It has been almost a year and a half since I last wrote on this blog. In my mind, this blog was complete. And yet, there was a lack of finality to it. Grief has no finality, though it does have evolution and change, while this blog does have finality simply because I have stopped writing on it. But I haven't stopped writing. I have started a new blog on various other topics and reflections. It's called Studies in Hope: A Close Reading of the Everyday. I thought it fitting to announce this new birth on what would have been Dan's 38th birthday, today- December 17th.
The writing I have done here kept me alive during the darkest time of my life. I have yet to go back and reread it all myself, but I will one day. But it wasn't just the process of writing that saved me; it was also the process of sharing my writing and my pain with strangers and friends alike. Having never been a "blogger" before, I have been surprised by this. I am so thankful to the readers who emailed me, encouraged me, or told me that my writing was helping them in their own journey. I met friends through this blog- some have become close. They began as strangers sending me an email and are now people I get together with, or am in contact with regularly.
Below this post, I have posted one final post- one that I feel is a proper last post. It is something I wrote for an essay contest with the given theme, "After the Unhappy Ending" this past September. It is a compendium or collection of vignettes that tries to create a new narrative around a season of life where I found myself without one. In the end, the narrative isn't found in my life events, but rather in the writing form itself.
The two poems I leave you with explain how I feel about my silence from now on here on this site. Not only words, but silence as well, can depict grief and loss- and perhaps even better. As Longfellow says below- silence isn't about hiding grief or compartmentalizing- it is truly about "sanctifying." To echo Dickinson's words, "To fight aloud, is very brave," but sometimes it's "gallanter" to carry on with your pain and your fight unobserved, without articulation, in a living sepulchre of the heart.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow- from By the Fireside, Resignation- the last two stanzas of a beautiful poem he wrote after the death of his young daughter.
|And though at times impetuous with emotion|| 45|
| And anguish long suppressed,|
|The swelling heart heaves moaning like the ocean,|
| That cannot be at rest,—|
|We will be patient, and assuage the feeling|
| We may not wholly stay;|| 50|
|By silence sanctifying, not concealing,|
| The grief that must have way.|
To fight aloud, is very brave -
But gallanter, I know
Who charge within the bosom
The Calvary of Wo -
Who win, and nations do not see -
Who fall - and none observe -
Whose dying eyes, no Country
Regards with patriot love -
We trust, in plumed procession
For such, the Angels go -
Rank after Rank, with even feet -
And Uniforms of snow.