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The Market Lady

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

I was walking through a street market the other day. At one of the vendor booths sat a lady on a stool. She didn’t notice the shoppers strolling past; she was engrossed in a book. I was curious as to what had captured her attention. Much to my surprise she was reading one of the books that I love to recommend to those who are living with grief in their lives (see blog April 28). I casually approached her booth as she glanced up from her book.

“Do you like that book?”, I asked.

“Oh, I do, yes.”

Her crystal blue eyes began to mist over as she shared with me that her husband had recently died. “I felt so confused and scared. My body was quaky all the time. I thought I was going crazy. Now I know I’m not crazy.”

In a soft faraway voice, she continued to share with me her grief story. Her story was more of a love story. Her husband was her world. She remembered and I listened. I gave her my card and phone number and invited her to call anytime.

I walked away grateful to her daughter who had sent her the grief book. The book helped her realize that what she was feeling and experiencing was actually quite normal. She wasn’t crazy.

The Market Lady. I will always remember her. Those crystal-clear blue eyes, full of sadness and relief. Sadness from the deep pain of loss she is experiencing. Relief from the realization she isn’t crazy.

Her eyes impacted me. I was once again reminded of how lonely living in grief is. Death creates loneliness for the obvious reason, someone loved is no longer living their life with you. But death also creates loneliness because those that ARE living their lives with you, keep living. While they live, your life comes to a screeching halt. Everything you did with your loved one immediately stops. The finality is overwhelming. The finality is lonely. There is no more routine, no more conversation, no more hearing their car door slam when they get home, no more good night kisses, no more annoying habits, no more hugs. There is no more.

Is it any wonder why you feel like you are “going crazy”? Every piece of reality with your loved one is changed forever. And, the world around you continues to live in a flurry of activity and schedules.

Her eyes, crystal-clear blue, sad, tired and moist. She loved her husband. She lost her husband to death. She still deeply loves him. This market lady is living life with grief in it. She was being comforted by strangers in a book.

I walked away with a longing in my heart. I hope this dear Market Lady finds a friend who will listen to her love stories and will sit with her as she weeps. I long for the day when those of us living life, will slow down and sit with those who are living with grief in life.


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