Diary of a Widower

Daily entries by a husband, who stayed behind with his two sons

Feeling her presence. Really

THURSDAY, November 5 – Settled the first misunderstanding. This morning I realized that Sander doesn’t have the faintest idea what I do for a living. He went to pieces and had a crying fit – complete with reproaches and desperation before, ultimately, a confrontation with me.

‘Why are you always working, Papa. Why don’t you ever have time for us?’

‘Working?  Me?’  I said.  ‘Come with me,’ and Sander was more than eager to comply.  He hates gym class, especially first thing in the morning. Off to Bagels & Beans for a cappuccino instead. Then I explained to him just what I’d been doing the last few days.

The mortgage, bank business, taxes, the two lawyers I’d approached, etc., etc.  Sander’s face lit up. All along he thought I was back at my job with NOS, simply because I was at the computer and busy calling people.  His mind is at rest, but mine isn’t.  It’s a big job, at least that’s how it feels right now and yet quite simple.  One thing at a time and if it doesn’t get done today, there’s always tomorrow.

I’ve already made that our family motto. Eamonn laughed himself silly when I ordained: Today is today, tomorrow is tomorrow, and we only worry about tomorrow when tomorrow is today.’  The reasoning is watertight and it’ll do for now.

14.30 – Off for a long walk with Eamonn and Elsa nearby Haarlem, together with F who’s promised to take our dog out for a run a couple of times a week. It was a fun afternoon that included nine other dogs.

It happened on the way back to the car. Eamonn and I were walking side by side, with Elsa just ahead of us. I felt Jenn’s presence. It’s hard to describe exactly what it was. An attempt.  I was aware of a visible and tangible dimension, with several vibrating layers. A kind of undulating focus around us.  It felt good, reassuring.

Eamonn said that he had noticed it, too, after I mentioned it.  He talked about it quite casually:  ‘Look, Elsa’s walking alongside Mom.’ Seconds later it was gone. Beautiful.

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