A difficult anniversary

When someone passes away, there is an empty seat at the table. 
It seems like it can never be filled, not the way it was before they were gone.

I like to imagine that heaven, or the afterlife, or whatever, is like an enchanted cottage 
where we are forever young and beautiful. 
 I hope it is a place where we see ourselves as the others, who truly loved us, see us.
I like to imagine my grandparents together like this, 
young and beautiful, the way they always saw each other. 
Newly married with their whole lives ahead of them, full of hope and promise.
Smiling and laughing.

He who has gone, 
so we but cherish his memory, 
abides with us, more potent, nay, 
more present than the living man. 
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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