I have been writing this post for four seasons. For four seasons, I have come here, to the blank page, each week, and tried to find the words to express the ever-changing landscape of my grief. For four seasons I have shared my tiny triumphs, my progress, my setbacks, my worries and anxieties and fears and deepest sorrows.
Some weeks, it has taken every ounce of energy I had to come to this page and write. Some weeks, I have resisted writing until the last possible moment. And other weeks, the words have flowed onto the page as if they came from another source, from somewhere beyond myself, from a place bigger than my own mind.
Putting my grief onto the page has helped move me through its turbulent waters. Writing here has helped me reflect on where I have been and how much I have accomplished and how much more there is to do.
Writing here has been a privilege. I have written for this blog for an entire year. And next week will be my final week as Monday's Writer for Widow's Voice.
I want to explore other writing. I have a set of short stories and perhaps a novel in mind. The courage and discipline I have found here, in coming to this page, week after week, will help me to develop my writing in other realms.
I thank you for taking the time to read my words. I thank you for your honesty and responsiveness. I thank you for sharing your own journeys with me. And I thank you for being a part of my journey, too.
You will be able to find my writing at my personal blog. I won't write in it each week, but I will update it regularly, sharing my experience as I continue to navigate this unknown and sometimes frightening path through grief. Here is the link to my personal blog:
In January, 2016, I will publish a collection of my blog posts and some of my other writing in a book called Walking the Path Where the Ghost Cows Live. It will be available on Amazon both here in the UK and in the US.
For now, I will share with you a little creative writing I did in response to some prompts at our "Words Like Cries" Grief Writing group today.
May you all be well, and may you find your way through the suffering.
New Love's Glow
I never expected to find you here, on such a cold November night. Who would have thought to find an Englishman in a shoddy drug store in Indiana, with its frayed carpet and bright white lighting, aisles already strung with gold garlands and blow up Santas, shelves bulging with sugary Christmas treats?
I can feel you, first, floating out from a crackly loudspeaker at the end of aisle six. I stand still on the threadbare carpet as "Tell It Like It Is" by Aaron Neville blares from the yellowed ceiling, his falsetto voice quivering as he sings. Such an old tune, a bit obscure, not part of a customary playlist in a store like this. I stand transfixed, like a statue, and mouth the words with him.
"If you want me to love you, then baby I will..."
And then I see you, your body crouched around your sound system, eyes searching for this tune. It is in the early morning hours of another cold November, and I am seated on your sofa, watching you. We are still a bit bashful with each other, our smiles wide and reticent, cheeks flushed with new love's glow.
You turn up the volume and hold your hands out, beckoning me. You wrap your arms around me and pull me close, our bodies melting together as we step lightly in rhythm, circling your living room. A candle flame flickers on the coffee table, and you whisper into my ear:
"Life is too short to have sorrow, we may be here today and gone tomorrow..."
I close my eyes, and sway, in the middle of the shoddy drug store aisle, gather my arms around myself, feel the weight of your embrace, the heat of your breath against my neck, my face bathed in the flicker of florescent light.
(Tell It Like It Is, on youtube)