We postponed our monthly visit with Jolene's fiance when dizziness overcame Mom last Sunday.
Today, when we left our apartment to pick him up, Mom said, "I feel queasy."
"Of course. We're going to see Marius."
She took an anxiety pill. It helped.
The visits are hard for all of us, yet good at the same time. As Marius said, we're the only ones who truly understand his grief. We can be honest about our love and longing, the hole she's left in our lives.
Marius blames himself for Jolene's death. If only he had returned to her apartment ... if only they had already married ... if only ... We remind him that the decision to end her life was Jolene's alone, but he says, "I know, but--" My heart aches for him. How hard to carry that guilt, as well as his grief at her death.
I ask Marius if he believes in life after death. He answers that he can't think about it; it's too painful. I share how my faith comforts me. Jolene is alive in heaven; I will spend eternity with her, and one day, God will wipe away my tears when there is no more death or crying or pain.
We explore our shared memories, and all three of us tear up. "Some day," Marius says, "We will meet and remember the good times without crying."
Pray for this sweet man, with a poet's soul and an agnostic's struggle.
We honor Jolene's memory in maintaining our relationship.