April 24, 2014 at 11:08 AM (Uncategorized)

A good friend of mine, a first cousin once removed, of my late father’s people and of his generation has recently lost her husband after a long and happy marriage.

In addition to our friendship we now have another commonality, widowhood. And she was relating a sensation, a feeling she has. And it frightens me. It also comforts  me.

She says she has a sense that her late husband is always standing just behind her and wrapping her in protection. She likes to speak of myths and see them it’s her way of relating.

She told that story in context of a play, a play in which a king leaves his Queen to go to sea, dies, but comes back as a bird and wraps the Queen in his wings.

I do not use literature or plays as metaphor for this experience, but I have the same one.

If it wasn’t for the wedding DVD, the photographs, after 20 years the mind does forget.

Without those pictures I truly believe I would have to struggle to remember what my Brian sounded like and looked like. But over the 20 years I have almost always had the sense that he is standing over my left shoulder just out of sigh

t. Standing guard in a way.
And he does reach around and cradle me a bit during the  most difficult moments.

I am a bit frightened that she and I are experiencing something so nearly matching one another. It can’t be that all widows go through this the same way. There too many of us


Maybe  it has to do with the fact that we’re related. Maybe it’s a family thing that if one of us is widowed we have that sense.

I’ve often wondered what my great grandmother felt because she was gone from her husband for a long long time before he died.

Now I have to wonder did she have the same sense because we’re related or was the emotional relationship change that she went through a signpost or notation that her experience after his death would be different.

I was much more comfortable with such

resonances when I was younger. I have such resonances in other areas of my life as well. I can’t deny they exist, although sometimes I would like to.

They are quite powerful but I am less comfortable with them than I was as a young person.

But I have a picture in my head of the two of us, my cousin and I, from different generations but experiencing the same thing. The play that she saw has now seeped in a little bit.  When I think of her, we are standing on the seashore, and two birds are flying just out of sight behind and above our left shoulders.


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