Diary of a Widower

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

Signs of life nor death

THURSDAY, May 6 – Call it a sign of life. After what’s been – for me – an excruciatingly long silence, I finally receive a brief text message: ‘It’s snowing here’.

I reply: ‘Hey, fantastic’.

And we leave it at that. Sander reports on developments in the Swiss Alps and I let him know that we’re thinking of him.  We seldom call. ‘Big guy’ and his old man don’t need to talk every day.  He’ll be back in four days. I miss him, that’s for sure. It’s oddly quiet without him. Eamonn agrees.

I was about to write ‘deathly quiet’, but that’s something else again, as I know only too well. Deathly is the silence that Jenn left behind in October. No more notes, which I sometimes long for. No quick text message to let me know where she is. The scribbled note on the table, with a request. Often an email or just a ‘mental note’:  the realization you’ve been thinking of each other at exactly the same moment.

I think of her so often.  These days my thoughts come with a split-second of terrible anger, because she is not able to think of me. The one-way traffic of a truncated life. Unbearable longing for a sign of life, even a sign of death. Just something I can hear or see or feel. Even that turns out to be asking too much.

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