She came to me again in my dreams. An ethereal floating image of raven-haired beauty, silky-smooth skin and unsullied eyes, gleaming between the tresses of her hair. The intense emotions my dreams gave me left me with a tender heart even after all these months of her untimely demise.
Tania had departed this life a year and a half back, stricken down by a cruel illness, burning up her body from within without warning. Three months of endless agony, pleading, and a host of questions unanswered.
We knew right then why she was barren. We had never managed to conceive a child due to this evil growth. I could not comprehend why God had punished us thus. Hadn’t we always been good people? Hadn’t we always loved each other tirelessly? Why did this have to happen to us? So many questions that will forever be at the forefront of human questioning. We began to doubt the existence of a supreme being.
As if in a dream, I began to reminisce about one of the last times we had been together. I recall that it was a warm early autumn night, and we had just arrived home after a nice long walk along the promenade. We loved the old town just after summer ended , not too many people around, and so tranquil. Our quiet little home had always been our haven. Small cosy rooms, mostly candle-lit at night, to create the warmth and togetherness we both craved. We had made long passionate love all through the night, basking in the afterglow that only a healthy relationship could provide.
It was the last time we had been whole as husband and wife. Soon after, the tiredness began creeping in. At first we thought it was just the doldrums of a long winding summer in which we both had worked hard. But the fatigue would last for days. Professional help both allayed our fears to what was happening. This was the signal that the world was about to come crashing around us both.
Endless tests, agony and crying could not, would not, stop the inexorable progress of the demon inside Tania. Her eyes remained defiant, challenging the very same illness, trying to battle through, but to no avail.
She died peacefully in her sleep on a Sunday morning, a day dear to her. The dawn light was grey and misty, as if wanting to hide this terrible deed from the world. As the doctor stepped outside and offered his condolences, I was thankful for the downpour.
Nobody sees your tears when you’re crying in the rain.
An endless procession of well-wishing relatives did nothing to relieve the heaviness that had settled like a stone on my heart. I refused to host a wake, not wanting to sully my house with people who were as strangers to me.
The days following the funeral were the worst in my life. I would spend days just going to her grave beneath the willow adjacent to the creek just up a nearby path. I would kneel at her headstone, talking. About the new batch of kittens our cat had produced. About the poultry that was thriving. About the stream that was now burgeoning at the banks with the coming of autumn.
Autumn. The season that is most paralleled to the slowing down of life, before the onset of winter would make our hair grow white and make our souls stronger together.
For Tania there was no such season as autumn. She was taken from me in the brightest period of our years together, during her summer zenith.
A year and a half has now passed, and the endless nights have only been relieved by the presence of Roy, my faithful setter, who has intelligently seen to my every need by simply being there. A year and a half of mourning.
Tomorrow is another day. Spring has crept on to us in a rush, and new shoots are springing out from every corner in the fields, under the trees, around Tania’s grave, bringing new hope to the needy and the hurt.
Yes enough time has passed for me to catch up with life again. Many times I have thought about ending my suffering, but I knew that this was not what Tania would have wanted. She would have liked me to go on and be strong. Yes, to mourn, and to move ahead. Not forget, but move on.
Yes, tomorrow is another day that is a further step in healing…
…and another day in Paradise for Tania.
Copyright 2008 – Christopher Grillo – firstname.lastname@example.org