the fifth month

It’s odd how amputated I feel. I have been ‘put asunder’.

When you marry the one you love ‘two become one’. .. that’s what they say. And they say it approvingly,  as if it were a good thing. But has no one considered this:  when, after two become one, you take away one … what’s left?

It’s odd how amputated I feel.  I have been ‘put asunder’. As in ‘let no man put asunder’. They say that when an arm is amputated you can still feel pain in the absent fingers. Maybe that’s what’s happening. But more than just an arm. One half of myself is missing.

In the supermarket the other day, staring at the pork chops neatly wrapped, I couldn’t remember whether I liked pork chops or no. Someone did. Was it me? Was it Jack?  I can’t remember which was which now.  What was Jack, what was me. As it doesn’t matter what I eat, I bought them.

I am making ‘plans’ to travel.. .that is I wrote to an old friend in the States and asked if I could visit.

I told her Jack had died and after I posted the letter, remembered I’d already written her that he died. She will think I’ve gone mad …  but she won’t be surprised.

I met her years ago, during the arid stretches of my first marriage. We were living in Greenwich Village then, because it was cheap. She was living on the lower east side because it was cheaper.

We went everywhere that offered free admittance and took place when my daughter was in school – art shows, concerts, exhibitions. We dressed eccentrically from charity shops and had our hair cut in a barbershop ($1). We were both trying to write … actually we were both trying to make some money. She eventually found a job with a publisher, I had a children’s book accepted.

A Horse in the House. When it came out, Jack’s mother asked me for a copy to send to him in Virginia. I inscribed it  ‘to Jack, the only neighbour I ever had who helped me out of a tree. ‘   I wondered if he would remember that. I wondered if he would remember me … it was so long ago.

My friend has answered my letter … she says to come ahead.  She lives in Florida now. My bohemian friend now lives in a retirement community. I’ve bought my ticket and packed a few things. Hand luggage. I feel as if I’m abandoning not only Jack but the very walls of the house. He painted them, these walls, and that makes them dear to me. He was so patient over the colours. I changed my mind so often and each time he bicycled off to the shop for a tin of a different shade. I guess I will never be able to bear having them repainted now.

Copyright Maryalicia Post
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One month later ...

Maryalicia Post

Maryalicia Post is a travel writer. When her husband died, after 30 happy years and a lot of travelling together, she knew her hardest journey would be learning to live without him.

She chronicled the journey though the first year of grief in a poem called ‘After You’ which was published as an illustrated book by Souvenir Press, London.  Recommended by the British newspaper columnist Bel Mooney, After You is also one of the texts ‘on losing a partner’ suggested by Cruse, the UK bereavement support group.

In this series of postings, written for the readers of, Maryalicia describes how her book took shape, in a month-by-month journal of that daunting first year.

After You is available through Amazon.
Her travel website is at