A new day dawns

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“When I was little, I used to believe that if you let darkness into a well-lit room, it would become dark, just as it becomes light in the morning when you let in the light”

I read these words recently in a novel and they really struck me. Such wonderful child’s logic – to believe that you can let in darkness as well as light – why not? Of course we know it is not true.

But the sudden traumatic loss of someone you love, be it parent, partner, friend or child brings darkness crashing in; the blackest, darkest dark we can imagine.

I am reminded of the dark days of early grief now we are living the short days of winter, when we go to work in the dark, or just as it is getting light, and return home when it is already dark. In the early days after James died, I was often awake in the deepest dark of the night and in some respects the night’s embrace was a comforting cocoon. I did not have to face anyone else, and I could give vent to my grief privately, which has always been my preferred way.

I am not great at public weeping. It always irritates me that I can’t talk and cry at the same time!

How I envy those people who can weep elegantly with unchanged features, not like me, ending up with with red puffy eyes and a bunged up nose! – anyway, I digress.

In these winter months, my drive to work begins just as the monochrome sky gives way to winter’s soft palette and I see the beauty of the late autumn trees lining the road. There is a point where I turn the car at a roundabout on top of a hill and the Surrey fields stretch away below, with mist layering the ground as the lemon sun tries to break through. This produces an image of peace and tranquillity that I try to hold for the day and my photographer’s eye longs to capture it. I see the freshness of the emerging colours and shades of another new day and count my blessings.

Whether you analogise your grief as a pit, hole, cave, void, chasm – whatever it is, you can rest assured that the light can and will return. Do not despair that the darkness of grief will overcome you. You have to work through the darkness to get into in the light, and it will happen, just as surely as day follows night.

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2 thoughts on “A new day dawns

  1. Linda Sewell

    Thank you. This has struck such a chord with me.
    Yesterday I went to the funeral of my lovely old boss, a very special lady who died prematurely at 63. I went with another colleague whom I have known for many years. That lady has been supporting her sister who has been very ill with cancer. Driving to collect my friend I had a chat with Tom asking for his help and support to get through an emotionally difficult day. At the last minute I changed my mind about the route I would take to my friend’s house and, as I turned the corner on my new route, there parked up at the side of the road was a coach bearing the name Edward Thomas & Son. This coach company is not local but I have on occasion seen one of their vehicles before and always at a time when I needed a sign. This was the most positive sign (apart from a rainbow) I could have got that my son would be with me throughout the day. Having collected my friend we drove to the church in Ashford, which was unexpectedly beautiful. We were early and so we used the time to light candles and then sat quietly, contemplating and appreciating the tranquility around us. Just as a few other mourners came into the church my friend’s phone went, the call she had been dreading. Get to the hospice as soon as possible. We quietly made our way out of the church before the funeral procession had even arrived. I drove my friend to the hospice and left her to be with her sister. She was there in time and I subsequently learned that her sister passed peacefully later in the afternoon.
    I drove on impulse to Claremont National Trust Garden, a place that holds many happy memories for me.
    Once in the gardens I stood quietly taking in the lake, the autumn colours and the stillness. Then a small flock of pure white doves fluttered gently down and gathered around me. The sun was coming through the mist and the feeling of peace was palpable.
    I think somehow our fragility was recognised so events contrived to let us pay our respects in an appropriate way but spared us the emotion of the funeral. Everything that happened did so at the right time and we were guided and protected.
    I was left with such a strong feeling of peace and a knowing that we are wrapped in love. Throughout the morning, light was so important. The flickering candles, the sun coming through and sparkling on the water, shimmering on the wet leaves. When the time is right we too will go to the light.

    Reply

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