Dear Walt,

A reader friend left me this quote from Sandra Cisneros’s book Have You Seen Marie?:

“In Mexico they say when someone you love dies, a part of you dies with them. But they forget to mention that a part of them is born in you — not immediately, I’ve learned, but eventually and gradually. It’s an opportunity to be reborn. When you are in between births, there should be some way to indicate to all, “Beware. I am not as I was before. Handle me with care.”

Of course I cried.

Everything makes me cry these days. Joan Didion’s book. My headaches. The dryer hose that got disconnected when our son in law pulled it out to paint behind it. Patti Griffin songs. Life.

I wish I was doing better by the dogs. I took them for a car ride today then a short walk because of my knees. Maybe short walks will suffice right now, getting out and moving instead of sitting and waiting to hear you come in the door. I’m not sure they’ve stopped waiting yet. I haven’t.

The funeral home called yesterday. The death certificates and cremated remains are ready.

Of course I cried.

Poldark makes me cry. I only have eight episodes left then I’ll have to find another show to escape into. It’s how I spend my evenings since I don’t have you in the office living room with me. You with your big monitor displaying Tweetdeck and all your columns of publishing news and political news and climate change news and pop culture news. I miss the tidbits you shared.

I miss talking to you. Yesterday morning while in the office living room I could hear our daughter and son in law talking in their room. Nonstop for an hour. That made me cry, too. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but they have each other to talk to and all I have is the air, and your photos in my phone’s gallery, and your chair across the room, and your wedding ring.

I miss talking more than I miss sex but I miss the intimacy of both, touching you while we talked. We were always touching. I miss that physical contact that was so natural and we both took for granted, never thinking twice, you reaching out a hand as we walked anywhere and mine slipping into yours as if I were handing off a baton. You always handled me with care.

When the funeral home called they used your legal first name and didn’t call you Walt so I was able to deal with the news. I’ll pick up the items later today.

And I’ll cry.