In the waiting room at the registry office, a lady sitting next to me asked if we were getting married. She was holding an A4 brown envelope and looked tired and sad. When I confirmed we were there to get married (I think the long beaded dress and bouquet of roses were a bit of a giveaway) she wished us a happy marriage and said "Be happy!" with tears welling up in her eyes.
I asked if she had lost someone. "I'm here to register my husband's death. 62 years of happy marriage."
She cried. I cried. We briefly held hands.
I believe, in that moment as our hands touched, the lady in the registry office handed us a blessing. She passed the happiness of her own marriage over to us.
Every time I play it over in my mind I become even more sure this was the case. Even in her grief and emptiness, she wanted to pay it forward and let it live on in a new marriage. Perhaps she was an angel.
I don't know who she was and our paths may never cross again, but I am thankful to her and glad to have met her for those few moments. I wish her comfort as she walks this next phase of the journey on her own.
May she continue to build the mosaic of her life around the piece she made with him, that can never be replaced.