I read this book via audible.com. The book starts out a bit slow, but much to my surprise I found myself sitting in the garage to hear just a bit more as I listened to the last part of Harold's pilgrimage.
The day that I decided that I needed to add the book to my blog was the day that Rachel Joyce had the character of Rex (next door neighbor of Harold and Maureen) talk about his missing his wife who has been dead several years (I am paraphrasing....repeating kind of what I remember his having said):
"It is kind of like a huge hole in the yard. At first you forget and find yourself falling in. But then you begin to remember about the hole and you begin walking around it."
I found myself repeating this to a woman who had recently lost her husband and I added:
.....my interpretation is....it is not that the hole goes away.....it is just that you begin to try to live life without falling into the hole.It is not easy.
The reviewer was right who said: After walking for a while in Harold Fry's very human shoes, you might find that your own fit a bit better. --Mia Lipman
It is funny that while Harold is the main character of the book, it is a comment of Rex to Maureen in chapter 20 that I find the need to record in this post. Rex says that when his wife learned that she had a brain tumor he held her hand and comforted her. He says: "I should have RAGED" "I should have let her know how much I would miss her."
I think that when one looses a spouse, there are always things that you wish. If one loses the spouse suddenly, you might think that you wish you hadn't had the spat the day before or that you had cooked them a nice dinner the night before....or whatever it is that you did or didn't do. If one loses the spouse to a long illness, there may be many things that you wish you had said. For me, I know that my husband knew how much I fought his disease. But I DO wish that I had told him how much I was going to miss him. However, you can not know how much you are going to miss them before you begin to miss them. It gives me solace to know that Rex wishes that he had RAGED.
I want to add the part that comes just after the man tells us that Jesus came on Earth to shop.....It is BEFORE Maureen and Rex drive to see Harold. Wish I had done that at the time....looking back, I just don't remember what it was that I wanted to add. Perhaps someone who reads this book will remind me.