It took some time for me to begin to wonder what final words he would have said to me, given the chance. One day about eighteen months after he died, I was out on a run and frustrated because I couldn't FEEL him anymore. Tears were welling up as I talked to him (out loud, because why not?), and I could feel the sobs beginning to rise in my chest. I screamed at him, I stumbled; I bent in half and tried not to throw up then sat down on the dirt trail. You'd think all that drama would conjure him up, right? Nope, just me and the dirt. I sat for a while covered in sweat and tears, and wondered for the first time what he would have said to me on his way out the door...if he knew.
I was stunned by how quickly the words came to me. Be good to yourself. Take care of the kids. Keep running. Don't forget where I hide the cash. You are the best thing that has ever happened to me. I loved being married to you. Love everyone enough for me, too. Be happy. Don't let my death kill you.
These words have stayed with me through every step of my life without him. And he never said them. But he would have, I know for absolutely certain, that he would have.