I laid my love to rest today. When I say my love, I actually mean my ex-husband, the father of my three daughters. The divorce wasn’t of my choosing; in a way it wasn’t of his either. It’s a complicated story, I won’t tell it here. He was a man I feared. He was also the only man I’ve ever loved, and the divorce didn’t change that – I could no longer live with him, but I didn’t stop loving him. There’s an element of relief that the fear is over; but it is dwarfed by the overwhelming sense of grief. There was an opportunity before he died to speak words of forgiveness and reconciliation. I know that by the end he was at peace with God and we will meet again one day. In trying to find words for my grief and hope, I wrote this poem which I read at the service of thanksgiving for his life:
Your arrival came too soon for me,
So that it seemed no coming, but a leaving;
More like a vessel putting out to sea
Than what it was – the Father’s arms receiving
The son his heart had yearned so long to see.
Nothing but the lapping of the waves
Remains, a quiet wake behind your sailing,
And the deep echo in the distant caves,
And the sea-mist, your last departure veiling,
And the sad lapping, lapping of the waves.
But, beyond where mortal eyes can see,
A Father on a distant shore is dancing,
Powerless to contain the ecstasy
At seeing his dear child so close advancing.
I know you rest where you were born to be;
But your arrival came too soon for me.