Natalya’s death hits me in a different way today. It hits me harder and deeper and in a way that I seemed to emerge from knowing fully, completely that she is dead.

There is a feeling I have about her death. It’s not a new one, but I don’t think it had understood before that it is a feeling from the moment of her death. It is not the only feeling: it is part of the swirl of enormous flood of emotions I had when I felt her take her last breath and then after that the sense of life flowing out of her.

It is an emotion that is hard to name. I might call it gratitude or perhaps awe—the two of them together somehow.

She lived and for a while I was in that life. I could hear her and talk to her and touch her and hold her and love her and be loved by her. And then she died. And it is a miracle I was with her in that life. It is a miracle I was with her in her death.

Maybe we all feel that way about people we love. They are a wonder to us.

She was a wonder to me.