A dear friend of ours came over Saturday night. He lost his wife unexpectedly in August. She was very young and there was no apparent reason for her sudden death. I looked at him and thought for a while. If I saw this young man at the gym, library or grocery store I would probably just see a tall thin handsome man and think nothing of it. I would not see the depths of his grief which continues day after day, I would not know that he was widowed before the age of thirty and would never see what the combined genetics of himself and his wife would look like. I would not realize that even though he wears a wedding band, he no longer has a wife. I see it in his eyes but I know it's there, I know that depth of grief myself.
I've always wondered but now I'm pretty sure that my grief is invisible too. People in my life who don't know about our sons probably don't know about my grief because it is unseen. Shakespeare describes this for me,
“My grief lies all within, And these external manners of lament Are merely shadows to the unseen grief That swells with silence in the tortured soul.” (William Shakespeare)
Merely shadows to the unseen grief. Well put, old man.