He'd Want You To Be Happy

I remember in the beginning posting on the widow board, trying to encourage some of the other miserable sounding widows further down the line than I was, "they would want us to be happy."  I was still in shock then.

Now, people still use that line on me sometimes.  But although I know my husband loved me and would never want me to feel this kind of pain and sorrow, he also never experienced a tragedy like I now have.  Therefore, I think it's naive to pretend I know how he would feel or what he would tell me to do.  I do know that he would feel tremendous sorrow if he knew the devastation introduced to our lives.  I imagine he would be crying, like I do nightly- his faith and worldview, shaken to the core, as is mine.  I do not see him telling me to "be happy."  Of course all of this is the Dan I knew here on earth, and if there is an afterlife that he now has knowledge of, I can't really know what that Dan would say because he would be a Dan I have not known.  He would have knowledge and completeness I do not.

"Be happy."  Those are not the two words I hear him telling me anymore.  If happiness was the meaning of life, I'd be in big trouble.  And so would a lot of other people.  But to acknowledge that in a world of suffering, the meaning must somehow be built into the suffering - not away from it- helps.

So, what I have decided on, what I can hear him saying to me, for some reason- in both Korean and English- are two very different words:

Jal ji neh.

Live well.