My beloved husband, Kent, died in January 2012, 3 years after diagnosis of a brain tumour. Our son was 2 1/2 and our daughter 3 months old. He and I were far too young. I am now hurtling through the black space of life without him.

Sunday, 17 June 2012


Sometimes the grieving is soggy and messy  - you probably know the kind. Sometimes it's like a cold, hard, heavy stone. It just sits quietly and heavily inside, leaving no room for anything else.

In the early days the image came often to me of a big red gash, running right through me. The whole of my insides felt - well, if you want to know - ripped and bloodied. (Yes I guess I am quite bloody on the inside). Someone commented to me the other day that things are raw for me - yes that's exactly it, this pain is red and raw.

I read on the website of a young widow that grieving of this kind is like carrying a king size mattress around on your back everywhere you go. She's right - I couldn't have put it better myself. The weight is so heavy sometimes it's hard to keep on walking. Sometimes you don't. Sometimes it crushes you to the floor.  

And while we're here, another image that often comes in to my mind seems to involve a cliff face and my fingernails. It's not an image I choose, it just seems to be there. I guess it is about survival. I'm holding on to something (life? sanity?) with my fingernails. I am clawing my way back (perhaps one day there will be movement) to something with my fingernails. To happiness? To normality? To healing perhaps. It seems to me there is no other way to find healing but by clawing my way to it. To be able to have a conversation with Kent would help fast track it (I keep saying God should have arranged once a week phone calls), as would some other, harder to define impossibilities. But there is nothing available, so my fingernails will have to hold on, and sometime start inching their way up the cliff. I hope there is a plateau up there somewhere.


  1. I hope the next plateau is close, too, A. xoxt

  2. Forgive me for smiling a little, but the image of carrying a king size mattress seems to fit exactly to the experience of grieving. Many people think they can handle it, but it's just not what it looks like to a bystanders. It's not always that it's heavy, either. It's just awkward and cannot be done alone.

    It seems your sadness is lingering, and it should. The love you hold for Kent is exceptionally deep. So too is the loss. Ben Harper says "It takes a hundred miles of love to heal a mile of pain". Losing a dearly loved one creates miles and miles of pain and despite your own and everyone's best efforts, the healing only appears to have been a scratch on the surface.

    Ralph, hold on. Cliffs are steep but negotiable. There is a top and there are brighter days.

    I am so sorry that you lost Kent. He was a rock. Please look upwards and forwards and to other metaphorically positive places. Grieving and mourning are not signs of your slipping, they are evidence you are climbing out of the pit.

    You are strong enough for this.

    Love - MB

  3. I could not have put it better.

    "Grieving and mourning are not signs of your slipping, they are evidence you are climbing out of the pit. "

    All your friends and those of us who visit you here want so much to help, take a corner of that mattress and help you carry it.

  4. Thank you anonymous - I would love to know who you are!