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, December 17, 2015

Man Sleeping In the Time After

Man Sleeping In the Time After
the Death of His Wife

Tonight I can sleep for as long as I want. Why am I awake at 4 a.m., worried that when I get up, it won’t matter? I slept for a few hours. That will be enough to get me through the day. I stare at the ceiling, reliving the joys of my past with Evelyn, bemoaning the blah of my present, and cursing the destruction of long-held dreams. Reality disappears under the snow that won’t stop falling outside.

Reality has become a nightmare. Am I trying to wake up or fall asleep?

Lights travel with shadows across my window shade, then all is dark again. I came to bed at 11 p.m. and read about people hiking in the wonder of the wilderness until I thought I could sleep. I need to get back into nature and listen to its wisdom.

Finally after months, I can think about my wife without crying. Remembering brings less sorrow these days, but still little joy. I don’t know if that will ever change. Each day I hear the jingle jangle of holiday songs and wish I could feel some of their hope.

Her eyes keep me awake. Also her fierce compassion for the suffering of others, and her excitement for the holiday season because it countered with joy whatever in life was going wrong. But this year I drift on the snow that sifts between sleeping and waking, drifting on the boundary between life and death, between the netherworld and the After, the Here and the Never, meandering between what is and what used to be.

The fabric of time has wrinkled. I live in a parallel universe that moves slower than this world that speaks a dull language. The world I once viewed through her eyes has become faint. I have to choose between an unknown future I don’t want and a dream from the past that will never be.

I am stubborn. I will survive.

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