I attended your funeral on Friday. My presence there was accidental, a coincidence of events too absurd to be possible.
I met your son, Stephen.
You don't know me, but I was a patient of your mom's. She saved my life.
I asked him how he was doing. He said he was ok, given the circumstances. I can imagine that's what you would have wanted him to say. And he did look ok, I promise. So did your husband - who I did not meet but who I saw, from a distance.
She was an incredible person, I told him. As if he didn't know.
I cried so hard I couldn't breathe. I fought to choke back the tears in my throat. I checked my collarbone, hand over heart, in part to confirm my heart - the pieces that are left of it at least - was still beating. I took pictures and collected service cards, looking for something, anything to keep you alive.
He turned to me. I said what I said today because I really meant it. It is comforting, at least a little, to know that she didn't have much time left - there was nothing they could do. It made me feel a little better, a little less "why god why" (fists shaking at the ceiling) to know that it happened so fast.
We weren't robbed of too much time.
I don't believe in heaven, but I do wonder if you were there. Looking down at the beautiful people in that room. The room where I almost got married.