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Oct 10

In her shadow

Posted on Friday, October 10, 2008 in Philosophy, Poems and things, Something to think about

I remember when she was born, my Emily.  We were close at first, she and I would spend hours talking and trying to make sense of the world, sometimes long into the night.  When we were finished I would lie beside her and keep her warm and safe in the knowledge that she was loved unconditionally.

As she grew and other worldly interests held her attention, we spoke less and less… she slowly forgot about me which is the natural order I suppose.  Nevertheless I stayed with her.  I walked with her through dark evenings on her way home from school and held her hand.  When she wrestled with the enormous volume of schoolwork that had been laid before her, I didn’t interfere, instead I quietly placed helpful material in her path to aid her inspiration, but she never thanked me for it.

I remember well the early days of her marriage… a misplaced match by all accounts but I said nothing, for it’s better that she learns from her mistakes.  I watched her anguish as she slowly realised her husband was not the man she first thought he was and I remember the worst night of all… the drunken tornado of abuse she suffered, left crumpled on the bedroom floor like discarded underwear, with violet bruises erupting on her beautiful complexion.  She lay on the floor with vomit dripping from her hair and fresh blood seeping from her recently inhabited womb and I said nothing, for all I could do was sit beside her and hold her tightly, trying to help her feel that it wasn’t a way out she was now looking for now, but a way back in.  I couldn’t hide the pills from her that night, all I could do was grasp her hands and lend her my strength – I poured wordless encouragement into her heart until the morning came and kept her alive – kept myself alive.  I think she remembered us that night as we used to be… forgotten childhood friends… though I can’t be sure.

How she grieved for her lost child!  It was a source of infinite comfort for me, ample thanks for the love I’d given her in the past and I told her so, even though she couldn’t hear me.  I explained to her in her dreams one night,  I explained that the child was an error, that it could not have been born, for its soul belonged to me.  I explained that one day, when she departed, I would be born to a different mother and it would then be Emily’s turn to nurture my mortal soul.  This is how things work with Guardian Angels, this is how it has always worked.

I stay in her shadow now… I push the forceful words out of her mouth when she needs strength, I close her eyes to the things she should not see and I turn her in the direction of the things she should.  I think she knows I’m here – she feels the warmth of my support and berates herself for entertaining the notion that I exist but she still knows deep down.

Just like you know deep down.  On those nights when the silence seems oppressive and you feel despair clawing at the edge of your mind, know you’re not alone.  Right now you’re being loved by somebody you’ve forgotten all about but it’s okay, this is how it’s meant to be.  Stay very very silent and you’ll feel it, listen closely and you’ll hear it – the love of your minder, your connected soul.  There’s no such thing as an imaginary friend.  We’re very, very real.

Image source

Bring on the comments

  1. Aidan says:

    That is a really beautiful piece. At first I was not sure if I was reading a meassage from a mother to daughter but as it became clear that your piece was about something more spiritual it became even more powerful. Thank you.

  2. Darragh says:

    K8, wow, that was very……. Abstract doesn’t really fit but, neither does any other description I can think of either so it’ll do.

    Very good stuff though. Do you actually feel that you have that connection?

  3. this is just so, so beautiful…

  4. Granny says:

    Harrowing story at the same time it gives me comfort which is a paradox?

  5. TenaciousT says:

    OMG you are making me tearful in work- excellent piece!

  6. Doc says:

    tears before breakfast is it?

    nicely done.

    it’s put me in a mood though; likely i’ll have to kill 2 dwarfs today.

  7. Edladd says:

    Awesome – in the true sense of the work, not it a ridiculous faux-american way. You have a great style of writing, both this and your “another saturday” piece were exceptional – I’m going to have to trawl your blog this weekend for more of the same.

  8. Brianf says:

    Too too cool

  9. K8 says:

    Aidan; Thanks for linking back to me!!! I wasn’t expecting that at all, I feared the content of this was somewhat pfaffy if there is such a word so you’re heartily welcome.

    Darragh; When I was barely able to speak, I described my deceased Grandfather perfectly to my Dad, saying that he was standing at the end of my cot and smiling and chatting with me. Since then there have been one or two occasions when I’m convinced Grandad (my Grandad, not Grandad himself – sigh) has intervened once or twice in my life, so yes! I most definitely feel the connection :)

    Thriftcriminal; It’s the time of year for central heating, there’s no putting it off any longer. I’m chilly too.

    Tatty Franey; Thank you! I’d hoped it’s not too ‘out-there’ :)

    Mum; It’s okay, only the product of a warped mind!

    TenaciousT; Really?!?! *Bless* Thank you :)

    Doc; Don’t forget to check Snow White’s culling list first… I think Bashful is endangered these days.

    Edladd; Wow thanks, much appreciated! I haven’t done much fiction though apart from The Insect Queen and Infinity- a not so short story. This might save you some time! It didn’t occur to me before that people would find my crazy brain farts entertaining so I’ll do more soon :)

    Xbox4NappyRash; Ta very much!!

    Brianf; Yo welcome! Dad was reading out your Skypy messages just now – quare’n entertaining :) Glad to see Iceland’s going cheap.

  10. Inheriting your Da’s humour?

  11. K8 says:

    Oops, sorry, yes. I’m attending a support group and I’ll definitely keep it in check in the future. Sorry about that.

  12. Grannymar says:

    Couldn’t make up my mind whether it was fact or fiction.

    Very good story!

  13. downsdad says:

    Oh I don’t want to burst the mood or anything, but here’s what happened me on Wednesday. I was ogling the tall and terribly attractive eastern European woman as she walked past my bike at the lights on Lombard Street, quays-bound pedestrian rush hour, 8.40am. In my don’t-get-caught way, naturellement. But I did get caught.

    And I looked away.

    With my I-was-glancing-away-anyway-okay? look.

    And then I sneaked another look. And my guardian angel had interposed a short, rotund woman between us, obliterating but entirely the view I had expected.

    And I could hear that fucker laughing, I swear. So thanks for bringing it all up, K8, and as for the other, I don’t doubt your reality for a second, you, but that was entirely unnecessary.

  14. Baino says:

    Just lovely. I had an imaginary friend called Rena when I was young. Where the name came from nobody knows I wish I could ‘feel’ her around “on those nights when the silence seems oppressive and you feel despair clawing at the edge of your mind” because it’s then that I feel most alone.

    Although I’m not sure I would like my connected soul to be watching everything I do! Beautifully put though. You’re such a clever petal.

  15. Mine was called Gadger, and he could turn into a rooster that could fly faster than sound.

  16. K8 says:

    Grannymar; Thank you! Tis fiction, pure fiction.

    Downsdad; Ahh see that b’aint your Guardian Angel, that would be God and her most excellent sense of humour. :)

    Baino; It’s okay that they can see those ‘private moments’ though, because they have a higher understanding and love us for our faults and deep secrets. They don’t judge. At least that’s how I’d like to think it works!

    Thriftcriminal; There’s a Bobbit joke in there somewhere!!!!

  17. Maxi Cane says:


    I never had an imaginary friend, I had an imaginary youth club group that would always pick me last for football!!!!

  18. K8 says:

    I always got picked last. My imaginary friend was a sawn-off shotgun.

  19. Simply beautiful work. I cannot remember who told me to visit your blog, but I;m glad they did.

  20. K8 says:

    Thanks! Pull up a chair :) I’m glad they did, too.

  21. Bravo K8! It is a very…very touching story. Keep ’em coming! :)

  22. Wow that was great and again staright from the heart. I am glad to see there is other people in this world who have a heart and do care. Keep up the good work.

  23. Lee says:

    Very beautiful and moving. I’m pretty sure I’ve got a guardian angel. I’ve also got a late friend who keeps an eye on me. :)

    Congratulations on making David’s Post of the Day list. Well deserved!

    Peace! Hope! & Joy!

  24. I’m still shivering…with delight…congrats on POTD mention…

  25. moannie says:

    OK. Here from David’s POTD and I am a bit bemused. I thought the story was gripping and I love your writing, it was well done, but is it something that happened to you, are you the girl/woman? Is it an idea for a novel?

    Whatever it is, or is going to be I’ll be back now that I have found you, ‘cos you are a unique voice.

  26. All I have to say this time is that I wish I could write like you do sometimes. Jealousy will get me nowhere!

  27. K8 says:

    Jefferson; Thanks petal! I’m racking my brain for more inspiration, I really am. It seems to have buggered off elsewhere for a while though.

    Vicky; Cheers :) It’s all just a bit of nonsense really.

    Lee; Hello and welcome! Thanks for leaving a comment, I’m glad you feel the connection, I think it’s important in these days of cynicysm.

    Sandi McBride; Thanks for visiting :) So chuffed with the link!

    Moannie; Nah, it’s nothing that happened to me thank goodness, just something that appeared in my head as I was writing it. You’re bang on, though, it is an idea for a novel that I’ve been trying to formulate, thought I’d give it a trial run here to see how it went down – success :)) Thanks for commenting.

    Gray Wright; What a lovely thing to say, thanks – it makes the frustrating search for inspiration a bit easier. Don’t be jealous though, a warped mind is a strange thing to live with ;)

  28. Annie says:

    Wow, didn’t know where this post would lead me… that was … beautiful – is that the right word?… yes, i think it is, it definitely is. Really well done!

  29. K8 says:

    Thanks Annie :) Really glad you liked it.

  30. Oh this is superb, K8!

    Get thee to a publisher, woman!

  31. K8 says:

    Thanks Sam… but I hate having to do stuff :) I prefer writing about doing stuff instead.

  32. […] Miscarriage is one of those feelings that stays inside a person.  Even though the body is gone, the memory persists, an innate feeling that one has failed in a responsibility to another human being.  Somebody died on my watch.  It’s a tough cross to bear sometimes, and if left to fester can cause a multitude of other problems.  It needs to be let out, so let it out.  Talk.  Listen.  Remember that tiny pile of cells to somebody else, write stories about it. […]

  33. […] is a beautifully written post on K8 the GR8′s blog. If you have a few minutes to read it, I think that you will find it very […]

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