By Helly Eaton
The wishbone tree is a simple but special place in the wilds of West Dorset. It’s set on high ground with to-die-for views (he did), and we scattered Robin’s ashes there (‘ashes’ still sounds so surreal…) I go there a lot to sit and stare, to think, to wish for better things, to talk to Robin and to listen. Thoughts, feelings, plans and messages trickle (and sometimes rush) through my mind. These are just a few of them…
Walking with Freya on the hill is about all I can do some days. It helps me think. Focus. The quiet and solitude is undemanding and comforting. I realize now that living a day at a time means I’ve lost the ability to think beyond tomorrow. It’s anathema to me to make plans, write appointments in a diary, commit myself to anything in the future, tomorrow or next week, never mind next month or beyond. It’s now all about being spontaneous, but only when the time is right. It’s about going out and then, suddenly, wanting to run home. It’s 11 weeks today since he left, and yesterday was worse than ever. The clocks going forward for spring is usually a time of celebration in our house – more daylight, longer evenings full of rambles and possibilities, spring ready to burst and tantalizing summer on its way – positive, bright and happy.
But not this time. I had the ability in winter to hunker down, stay in, close the doors and shut the world out, hibernate, be alone with myself. These sunny days, though unquestionably gorgeous, just seem to open the wounds wider.
Sunshine and evening light bring back memories of spur of the moment visits to the coast, exploring new places, new pubs and eateries, delicious drives, seeing friends, just heading out when we felt like it. Now that same brightness is making the looming ‘emptiness’ of long sunny days seem endlessly stark and bleak. Nowhere to hide.
So now raw hurt and pain puncture my nights. Then, as the tiredness leaves me more vulnerable, I just want to close the door to that ghoulish gaping future without him. I want to scream. My eyes are endlessly leaking and I now have just the slightest inkling why people choose to end it all, why ‘going home’ may seem infinitely preferable to staying here alone with the heartbreak.
I’m sure I wouldn’t. I’m sure I couldn’t. I know it’ll pass. Soon…
There are messages on the phone I should reply to. But what can I say. Everyone I know, even those I love, seem so far removed from where I am now. I’m on a different planet and even though everyone’s super sympathetic and lovely in their ways, all trying to help and make suggestions, no one can ‘walk this path’ but me. I know, understand and accept that I have to get through this myself.
So please, just for now folks, leave me alone. I’ll try to do ‘normal’ when I’ve figured out some kind of future and can walk back in through the right door. I just can’t deal with you as well as me right now. I’m full of grieving and that’s just the way it is. For now.
About the Author------
Helly Eaton is a former award-winning journalist, editor and complementary health practitioner and teacher. After the death of her beloved husband she discovered a special place, the wishbone tree, which has become her friend and confidante, teaching her valuable lessons about living and surviving life's traumas, lessons she now shares with others. She lives in a village near Beaminster, Dorset, UK.
You can find her book, Tales From the Wishbone Tree, on amazon.