Every Wednesday

Every Wednesday I will post something about grief. Sometimes it will be a reflection on an aspect of grief’s landscape. Now and then I will share from my own journey of grief, because in the sharing of our stories we find strength and build a community of people that support one another.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Dark Station

When death comes, we leave the world of light behind and enter a world of shadows.

Colors mute to gray. Sounds are all in the distance. Even if it’s sunny and in the eighties, the air feels cold and we wear a jacket. Food tastes like cardboard, so we don’t eat. Everything we pick up is rough to the touch. Our world shifts into slow gear.

When my wife died suddenly, the world I had known went dark. The shock of what had happened was so unlike anything I had experienced before that my sensory awareness of the world went numb. The thing called Grief was so massive that it blocked everything else out.

The darkness is where we go when someone we love dies. When death hits, the world becomes a commuter train with flashing lights, clacking rails, and packed with chatting people. Then we’re standing alone on the platform at midnight in an empty station. The darkness and silence are a relief because the world has become too bright, too loud. Finally we can breathe.

We leave the platform and walk into an open field. At first nothing seems to be here. Nothing is moving. Our eyes adjust to the darkness, and stars emerge. Their stillness brings presence to the hours. Each star seems alone, separated by light years from each other, but as we watch, we detect the thin, gossamer threads that connect each star to a constellation.

Tonight, as on every night, hundreds of new people are getting off trains in dark stations around the world and coming into the meadows, thinking they’re alone as they watch the stars.

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