Grief is not pretty. It is loneliness at a primal level. Like some organ has been removed and you can't really breathe properly. It's waking up each morning where your first thought is this is another day without your person. And in that way, without the you that you were. It's going to bed alone each night without him.
Because so few women have employer-provided retirement benefits or personal savings on which to rely, Social Security is disproportionately their sole source of income in old age. For 49 percent of never-married, divorced and widowed women aged 65 and older, Social Security comprises virtually all of their income. That is nearly one out of two single women!
Melissa doesn't believe that God or The Universe owed her something as precious and precarious as her husband's health. She accepts that life, often, is a crapshoot. And sometimes you get lucky, and sometimes you simply don't. And sometimes you get a mix -- and that's what Melissa got and she's grateful for it.