Monday, December 14, 2015

Light And Dark

I don't know what I was thinking, two months ago, when I wrote my last entry for Widow's Voice. I had grown weary of grief, and I thought that if l could quit writing about it, perhaps, then, I could put it to rest. I thought that I should be able to move on to other, more important things, that setting aside the words of grief would allow me to focus on living instead of on death.

But then the darkness came, and the clouds and the rain. Northern England winters bring clouds that cover the sky from morning to night, and night that comes early, shrouding our world in darkness by 4 p.m. I sit in my living room, warmed by a fire, and watch as the sky turns black. 

My mind has been clouded, too, in the mist and the darkness of this wet winter. I have not been able to write as I had hoped. I have not been able to put words on the page. I have not been able to shift this sadness.

I want to turn loose of this grief, but it will not let me go. It waits for me. It reminds me that I am still here, and he is still gone, and the life that I once had is finished. 

In the quiet nights, and in the midst of the early morning clouds, these images call to me, peeking out from the dusty corners of my consciousness:  my sister's eyes, pale and blue, opened wide, my fingers gently crossing her eyelids to close them, before calling the nurse to inform her of the death; how I covered her feet with a blanket, though she could no longer feel the cold; eleven months later, lying next to my mother, wrapping myself around her frail body, watching her stomach rise and fall in rhythm with her shallow breaths; my husband, how I caressed his forehead and brushed it lightly with my lips, his lips pursed around a plastic tube; how I wished I had spent some moments alone with him before they ushered us out of the hospital room; how they handed me his wallet, and I searched inside it for his wedding ring. 

Why would anyone want to read words like these?  It is almost Christmas, and the world is telling us to be happy and gather 'round tables with candles and smiles and bounty and friends. Why should I inflict these images on unwitting souls who have their own sadnesses to bear?  Who needs to see these things? The world doesn't need more sorrow.

 This is why I have not written. This is why I have not been able to share. 

But this week, hope looms, a shimmer of light against the darkness. This week, my son comes to visit, and before long, we will have the shortest day of the year, and after that, the clouds may lift, and the sun may shine, and I can move toward living again. 


  1. I do hope the clouds lift and the sun shines again. I envy your ability to put your loss into words.
    As a man I sit and say nothing.
    But I miss him.

    1. Thank you for your response, Brian. You were an important friend to him, and he always looked forward to your lunches together. I am sure you must miss him a lot. Love to you this holiday. xx

  2. No one tires of listening and reading your words as you grapple with the pangs of grief. As a friend I listen attentively to your words wishing there was something concrete I could to to help other than just be here for you. I think that writing is cathartic and it is healthy for you. Write when you feel like it and don't write when it's too difficult. There is no right or wrong, it just is. I hope I can arm you with the fact that we have an impenetrable friendship that will withstand any pitfall life throws our way. Never feel burdensome toward our friendship, after all, that's what it's all about. I'm here for you and you're here for me, always. Give my love to yourself and to Desi.

  3. Oh Tricia, I am glad to know you are out there. Somehow these "virtual" relationships just mean so much...we miss you at Widow's Voice but you will always be there, and always in our hearts. I have been thinking of you. I'm hoping the days will grow longer and brighter now and send you warm thoughts and hugs from across the globe.

  4. Your voice still matters. Even more than ever. I'm glad you're continuing to write here as well as wherever you're inclined to. Sending you love and hugs for brighter days in 2016, Tricia.