His response was, "We're divorced now. Our divorce was final on the 23rd of this month. Her decision."
I was struck dumb. I managed to reply, "Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that."
He continued, "She lives in southern Finland now. She wanted me to move there, too, but I didn't want to. I have my place here and a small cabin, so she filed for a divorce. It's her decision."
I could only respond, "Oh dear...it must be hard. By the way, her daughter lives there, right?"
He replied, "Yes, her daughter has a son. So now she takes care of the grandson." He packed the few items he had bought and added, "I'm still grieving about it."
I said, "Of course you are, of course.......But life goes on..."
He agreed, "Yes, life goes on."
I didn't have time to process the information. The next customer was already waiting, but I felt like his words were hanging there in the space between us. It's funny how news like this can stagger you, even though you don't really know them that well.
I first met her a few years ago. From the get go, she told me her abbreviated life story even without being asked. She had just retired at that time. If I could describe her with one word, I'd choose the word sunshine. She was always full of laughter and bear hugs. Seeing her face at work was always a pleasure.
Sometime last year she came by with a huge smile on her face. She said that her grandson was due soon and she would go there once the baby was born. A few months later, she showed me his photo on her mobile phone and told me her grandson's name. The phrase "her pride and joy" sprung to my mind. I have no doubt that she'll be a doting and fun grandmother.
Life goes on...people come and go, some are born, some pass away and sometimes you don't even have time to say goodbye...but life goes on for those left behind...