Today is a day in which I find myself uncertain of how I want to feel. It was two years ago today that Crystle passed away. As I write those words, even now, it seems surreal. How can she be gone?

Yesterday, I went to her grave with Val, Kevin and Quinn. They brought red roses to remember their special mother and grandmother. We didn’t tarry—we all believe the grave is a simple memorial. Only Crystle’s ashes are there; she still lives within our hearts.

I have received texts from Crystle’s family and her friends. It warms my heart to know how much she is loved—and to think that she loved me. What a lucky man to have spent almost forty years of my life with Crystle!

I recently read the story of a monk who went to Heaven. He was met by an angel who welcomed him but told the monk that it was not yet his time and he would have to return to Earth. But before the he went back the angel showed him the splendor of Heaven. At one point they were crossing a long bridge the passed over a turbulent river. The angel told the monk that the river was swollen by the tears of lamentation shed by the living for those departed.

Before the monk returned to Earth, the angel said to the monk, “Tell the world upon your return that, when you are in the world, make no lamentation and weeping without cause, because it creates more difficulty and harm to the souls of your departed loved ones.”

I love this story. The angel doesn’t say that I cannot be sad; nor does he say I cannot shed a tear at those times when a memory of Crystle overwhelms me. I can assure you I will be shedding tears in the future—I just won’t allow myself to linger in those places.

I don’t think I will cry today, but the day is young. Whatever emotions may come my way, I will accept them with gratitude. For I know that whenever I am overcome by tears, it is because I lived a wonderful life with a beautiful woman.