I can substitute grief
Worry about the woman who not only lost her partner but the future she imagined,
Her hopes, her dreams, her plans.
I am forced to feel the loss that is all of ours.
The summers I had imagined for my children with Grandma and Grandpa.
The canoe trips, the bird-watching, the days at the beach.
Trips to the water park and stays in the city fade away.
He is not sitting out there with his coffee as I expect and won't be again.
I watch the granddaughter he would adore play.
I imagine how he would love her mischievousness.
I imagine the phrases he would teach her and the nicknames she would acquire.
Knowing she will only know him through the stories of others - my heart aches.
I listen to the grandson recall special trips in summer and winter.
I worry the memories will fade.
Or will be false ones that exist in pictures only.
I wonder how to preserve them or something of him in their memories - my throat swells.
I see the wife
Whose future is uncertain.
I worry still but I also grieve
For the woman she was and would have been.
She is still there but forever changed.
Tears spill out and I can barely breathe.
I take deep breaths. Many deep breaths
And calm, try to calm.
I am needed by the grandchildren who lost their grandpa
And the wife who lost her husband.
What would he do?
He would be a rock wouldn't he?
He always was.
Only the situation reversed is unimaginable.
I don't think he could have survived it.
I pray that she will.
And I worry.
And worry I can deal with.
But grief is overwhelming.