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.
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.
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.
To fight aloud, is very brave –But gallanter, I knowWho charge within the bosomThe Calvary of Wo –
Who win, and nations do not see –Who fall – and none observe –Whose dying eyes, no CountryRegards with patriot love –
We trust, in plumed processionFor such, the Angels go –Rank after Rank, with even feet –And Uniforms of snow.