Live in Peace

Two years ago, a man died. I didn’t know him, didn’t even know of him. His was just another anonymous death, one of the 155,000 people who die every day. But to his wife, he was not an anonymous statistic. His death was not one of the many. To her, his was the only death, a catastrophe of enormous proportions.

His death changed her world. His death changed her.

The effects of his leaving are still rippling in her life and the lives around her. I have yet to meet the woman except online, won’t meet her offline for another few weeks, but because of the shared experience of losing our life mates — our soul mates — we have become friends. Would she have chosen him over me and all the other friends she has made since he left? In a heartbeat. And yet here we are, two of the left-behinds, dealing with life as best as we can, making the most of a situation we did not choose, snatching at whatever happiness comes our way.

I don’t suppose it makes any difference to her that I’ve spent this day thinking of her and how much she still misses him. I don’t suppose it makes any difference that I feel how diminished the world is without him. In the two years he’s been gone, 262,000,000 people have been born, and yet the death of this one man — the death of any of us, actually — diminishes us all.

May he, and all our dead, rest in peace.

May we, and all the world, live in peace.


(Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”)

8 Responses to “Live in Peace”

  1. Coco Ihle Says:

    Beautifully said, Pat.

  2. Karen Says:

    The way in which you say things speak to my heart, who has also lost my soul mate and life partner seven months ago. Death…. Like you say their deaths has not only changed how life is but it has changed us, it has changed me forever. The scar is deep, the edges are rough. Life will never be the same again. I found Outlook thats there really is something like a heavy heart…………….

  3. Paula Says:

    You have said it so well. And brought tears to my eyes. We are bound together by the loss of our soul mates. Your words bring us all together. And I thank you for that!!

  4. Sue W Says:

    Nearly a year since I lost the love of my life and I really wonder how i have survived for these eleven months without him, but reading your blogs and the comments helps me to realise that I am not alone. so many friends and neighbours think that i should be “over it” by now and “moving on” – moving on to where? It is so true that one can be more alone in a crowd of people, and my instinct at the end of the day is still to get home as fast as possible and lock myself in the house and be alone with my memories.Life will never be the same again, I will never be the same again. I cannot imagine that I will ever feel happy again, but when I read your blogs they give me just a small piece of hope that one day the sun will shine again.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Oh, I am so sorry. You’re still so new to grief. The problem is that just when you’re settling into the realization that your loss is for the rest of your life and going through a resurgence of pain, everyone has lost patience with your grief, so you have no support for the second year’s onslaught. If you need to talk, please feel free to stop by. Sometimes it helps. Wishing you peace in the coming year.

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