written by Hanoch McCarty, Ed. D., published on Chicken Soup for the Soul
The clergyman was finishing the graveside service. Suddenly, the 78-year-old man whose wife of 50 years had just died began screaming in a thick accent, “Oh, oh, oh, how I loved her!”
His mournful wail interrupted the dignified quiet of the ceremony. The other family and friends standing around the grave looked shocked and embarrassed. His grown children, blushing, tried to shush their father.
“It’s okay, Dad; we understand, Shush.”
The old man stared fixedly at the casket lowering slowly into the grave. The clergyman went on. Finishing, he invited the family to shovel some dirt onto the coffin as a mark of the finality of death. Each, in turn, did so with the exception of the old man.
“Oh, how I loved her!” he moaned loudly. His daughter and two sons again tried to restrain him, but he continued, “I loved her!”
Now, as the rest of those gathered around began leaving the grave, the old man stubbornly resisted. He stayed, staring into the grave. The clergyman approached. “I know how you must feel, but it’s time to leave. We all must leave and go on with life.”
“Oh, how I loved her!” the old man moaned, miserably.
“You don’t understand,” he said to the clergyman, “I almost told her once.”