I stand at the head of Nina's casket as we start the funeral ceremonies. Though grieving, Ion takes a muted position in the activities. He is quiet and as I raise my camera to photograph him he looks me straight in the eye.
A day earlier, during the second day of viewing for Nina in their home, Ion and I talk in his and Nina's old bedroom. He is looking for sheets to cover the windows - an old orthodox tradition during funerals.
"Nina would know where the sheets are but I can't find them," he says, "She always took care of things like that." He takes a moment to sit and be silent away from the crowd. "I suppose I will have to learn to cook for myself too," he says, " I have never cooked for myself, not since we were married." I have to admit that I had the same thought. Throughout our conversation he repeats, "We will remain without her. We will remain without her." Perhaps a kind of reminder to himself.
I ask if I may spend Old Christmas with him. "Of course," he replies, "Poftim la noi." You are welcome to visit us. Then, "No, not 'la noi'," he remembers, "It is not 'us' anymore. It is just me."