Life at the end of a tunnel

Helplessness: that dull, sick feeling of not being the one at the reins.

She woke up with a start as if she heard something. Her hands frantically searched and scratched the linen on the other side of the bed. It was empty; not even a crease landed in her palm. She started breathing hard; covered with sweat and discomfort. It was not just a feeling of loneliness but something more – a sensation of being in a known place that was slowly turning into an alien to her. Her sleep was more accustomed to her husband’s tossing, turning and painful sighs in his sleep – a movement, a happening, that she got used to and was comforted with – as it meant – he was still around to be felt, to be hugged – it meant that she still had someone to look and care for; it meant she had chores; it meant she had a reason to go on living and it meant she was alive and a reason to smile at times.

She held the sheet with all her might and let our her shrill cry. It was more of anger than grief that spilled out. Her feet went up and down in a frenzy – building and stretching folds of cloth as her messy and uneven mind. Her cries rose as helplessness exploded in her head, spreading and paralyzing the rest of her body – only capable to wail louder but unable to move and feel her self. Her deep shut eyes expelled tears like a roaring,raging river that had recently lost its ocean – its journey and its destination. She was angry, for he had left her alone to deal with everything but him. For the first time in a month, since he had passed away – she was not just grieving with silent sadness but she was mourning with inefficacy – loud and clear.

Suddenly, a whiff of light air moved on her face as she stayed immobile and fixated in the darkness of her room. She slowly opened her eyes. There was nothing around but she felt a soft hand – as if his fingers traveled to her forehead – comforting her, stroking her, quieting her down. She slowed down – faint hiccups ascended in air and died as she closed her eyes again. A cloud of relief hovered over her. Unseen, but he was very much there as a presence within – breathing and living in her consciousness – diffusing her helplessness away. She released the lump of sheet – relaxed her arms and feet, her breathing slowed, her heart moved gently. Everything felt quiet again as she fell asleep with a small smile resting on her lips. He wanted her to go on and it was enough of a reason to live, to smile again.


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