I understand that in the heat of battle, a soldier will often not experience the pain of a sudden dismemberment until some hours after the loss.
That must be what I am going through now, and what is probably experienced by many new widows at the sudden loss of a life's partner and lover. I do feel a certain surreal numbness that is allowing me to function as if my heart wasn't broken or my soul shattered.
The pain will surely come, but for now, all I can think of is the love.
We were colleagues when we first met in 1979, working for the same employer. He had been separated from his wife for ten years, had two grown daughters and two grandchildren. I was a single working woman on the front lines of the women's movement, capitalizing on the gains made in the courtrooms and on the street, and becoming the first woman to hold every job I had had in a male dominated industry. He had been retired from the Marine Corps for seven years and went back to work to save his sanity.