At lunch, a friend sat down with someone new to me, someone who, as it turned out, lost her husband ten months ago. A midlife marriage, no children, deep closeness, and then ~ just over, she said.
We talked, a little.
I didn't have much to say. I was aware, in some vague place I hate, of how little of her experience I comprehend.
It's a place from which I recoil because it's the one in which I am aware of how profoundly alone we are.
I wandered through it a couple of weeks ago when Musical Friend, on the second anniversary of her husband's death, was challenged by someone else about how she had spent part of the day.
And then a few days after that when the funeral of a friend was the occasion for further acknowledgment of how different our apparently similar experiences are.
And then this lunch. I said that my inner, deepest core is a place of such complete sorrow now.
I said that most of the day, although no one would know it, my mind is engaged in thoughts and images far from what lies before us or from what we are discussing.
And our mutual friend said that that will go away.
With all the confidence of someone whose children are all alive.
I said that I didn't think so.
The woman who has lost her husband said that hers, her inner core, is filled more with anxiety. She is, evidently, quite shaken by the speed and completeness with which life changes.
I said nothing. I know quite a bit about that, but nothing at all from her perspective.
I thought that it would not be wise to try to challenge her, or to insist that things will change.
I couldn't see any reason to sharpen the blade of loneliness that slices the space between us.