But they don't. They won't, for some emotions have no proper words, and there is nothing magical about death.
I had never met her, never spoken with her, never known her as anything other than "Mrs. Bluelights." I knew little of her day to day life, and practically nothing of her dreams, her favorite colors and numbers, TV shows, books. I didn't know what pair of shoes she reached for when her feet faced a long day, or what food she craved late at night; if she left the dishes for the next morning, or commandeered the remote during commercials; her pet peeves and greatest fears; regrets. I had no idea what could flare her red headed temper and what it would take to extinguish the flames.
And yet...I knew all I needed to know, for within her husband's keystrokes, she unwittingly revealed herself: she was part of Eddie, and he was part of her. She was there, and we knew it, perhaps by nothing more than "we," because her absence would have been noted otherwise. For when one is comprised of two, the lack of either part is most conspicuous and will likely have a lasting effect.
But with her death, the two that had become one is one again, or perhaps only half of that, for one does not easily remember how to be one, when one has been part of a greater one for over forty years.
I won't speak more of Maria, for her story is Eddie's to tell. If you haven't already done so, I urge you to read Eddie's tribute. But I suspect most of you have already been there; I saw the names of many mutual friends among the comments, most written in May, when Eddie had mourned for a month and was able to speak of his wife. And that's what brings me to the crux of my own post.
I regret to say that although Eddie's life was forever altered months ago, I have only just been made aware of it. Eddie is a dear friend, albeit only in BlogLand, but I didn't know. And that is my own fault.
My goodness, I look back over my post list and see I've not written anything in well over a year. Could it really have been that long? And in the only time I've popped in at all in recent months, I reverted most of my posts to draft, in that fit of senseless paranoia I experience from time to time. I didn't check my comments. I wasn't ready to be tempted to visit friends and laugh or cry with their adventures, or to be mesmerized by their breathtaking photos or entranced by prose.
I didn't check the comments. I didn't see the message from Eddie about Maria.
When I sat down to write this, I had every intention of saying something to the effect of I'm coming back from my break, not in full force, but I want to stay in touch and will post maybe once a month, maybe more often. But, as I am trying to finish that promised first novel, I know in my heart that anything I write will end up among its pages, even if those pages are forever compressed into a tiny flash drive, perhaps tossed and lost, but most likely gathering dust in a seldom used cabinet. Sometimes I write an amusing short story on my Facebook wall, but that's really all I've done since my self-imposed break. However, I do want to tell you a bit about what's been going on in my life and I'd like to hear about your own lives.
Leave some comments. Tell me what's changed, who's married, who's having babies, who's retired, where you're traveling, what you're doing, even if it's nothing. I'll write one post in the next few days and tell my friends about my misadventures in the world of Ethel and Fred. After that, the only promise I make is to check in more often.
And in the meantime, keep Eddie in your thoughts or prayers or wherever you hold dear friends. Very, very dear friends.