the seventh month

I don’t want to be sad but I am sad

I’m surprised that grief follows me everywhere … whenever there’s a break in my day up it pops and replays like a tape … or more like a music box; it’s a delicate tinny sound that carries, penetrating, cutting through my thoughts.

I’m getting tired of myself. I don’t want to be sad but I am sad. I feel as if I’m slogging through mud. As I try to get one foot free, the other sinks in. I thought it was time to  face our favourite breakfast set again. Plates made of green ceramic leaves. I had put them away when Jack died, when the sight of them assaulted my heart.. We’d bought them together on holiday years ago and we started each day with them. But now their unchanged look, their untroubled smooth faces smote me all over again. I believe in some cultures all the person’s belongings are destroyed at their death. They should be. To punish them for their audacity in outliving the one who owned them. I  put the plates back in the cupboard. It will be a while before I try that again.

Keeping busy seems the best remedy. The easiest way to keep busy is to keep on the move. I am grateful to have the health to do that and the ‘ease’ … the resources. I wander to the shops and dawdle down the aisles as if I were looking for something. All I’m looking for is for time to pass … to kill time while waiting for time to cure me. Strange how many people I pass on the street or in the shops look as if they are holding back tears. I want to reach out to them and say I know how they feel. I had a broken leg once and saw people on crutches everywhere. Are they always there, the tearful and the lame, and I just don’t notice unless I’m one of them?

I play the ‘at least’ game. At least he didn’t suffer too much. The worst was over in a week. At least we had 30 years together. We might have had nothing. How close we came to having nothing.

That picture of us at the Latin Quarter was the link. I had left my first husband in February, moved back to New York with my daughter, found a flat and got a job with a medical newsletter,  all in a week. One of my first assignments was to cover a meeting in Washington DC.

“Isn’t that near where Jack lives?, my 13 year old daughter asked me when I told her about the assignment. It was. ‘But what do you know about him? I asked her. She said ‘Isn’t he the Marine in the picture in your bottom drawer? You should phone him.” “Why were you rummaging about in my dresser drawer?” the mother in me responded.  “Of course I won’t phone him! He wouldn’t have the remotest idea who I am.”

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