Thursday, May 29, 2008

Facing the World Without

When I read over the weekend a news flash that Natascha McElhone's husband had passed away suddenly at age 42 and that she was pregnant with their third child ... I felt my heart break for her.

A sudden, swift flood of grief overcame me briefly before I told myself to get a grip.

I did not know these two people so I could not understand why that brief sentence would reduce me to a weepy sap.  But somehow, the three elements made my heart ache for Ms McElhone.  Sudden and unexplained.  At their doorstep.  Pregnant with third child.

He came home to die.  Without realising it, his feet guided his last moments just enough that he could be home.  She was not home though.  Lord, I had to reach for the Kleenex.

I told myself it was probably PMS or something to that extent and swept it from my mind so I would not be a maudlin mess.

Then I read this article today.  Natascha McElhone's touching obituary of her late husband.  Simple.  Heartfelt.  Surprisingly joyful despite the obvious sorrow.  Intelligent without pontificating.  And ultimately ... heartbreaking.

Her beautiful eulogy included this -

I feel so ill-equipped right now in my sleepless, shocked state to write anything coherent, but I want to get in there and shout aloud his name, make sure no one misunderstands him.

Ms McElhone, you succeeded and there is no one who read your article who could not admire him as a man and both of you for sharing a love and mutual respect that deep and profound. 

I have always thought her an intelligent actress with depth.  Now I see her as a woman of much love and substance.  I do not doubt Ms McElhone will be more than a survivor.  She will flourish with the memory and love of her husband and children.  I wish her all the best.

And reach for more tissues.