The death of her husband

She stood aside as the men began shoveling dirt into Flint's grave. Apple stood beside her, while Spark remained out at sea somewhere, unaware of his father's passing. She looked down at her black dress and thought back to when she was Arha. This was the first time since then that she'd truly felt alone. First she'd had Ged, then Ogion, then Flint. She wondered if she would get used to the empty house every evening, and preparing dinner for one. It wasn't that she couldn't handle the house and farm on her own, she'd been responsible for all cleaning and cooking and washing since her wedding.

Tenar wondered if she should feel sadder about Flint's death. She would miss him, surely. He was her companion and lover for many years. But she didn't feel like she would if Ogion or Ged died. She glanced aside at her daughter. A tear trailed down Apple's cheek. Goha had no tears for Flint. Perhaps she had never really loved him. Perhaps he was just an acceptable substitute since the man she truly loved was unavailable. She forced this thought from her mind. The first few months at Re Albi she had cried silently every night for Ged to come back. She couldn't waste her time now dreaming of impossible things. She was Flint's wife, Flint's widow. The mother of his children, not Sparrowhawk's. As the burial finished, Apple took her by the hand. Tenar gave her daughter a small smile. She took comfort in the fact that Apple would always be there for her. She followed the young woman to her home, burying any thoughts of Ged in a hole as deep as Flint's grave.

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