Despite the relative optimism of my last post, the death of my coworker this week has affected me more than I’d expected.

For one thing, I sit in the Public Information suite, so I have heard nothing but discussions about cause of death, etc. Cheerful.

Secondly, I work with a tiny thing of a girl who despite being my age (and did I mention very small? she makes me feel like a massive ogre) is somehow managing to take the grief of the entire division onto her slim shoulders while doing the job of two very overworked people. Impressive.

But most of all, the whole thing hits a little too close to home. I am finally getting to the point where I can think of my grandmother without feeling like someone just kicked me in the stomach. But I still get a pang, and every time I manage to draw breath after it’s passed, I wonder how much more devastating it would be to lose a partner, a friend, the father of one’s children.

When you do, how long does it take to be able to breathe without pain?

I mean, you take that ring, you say, “Til death do us part,” but in no way do you think that will be any time soon, much less when you’ve just given birth to a baby boy. Perhaps it’s a good thing that you don’t think these things, or else you’d be totally paralyzed.

This thought is especially poignant because just yesterday, my affianced placed my newly reset engagement ring on my finger for the first time. He did so with the intention on both sides that this is something I will wear for the rest of our lives together. (Until I size up, of course. Ha ha only joking darling!)

I did not take that lightly at the time, and I don’t think I ever will. You enter into this pact with the blindest of trust, not only that the other person will remain true and faithful, but that the universe will treat you both fairly. All problems can be solved, as long as you both are here.

Before this post gets any more morbid and depressing, I will stop by saying that I hope his widow can breathe easy again some day. I cannot imagine her devastation, nor do I want to. But I do know that when I go home tonight, I will hold my beloved so tightly that it blocks the hole in my own chest for a little while.

Perhaps then I can breathe for her and I both.