the first month

The realisation dawns anew…he is gone

The funeral, the cremation, the ashes scattered in the sea… The flowers, the notes…nothing touches me. Tears are superficial. something more is needed…a scream that doesn’t stop. ….a shriek. Some day when I am less sad, I will cry. Tears like ice flowing down river.

My own death would seem right. Like an Indian widow on the funeral pyre, like the lucky accident victim. Waiting at a stoplight I scan the driver’s faces…if I fell in front of this car…but the driver is a young girl, day dreaming as she waits for the light to change, perhaps thinking of someone. I couldn’t interrupt her life by using her to end mine. If nothing comes to intervene, it seems I must go through with this, keep on living.

Each morning the realisation dawns anew…he is gone. I will never see him again. The last time we danced was the last time we would ever dance. When the music stopped it was forever. I wish we had danced more. I sit up in our bed and only that thought comes. Never. I would welcome a happy memory… They fail me.

I know something about ‘condolence notes’ now.. the ones that help me are the ones that say how much he loved me, how often he spoke about me, how happy he was with me. That’s what I need to hear. Those are the notes I read and reread.

The eye bank rang to thank me for having remembered them as he lay dying. Now two people were seeing through his eyes. A part of him was still alive. It lit my heart to know it. It was I who should thank them.

I didn’t keep track of the flowers or save the cards that came with them.. but I remember the card that read ‘no acknowledgement required or expected’. That was kind..thoughtful. Not that I acknowledged any of them.

Funeral clothes. I went to a consignment shop and bought a dress and shoes.. I could not wear anything I already owned … something I had bought when he was alive … something he might have complimented me on … something that I never guessed I would wear to his funeral. Clothes that outlasted him, as I did. I wanted anonymous clothes. They went back to the shop afterwards.

And I wore my sister’s coat. I felt I was outflanking fate.

Fate was a crone in the corner laughing at me for having been so happy, At least she couldn’t say ‘little did you know when you bought that dress …’

A friend sent word, give his clothes way now. you won’t be able to face it later. And so I did. A young neighbour bundled all the lifeless clothes off to Oxfam for me. No. Not all. I kept a shirt and one of the knitted caps he wore when he went sailing.

I brave our bed, but am undone by two chairs at a table.

Copyright Maryalicia Post
Read more

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