The Bridge of Love

A detail of the Bridge of Love in Kiev

A detail of the Bridge of Love in Kiev (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love.”

A friend who has also faced the agony of sudden death of a loved one introduced me to this Thornton Wilder quote on the day of M’s funeral. I didn’t understand it at the time, but it has started to make sense to me as time has gone on. I have frantically tried to reach Him since He died – I am weary with it – but I have to finally accept that nothing will bring Him back from the land in which He now resides. Only my love for Him remains.

Accepting this is the thing I’m having most trouble with. I see graveyards with their lines of tombstones and floral tributes. The hyacinth-studded world of the dead. But I cannot place M in that world – probably because He doesn’t belong in it yet. So where is He? I have tussled with this question night after night. Where is He? Where are You? He is neither here nor there. (He is in the bottom of my wardrobe, actually, but that’s just dust.)

This is why giving Him up to the grave is so unthinkable for me at the moment. Placing His remains in the ground and marking them with a headstone is so final, so permanent. It is akin to upping anchor on His ship and sending Him off to that land of no return. At least while He’s dust in my wardrobe He is still within reach. I feel as if I’m in choppy waters at the moment, that anchor is the only thing keeping me from being set adrift.