A young friend told me that she thought of Cliff's death as the worst news she had ever been told. Quite a profound statement, I thought. When I probed her to quantify this, she explained that she had always considered our marriage the "ideal" ... and that she saw us as role models for her own relationship with her long-term boyfriend, that she respected us for what we had and how we were.
Occasionally I am speechless, albeit rare ... this was one of those occasions.
I thought it was lovely that she shared these thoughts with me and the after effect is positive ... those words will give me comfort and stay with me for some time, if not forever.
Another older friend left me a message on Facebook (on our wedding anniversary) which said, "My thoughts are with you my friend. I can't say I understand - I wasn't lucky enough to find a love like yours, Boo. My love to you always. Chin up x x x x x".
A colleague who is more of a friend also regularly reminds me that she is envious, despite how strange that sounds, of what I had. Because she hasn't.
More comfort. And yet again I find myself thinking that I was so lucky, still am lucky actually, to have had with Cliff, for fifteen years, what some never find in an entire lifetime.
Not only that, I am so fortunate, I know, to have these people in my life ... these people who know what to say to me - a rare gift.