In the early hours of June 7, 2017, I lost my best and closest friend. We had been married for nearly 32 years and though we loved, cherished, respected and cared for each other, referring to her as just my wife seems wholly inadequate.
One would think that after more than 32 years together that we would know all there is to know about each other. Through reading some of her private writings and hearing stories of friends and family who loved her I have come to learn how truly remarkable a person Delores was and how fortunate I was that she chose me to be her partner in life.
It still doesn’t feel real. I don’t miss the hopeless feeling of watching her suffer; not having the energy to do the things she loved but the sense of loss is over whelming. It is a deep emptiness as though an essential part of my body, a part that I undoubtedly took for granted, is missing. Having lost both parents when they were relatively young I know that time will heal the wounds of loss but for Delores, I fear, a profound sadness will remain; the sadness of not knowing whether she knew just how much she meant to me.
We had learned only two weeks earlier that her cancer had returned, progressed to stage 4 and was no longer treatable given her weakened condition. I assumed that we had months, hopefully a few years together, not knowing that it was only days. Rather than simply attending to her needs in those final hours I wished that I had spent more time just talking to her, kissing her, holding her close and whispering words of comfort and love.
Of all the feelings of grief, regret is the saddest because it represents an unnecessary failing that can never be righted. We should thus all strive to treat each other as though our time together will be our last, for indeed, one day it will.