Susan's little corner of the universe is currently covered in snow & encased in ice. She chipped it all off her car and drove very slowly on slippery roads to her doctor appointment. Susan's not had a regular neighborhood doctor in years, eons even, and went to establish herself as a new patient.
She sat in the waiting room and completed some forms filled with questions. Early on she was asked to provide her primary language for which she wrote proper English. When she got to Marital Status she looked at the short list of possibilities which ended with WIDOWED. This was the first time Susan had to answer that question since her status changed. She checked WIDOWED and moved to the next question.
Everything was good up until Emergency Contact.
The husband had been her emergency guy from practically the beginning of her adult life. Big problems, little problems, no problems, he watched out for her the entire time.
Her lifelong Emergency Contact was dead.
The weight of that absence hit her with surprising swiftness and she began to cry. Quietly. She didn't want to attract any attention. She sat in her seat and thought about who the new emergency contact in her life would be, and cried some more. The answer ended up being pretty simple, she didn't want her son to assume that responsibility right now so she named her little sister. Susan's little sister was the most capable person she knew and would make a fine emergency contact. It's a function she performed without incident fourteen years earlier when Susan got a government job in NYC at the same time the husband landed in the hospital.
Susan dried her widow's tears & turned the completed forms in at the reception window. Shortly thereafter while sitting alone in the examination room waiting for the nurse to take her blood pressure she cried. The nurse left and Susan started up again. The new doctor came in and the two had a nice chat, when she left Susan cried. This was the situation every time Susan had some privacy. It finally stopped when she was sent to the toilet to provide a urine sample, the waterworks had run dry.
And, Susan had a urinary tract infection.