the eighth month

Every day there is some scrap of news I want to share with him

Have I left it too late to bargain?  Why didn’t it occur to me before,? I should have begged for his return.  Suddenly my eyes keep searching heaven., searching for him. Why am I beseeching heaven? His ashes are in the sea.

Do I think who ever took him will give him back now … as if he had been kidnapped. Taken hostage?

No. I’m not thinking of anything except how much I want him back. What can I promise? And to whom? I’ve learned my lesson. If he will just come back … this time I will be kinder. nicer. If I could only have another chance.

And I have so much to tell him. Every day there is some scrap of news I want to share with him. What a treasure a normal conversation is … I was mistaken to think Jack had forgotten me. When I phoned him that morning, thirty years ago, he came for me straight away.

He arrived in the smart hotel  lobby wearing blue jeans and a denim work shirt, a lit cigarette cupped in his hand. He wasn’t the red headed boy I knew when we were children or the  young Marine in my photo, either. He was broader, filled out, but still slim.

His hair had darkened and was receding at the temples. His face was brown so his freckles didn’t stand out the way they used to. His sleeves, turned back, showed wrists as strong as I remembered them and the familiar square
workman-like hands.

We reached the reception desk at the same moment and standing next to him, I said hello.

He turned his face towards my voice. His eyes were the same warm brown, his smile as bright.

‘Would I like to see the farm?”  Yes.  I abandoned the conference. I felt literally light hearted on that long drive back to Virginia. As if that small beating I heard inside myself might be the sound of wings. Perhaps that’s how butterflies feel when they come out of the chrysalis.

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