My grandfather was a veteran who lost his leg. The VA gave him a prosthetic limb, which he appreciated greatly. He outlived my grandmother by two decades. After my dad passed away, I had a conversation with my grandfather about how my mother was coping. My grandfather gave me some advice that I didn’t fully understand until my wife passed away and I had to carry on without her. He told me that losing his wife was very much like losing his leg. He lost part of himself, an essential part of his everyday living. Trying to navigate this world without his leg was almost impossible at first, just like losing his wife. The prosthetic limb, while similar in function to his leg, just wasn’t the same. Life without my grandmother was just as foreign to him. He learned to walk again and adjusted to life without his leg with the help of the “fake one” (as he called it), but it wasn’t easy. Nor was it easy for him to figure out how to live without his soulmate. He told me that his family, friends, and his faith was what got him through both. At the time, I found it difficult to see the connection between an amputee and a widower, but after living without my wife for nearly two years, it’s becoming more clear. My family, my friends, and even my somewhat shattered faith have been my coping mechanism through it all. This new life is nothing like it was, but I am learning walk again.

Jeff Kuhn