"It's been five months last week," she said.
I couldn't believe how much time had passed.
"It's been a tough week," she said.
My phone call had made her cry.
"People tell me I visit his grave too often," she said.
I told her they were wrong.
"I often wonder what might have been," she said. "Did we make the right choices? Did we do what was best for him?" and then an urgent plea - "Please tell me that we did."
I comfort her and reassure her as best as I can, because I was witness to his final days and I know that he was loved beyond measure.
And as she remembers, so do I.
And for a moment, there is no talking. Just silent tears between us.
I was witness. I sometimes forget what an incredible honor and responsibility that is. And I sometimes forget how important it is to remain connected to these families. To remember with them. To talk about their angels when no one else knows what to say.
More often than not, I don't know what to say. I get overwhelmed by the idea of picking up the phone to make that call, so I put if off until "later", though of course I have no clear plan as to when "later" might be.
But on my brave days, I pick up the receiver and dial the number. And on those days I am rewarded with a raw and most pure form of human connection. Those days remind me more than any others why I do the work I do.
I want to be brave more often, because it feels good to listen. It feels good to talk. And it feels good to remember the angels.