|That day he'd watched the letter going into the mail box during his normal morning half-hour wife remembering and coffee drinking ritual not knowing it would be his last. They'd been married forty-three years having six kids who'd given them seventeen grand kids then what seemed uncountable great grands. They'd loved the morning coffee ritual until she died eight years prior. Now he was lost and only one old memory kept him trying.
But, he died that morning standing by the mailbox on the sidewalk. No bullet or bomb, no pain, nothing spectacular or visible; he just stopped living when he recognized the postal code and address on the letter.
Mona talked about you all morning and made me promise to send you her locket. I've never seen her take it off. She said you'd given it to her and she's loved you for all those years then, then she died quietly..."
Your cousin, Wanda.
...and the locket fell into his hand, the chain catching in his numb fingers. He clenched the letter, both hands collapsing at his sides. Sixty-five years of loving his cousin flooded back into him; giving her the locket when she was fourteen and never telling her he always wore it's twin. Forty-four years of only occasional thoughts of her and eight lost years of "could have been except for fear" after he started wearing the locket again.
He never spoke again, never fed or took care of himself again from that moment.
There is no fear now and they have a beautiful life together, in his mind.
His kids keep him alive believing he'll come back. They know his mind is still alive and active and he's always been "A really tough old bastard."
He might, but...probably not.