the fourth month

I visited a fortune teller. She told me Jack was watching over me. I could have told her that.

This month, apathy. Maybe I’ve exhausted myself … every step seems a step too far. But yet. Yet there have been days – no, not days, moments – when  I have felt I can make it through this.

Sometimes I even feel sure that if I try hard enough I can pierce the curtain that lies between me and the ‘other side’, the side where Jack has gone to dwell.

I visited a  fortune teller. She  told me Jack was watching over me. I could have told her that. And although it was comforting to hear her say it, I won’t go back for more.  There is no comfort that is  ‘enough’ … not fortune tellers, not sleeping pills, not prayers.

One friend told another (so I heard) that she had ‘done all she could for me and it wasn’t enough’.

She was right.  I’m sorry and I am grateful for the effort, but it’s true.

I don’t regret the years I was married before Jack. I married then because I wanted children and a home of my own. Jack wasn’t ready and might never be ready. In those days just after the second world war –  there was a fever to meet and marry, a feeling of time racing by. I met a young man at his ‘Welcome Home’ party. He was just back from service on the European front. He wanted the same things that I did – a home of his own and a big family.  He was so confident that I was the one for him that after a year or more of notes and phone calls and evenings out,  I believed him. We married when he was 24 and I was 21. It didn’t seem young. Most women of 21 were married in 1947.

Our first child was born 10 months later but she was to be the only child I could have. A home of our own was always just out of our reach, too. Neither of us could have known how hard life was to be for us. harder and harder, until we couldn’t go any further down the road together. But the journey made me grow up.It gave me my daughter and my trade – I had to learn to make a living for myself and for her, and I did. What I gained in the years between being 21 and 34  was  the ability to keep walking ahead even as it grew dark.

So walk, I tell myself.

Here’s a question: what can I do as a widow that I couldn’t have done before? (Just phrasing the question hurts.) The answer is: whatever suits me. My time is my own (how sad that is). So what will it be?  Bruges notwithstanding, I will travel.

Another question: Jack was my home.  Without him to return to, how will I find home?

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