This is in the nature of a post script; the last two journal entries came about because of my feelings after my friends’ son died. I chose to talk about my grief for Paul but could also have dwelt upon the daily attrition which comes from living with a consummate burglar, multiple sclerosis.
I wanted to share my belief that grief belongs with other inexpressible human feelings, feelings that require us to use an ‘as if’. I have to say: “I ring with joy” when I enter a great cathedral. In the same way my poem stated that I was hurled, winded on to the beach. Both experiences require metaphor.
So here is another metaphor: A life full of grief need not be stunted or maimed. I have a very tall garden where almost all the trees compete upwards for the sunlight. But one of my trees, unexpectedly called a smoke bush, has chosen a different journey. The trunk is only about 20 feet high and from it extend at a 45° angle to east, north and west, branches that are 20 - 40 feet long. At this time of year, the tree is turning dramatically, so along these extended braches there are red-gold, orange, yellow and green leaves. The area of colour is greater than if the branches had gone upwards.
So, in a life that contains the poignancy of grief, the growth may still be dazzling.