I’m grieving over losing my beloved husband of 60 years

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

My husband of 60 years passed away in February last year. It happened so suddenly, and I still feel a major sense of loss.

My husband had a bright personality and was a hard worker. I loved him, and never wanted to spend a second apart from him.

On the morning of the day before he died, my husband and I were on a stroll around the train station when he suddenly murmured the single phrase, “My life was an insignificant thing.” I told him, “That’s not true, I’ve been very happy for these past 60 years,” expressing my gratitude from the bottom of my heart. Thanks to my husband, all of my days were happy ones, and I never felt the slightest want.

I never thought he would collapse like he did. He was an ideal husband and more than I deserved.

Now I walk my husband’s favorite trail and speak the words “Papa, can you hear me?” I want to meet him again, even if it’s only in my dreams.

I have a friend who also lost her husband, and I want to know: How long will it take to reach the point where, like her, I can return to being positive and in good spirits?

B, Tochigi Prefecture

Dear Ms B:

A husband who received this much love from his wife must have been happy. You say that the day before he died he told you, “My life was insignificant.” But didn’t he really mean that though his life was ordinary it was also enjoyable?

I think your husband was really glad to hear your heartfelt words that you were happy during your 60 years together. Also I can think of no better life for your husband than to always have your contented face by his side. I feel that many people would also prefer to leave this world like he did, as if setting out for a walk one day.

If you weep too much, your husband will begin to worry about you. Your friend who also lost her partner no doubt had to overcome her share of loneliness before getting back to a positive mental state.

In this age of the 100-year life, people who lose their companion sometimes have a lot of life left to live. It might be good to find a community of people who have gone through the same experience as you and who share similar feelings of sadness, and to talk with them about your memories of your husband.

Please continue with your strolls. Your husband is always walking by your side. In spring he is the wind blowing the fresh leaves, and in summer the green umbrella above you. In autumn and winter, too, he will always be with you.

Akemi Masuda, sports commentator

(from May 10, 2019, issue)Speech

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