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.

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Thursday, March 5, 2015

In the Tender Early Light

After people die, there are certain times of the day when we feel their absence or presence most keenly. These are moments frozen in time, and even if they happened a decade ago, they can feel as if they happened yesterday. Maybe it is 5 p.m., the time when they would always start to cook dinner. Perhaps it was something you would do together on Sunday mornings, like read the paper together or walk to the bakery for scones. Maybe it was watching a favorite television show every Thursday night.

These moments can be hard to endure every time they come back, or they can be wistful memories that make us sigh. But they stay with us because these moments hold something of our hearts.

This was one of those times for me, from early in my grief.


In the light of early morning, as the young rays of dawn filter in through the blinds, I wake and look over at Evelyn. When I see her breathe, I relax and know that we have another day. When she wakes up, she turns over and smiles at me. And our day begins with love.

This morning I look over, a year after she’s been dead, at the empty place where she once slept, and realize how long I checked to see if she was still alive. It was a tender fear. And there was no reason for it. We had no thoughts that she was in danger. She had aches that had lingered for a number of years, but nothing that was life threatening. And who dies in her forties?

Sometimes she would get up in the middle of the night unable to sleep and watch television until she became drowsy. Now and then she went downtown and did grocery shopping. If I woke and noticed she wasn’t there, I would go into the living room and guide her back to bed.

The morning of her death, as far as I can piece together, after she woke me up at 5 a.m. to go to work, she went back to sleep. When she got up several hours later, she apparently felt dizzy and either rested or collapsed on the floor. When she was able, she phoned a friend to take her to the doctor’s. There she had her heart attack.

Why did I subconsciously know?


One of my essays on grief and loving deeply was published this week by The Edge Magazine. You can read it at: http://www.edgemagazine.net/2015/03/the-personal-paradigm-shift/

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