I wanted to go see Shelly because she had known Michael forever, and she had also become a widow in her forties. I figured we'd have lots to talk about, and we did. Shelly has a way with words, and although we had not met each other but once before Michael's passing, she reached out to me during his illness and was a wonderful source of encouragement to us both. I felt drawn to her kindness, and thus made plans to visit her shortly after he passed.
I'm still processing all the emotions my visit with her brought up - things I would never have expected to surface as a result of spending time with friends of Michael's. Mostly longings for him to be present with us, and for things to have been different in the past sixteen years so that we would have had more shared experiences with friends and family in that time. It's surprising to me how painful those squandered years/opportunities are now, but my grief seems to have many tendrils extended back to years gone by, the present day, and to some extent my uncertain future.
Besides that, my time with Shelly was a real blessing. She is an incredible hostess, a fabulous cook, a good listener, full of loving wisdom, and now I know why she was such a dear friend of Michael's.