...

Tears streaming with gratitude for sharing your love and healing processđź’›

Mary Ann Reilly said...

How brave of you to accept the comfort of a stranger.