‘You don’t get married to live on your own!’ Yet, in this world of disease and death, that loneliness comes to many men and women who have spent much of their adult working-life in the joy of a deeply satisfying Christian marriage.
About two years ago, my wife for four decades fell asleep in Jesus, after a fairly brief illness.
Sue was the delight of my life, my best friend and my soulmate. Her passing has left a huge hole in my world. Nothing is the same now. Nothing is as good as it was with her around.
I miss her in a myriad of ways. The house is dirty; the garden overgrown. The fridge is half-empty. I no longer watch Call the midwife or Poldark. There is no one with whom to share my joys or heartaches. There’s no one to join me in a late-night game of Scrabble or share my prayer times.
There is no one to tell me it’s time to go to bed, or cuddle up to when I get there. No one reads to me anymore; reminds me to put out the wheelie bin or take my tablets; asks me how my day has gone and tells me the most intimate secrets of the heart.
I miss dreadfully having someone who always wants me to hold their hand. I miss being able to share a cream tea in the cafe of a National Trust property. I miss having someone to call four times a day from the Banner Minister’s conference, when I just long to enthuse over a wonderfully uplifting address or sweet conversation with a friend, old or new.