I’m an ex-spouse whose ex-husband died. I wasn’t at a viewing, sitting close to the aisle in the front row when the Knights of Columbus went by.

My grieving is done without the comforts of ritual. Here and there. A la carte. I may find an opportunity to drop the perkiness of a team player and feel the sadness on my way back from a job interview. After waking up to pee, rage may win the game against relaxation breathing between 3:07 am and 5:18 am. The people who support me with phone calls, blog comments, and cards addressed to both my daughter and me help me grieve.

What if the relationship in The Time-Traveler’s Wife had “ended” in divorce? About 15 years ago, my then-husband gave me an envelope to open after he passed away. When I opened it last week, the note spoke of love, respect, and a promise that, with his ashes in the ocean (and eventually, mine), we would always be together. Like his wedding vows, a promise made before his eyes lost that look. What do feelings mean when they’re out of sequence?

Well, this is the part of the post where you’re supposed to sum it up. I can’t.