A New Mourning
Amy did get pregnant again, and gave birth to a beautiful, healthy, auburn-haired girl whom she and her husband named Rachel. Amy spent much of her time devoting her love and attention to her daughter. This left no time to grieve over little Timmy. Life had been happier for Amy that way. Or so it seemed.
As she felt something touch her cheek, Amy opened her eyes again and found herself staring into the familiar, loving eyes of her husband, Tim. “Dear, sweet Tim,” she thought. He had been so faithful for all the thirty-three years of their marriage, even through that awful year when they lost little Timmy. Now Amy was dying. The cancer had spread. Chemotherapy and radiation had given them some extra time together, but now they had to face the fact that her cancer was terminal.
Looking at Tim now, Amy wasn’t sure she was ready yet. Her pattern of silence when it came to the subject of dying was setting in again as she greeted her husband, “Hi, sweetheart! Did you bring my favorite chocolates today?”
“No,” Tim quietly answered.
“I know! You’re hiding my favorite yellow roses behind your back, aren’t you?” Amy teased.
Tim did not answer.
Amy didn’t know what to say next. She noticed something in Tim’s hazel eyes that she had never noticed before, but she wasn’t sure what. Finally, she said, “Well, did you bring me anything?”
It seemed forever before Tim responded. Then, with a quiver in his voice, he answered, “Just me. I want to stay right here with you every precious moment that we have together. You know the doctor said there is nothing more they can do.”
“Yes,” answered Amy quietly. “But I don’t want to talk about it now.”
“But I want to talk about it, Amy. It is all I have been able to think about, and it hurts!”
Mustering as much strength as she could, and trying to hide the shaking in her voice, Amy boldly answered, “But I don’t want you to hurt, sweetheart. I want you to be happy! You’re going to be OK, Tim. One day you’ll find another person to love, and go to parties and dance again, and—”
Amy suddenly stopped talking as she realized that she sounded just like her friend Sharon at the time of Timmy’s death. However, Amy wasn’t as convincing as Sharon had been.
Tim cleared his throat. “Maybe someday I will dance again, Amy, but right now all I can think about is what I am going to do when you aren’t here with me anymore,” Tim said with that look in his eyes that Amy had never seen before.
Amy felt strange and unsure of what she would hear next. She had a longing to hear something but didn’t know what. “Tell me, sweetheart, just what are you going to do?”
“Well,” began Tim, “first of all I’m going to go home and have a long, long cry. Then I’m going to knock on every neighbor’s door I see and ask, ‘Is my Amy here? She hasn’t come home and I miss her so!’”
Tears welled up in Amy’s still beautiful brown eyes. She wanted to shout, “No! You can’t do that!” But then she remembered the day she’d knocked on Mrs. Murphy’s door looking for her mother. She had mentioned it to Tim one day when she was feeling especially down. Tim must be remembering that now. Sadly, there had been no follow-up talk between them about her mother. And as the silence grew through the years, so did Amy’s depression. Amy realized now that what Tim must do, she also must do.
In a subdued tone of voice, Amy said, “I’m scared too, Tim. I don’t want to leave you! I am going to miss you and Rachel so much—like I have missed my mother and Timmy so much all these years and—”
Amy suddenly stopped talking again, this time realizing that she was speaking of her mother and Timmy for the first time in a long, long time.
Tears began to fill their eyes. As they clasped each other’s hands, their pain met, but this time, neither one tried to wish it away.
Amy smiled as she watched Tim leave the room. For the first time in her life she had allowed herself and someone she loved to grieve. It was easier that way.