A man looking out of the window. I know him. I know he’s bereaved. I know he is alone. I observe him from behind whilst drinking coffee. He’s amongst people at a big table for ten. Just him and his book.
Sometimes ever so slightly shaking his head in disbelief, a response of being betrayed and left behind. He’s reading then drinking his coffee, making a shopping list. For one not two. Looking disinterested at the list he adds ‘fruit’ and reads his book again. His wedding ring reflecting the cold light of day. Just get up and live.
Drink coffee, make lists, go shopping, talk, stop, look out the window, play the memory film in your head from happy times to the time death sneaked in and splattered itself all over the warm sunny days, innocent smiles and laughter, green grass and picnics, boredom of the mediocre, lazy Sundays wasting time, holding hands and kissing the other persons warm lips; restless reaching into nothingness in delirium and pain, moaning, not knowing what the moon means anymore. Trapped in the in between world of dying, screaming in pain, fighting off food, drink, meds, people and life.
The lips once so warm and red become dry, crusty slimy exits of the stomach with each exhale expulsions of bad breath, rotting body, eyelids so dry and emaciated they no longer close fully. The body curled up in impossible positions no awareness of where the arms and legs are.
The bereaved remembers its bedtime. Do it all again tomorrow until the pain stops forever and you die yourself or something eventually changes. Here’s to hoping for a miracle.
Thank you to Bianca for this raw submission which so artfully depicts what grief looks like, from her point of view. The traumatic imagery matched with the mundane everyday is a great way to look at how grief slips into normal life.
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