Sudden death in real life hit you more than it did in hockey. It had left her with two children to raise and his aged parents to look after. Money there was plenty of. No, not plenty, but enough. If she was careful. The perfect life they had envisioned growing old together, traveling the world together , visiting grandchildren many years down the line wasn't going to happen. Everyone gave her a long rope. She didn't need it. She asked for no favors and resented the condescension. And it scared her that there might be long strings attached . So she built her walls. Bit by bit. Set up her independent systems. She couldn't have friends over. Because with friends came husbands. Who would drink when they came over. Who might think they had been called over for themselves and not for their wives. Who might.. And what would the neighbors say. The growing up process for the kids didn't stop because their father was dead. Admissions had to be dealt with. Birthdays had to be celebrated. Cantankerous old inlaws had to be taken for early morning blood tests. And she did it all. She missed him every second.Every day. When she made the single cup of tea. When the father in law died and the brother gave the eulogy. When the boy had to be told about the birds and the bees. She was more uncomfortable than he was. She helped with the sodality. She helped with the CHS.she helped with the ALM. It kept her world secure. She chose when to go out and when to come back in. She chose to let nobody in. Nobody into her world . Nobody who might upset the balance of an equation that was never going be real again. While she wore her coat and the coat of the man who had died suddenly.