Those of us who have been blessed with long-term marriages or partners often wonder what life will be like if we outlive our mate.
Will I ever know happiness again? Can I survive on my own, without those all-too-familiar glances, comforting words, and embraces? Might life lose its meaning? Somehow, some way, most people manage to cope. The gifted writer Anne Lamott put it so beautifully: "You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through." Harry Sterling knows this – really knows this – all too well.
The Rev. Dr. Harry Sterling lives with his cat, Rosie, on Prudence Island. He is ordained by the United Church of Christ and conducts worship in the island winter church once a month. He retired in 2003 from managing analytic teams for United Health Group.