“‘Til death do us part.”
This or one of its variants is said at every traditional wedding ceremony. It is a difficult problem on this happy day and we are just going to manage it.
Losing a loved one is never easy. All throughout life, we know that the inevitable is coming, yet when it actually comes, it still seems entirely unfathomable. There comes a sinking feeling in your stomach, and an unfillable emptiness burrows inside of you.
Saying those final goodbyes is one of the hardest things we’ll ever have to do.
When a couple has been married for decades, by each other’s side through the thickest of thick and the most papery-thin of thin, that final farewell brings on the deepest emotions. The love that has grown over the years spills out as an undefinable sadness.
However, when a man named Bobby said goodbye to his 60-year-old wife, he gave his children hope for infinite loyalty and love in their own lives.
Bobby arrived at the visitation period an hour ahead of time to spend every last moment with her that he could. He bent down, trembling, to kiss her lips for one final time.
“I know you can’t hear me, but I love you.”
For an hour, until the family arrived, he sat down quietly with her, reached out and joined him while he could.
When it was time for others to say goodbye, he stayed with her and commented on how beautiful she always looked. He didn’t want to waste any of the last moments with his dear wife, so he sat there for almost five full hours.
In the original Facebook post, the author passionately notes that,
“This man, this devoted man, had shown more grace in his time of grief than many do in times of plenty. I stood by in awe, watching faithfulness on display. I had never seen a man so broken, deprived of his happiness by the curse of death. I was wondering when I saw him doing what he would do tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Today was the easy part.”
The days that come after are even more unfathomable than saying goodbye. How do you go back to real life after losing your very best friend?
“Tomorrow, after she is laid deep in the ground, and he returns to their home, what then? Her things will still be there – the smell of her skin, scribbled grocery lists, her favorite chair, leftovers in the fridge, their bed. Their bed. How does one sleep alone after 59 years of lying next to your best friend? I can not imagine sleeping again. Today, I witnessed a love story. And I’ll see him tomorrow when the story finally ends and the scene is empty and the lights go out.
Bobby’s life will never be the same. It will be lonelier, it will be quieter. However, what would the past 59 years have been if he hadn’t loved at all, setting himself up for this most intense heartbreak?
Life is full of sadness, but you can’t sacrifice the years of happiness out of a fear of the end.True love, the love that Bobby feels for his wife, is the love that will bring the most joy, but also the love that hurts the most.
But it’s so, so worth it. This is the kind of love everyone deserves to feel during their short lifetime here on this earth.