"I" was in shock. "H" used to joke with me and tell me that God took him all the way to Korea to find a wife. His wife didn't know or want to live without "H".
After the memorial service, there were whispers in the gym. "What is she going to do?" Yet, nobody asked her, "What can I do?" Except me.
I thought about how "H" seemed to have a premonition that he wasn't going to be here much longer. He would come into the gym and see "I" and I laughing and talking together and he'd leave us alone, giggling like school girls.
Little did I know that "I" would have deep faith in God yet want to curse "H" for leaving her alone. Many times, she looked up at the sky and yelled, "Why you leave me? I hate you!" Then, she'd cry.
She decided that she was going to do nothing. Not eat, not sleep, not drink water. The only thing she managed to barely do was to drive her daughter to the gym. Even then, she got a ticket and went hysterical, blaming "H" for not being there to drive their daughter instead.
I realized that she was becoming invisible and untouchable. She had grown thin and refused to eat. I went out to her car where she sat, in front of the gym. She was listening to a tape of "H" who had a Christian radio broadcast. Tears were sliding down her face.
I listened for a minute and then handed her yogurt and implored her to eat it. She told me no. I begged her. Then I told her, "Look at me. You are my friend and I will not let you die. If I have to become your shadow until you eat and drink, I will. Now eat this, please."
She said, "Easy for you, Simone. You have a husband (at the time, I was married). Just leave me alone. I just want to die." She looked up towards the roof of the car and started sobbing loudly. "God why won't you just let me die? Huh?"
"I try to park my car on the train tracks, but no train comes. I try not to eat yet, why won't I starve to death?"
My answer was, "Because God isn't finished with you yet. He has great plans for you. Trust me on this."
She had money from his life insurance policy that she refused to deposit to pay her bills. She had never paid the bills before. She didn't want the life insurance money because she told me, it was like a trade off for "H"'s life or the money and she'd rather have "H". I volunteered to walk with her into the bank to deposit the check.
I asked why she wasn't cooking for the kids anymore. She said, "If I starve then they starve too. They aren't crying over their dad like I am so maybe they should starve too." I knew that it was nothing more than grief talking so I made a deal with her.
I told her that I wanted to learn to cook Korean recipes and I would show her how to make American dishes. I was shocked, she agreed.
In the kitchen, we cooked bulgogi, California roles, fried chicken (which she said to "H" looking toward the ceiling.."Ha Ha, we get fried chicken and you don't get any." She had never fried chicken before because "H" was very much into healthy eating. We cooked for hours and when we were done, we had a spread of food on the table. The kids ate tacos and burritoes and chicken and meatloaf and all kinds of food until I thought they would burst.
Little did I know that that was the beginning of her healing. A few days later, she called me and said, "Guess what? You have to come back over. The kids have eaten all of the food. Even the food in the freezer. And guess what else? I took the money to the bank...the insurance money AND I paid bills."
I told her how proud I was of her. She said to me, "No, I didn't do anything. You, my sister did it."
"H" has been gone for 8 years now. "I" has changed in so many ways. She is a cute, spunky lady that laughs and makes others laugh. Her kids have both graduated from college and she's decided that she is ready....for ME to find her a husband.
She will always carry the grief and tremendous love for "H" but she's learned that it's in letting go that she has found out that she is a strong, beautiful woman who has so much love to give.
Her daughter made it to the Olympic trials but due to an injury, wasn't able to compete. She went to Stanford on a 5 year scholarship and is now teaching. Her son is following so much in his dad's shoes. I know that "H" is smiling down on them all and saying, "Beautiful, just beautiful."