the third month

People say ‘it takes time’. I am too impatient to wait.

In the garden yesterday, for a few minutes, feeling the sun on my shoulders, I forgot Jack. How guilty that made me feel. Heartless. I must be searching for light … wriggling to crawl up, out, of this dark place. It takes time. People say that to me over and over … ‘it takes time’. I am too impatient to wait.

This month I took a trip to Bruges … a place I’d never been and wanted to see. The flight went well, the hotel checkin went smoothly but then I entered the room and grief sandbagged me. An ambush. Pain hit me like a bullet. I was literally grief stricken, stricken by grief. Did I fall to the ground, scream into that nubby stain-proof carpet.? Maybe. I had felt pain before but not like this …wrenching, tearing. Maybe your heart has to split open to let all the pain spill out.

And now I’m home again. Tired. The house looks tired,too. And I remember nothing of Bruges but pain. Life around me shifts and changes while I stand still. Friends I thought were Jack’s now seem to have become mine; some friends I thought were ours have drifted away. I think some are discouraged because I’m not ’better’ yet, not well enough for them to tell their troubles to.

Every once in a while I think I see Jack. I see him in his old familiar denims walking just ahead of me and nearly call out to him, see him driving past me in the street, his elbow on the window ledge of the car, and want to chase the car on foot. Of course I don’t. I know it’s not him … just a man with Jack’s hairline, or wearing the sort of clothes he wore, or driving the same car … but it stops my heart for a moment.

I have been in love with him for so long … since I was four and he was eight, a redheaded boy with a big smile. A dare devil with a kind heart. Then, I didn’t know that ‘love’ was what I felt for him.

But ten years later, when I was 14 and he was off to war, I knew. I wrote him every week for four years, posted Toll House cookies to Iwo Jima in my old school lunch box, and for safe keeping, sent a miraculous medal with our initials engraved on the back. The week he came home, we went to a night club and danced and had our picture taken together. Then he was gone. His mother told mine he was living rough on a beach in Florida. He wasn’t ‘over the war’. Eventually, he went to live with his father, who had remarried and bought a farm in Virginia horse country. I didn’t hear from him and I mourned him. My family tiptoed around me as if I were ill. Three years later I married someone else. I was 21 and impatient then, too.

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