nnre (1)
The darkness runs deep in every human soul. Not evil, but darkness, which is altogether different. It is hard to put this into words, but I shall see what unfolds in this note. My darkest days were the direct result of memories of the highest light. That seven-year-old child gone forever, snatched away by the hand of a childhood cancer. Not only that, my 35 year-old self was gone as well. What to do but enter what no one wants to enter? The absence of light lasted a long time. The darkness, not velvet but jagged and fierce, came at me like a demon. It bared its teeth as I dared to walk through the Girl’s Department at Macy’s. “You cannot buy anything here,” it growled menacingly. And at night I would cry as quietly as I could. Only two men left in my household. My husband was stoic; so was our eleven-year-old son. The darkness had all three of us.

I yearned for another baby daughter, a new start might be my only hope. At forty I conceived again but miscarried before the third month. It was ignored. Everyone was relieved. I marched on. Time marched on. Grief was my sole companion.

Now I write about the light but only because I was tutored by the darkness. I knew I would not succumb, would not become a junkie or a mental patient or even a divorcee. I would stay the course, looking for God, looking for what could save me.

Even today darkness informs what I write. Light without shadow is too glaring and goody-two-shoed for one such as myself. I have put on the whole armor of God and stood in defiance of the darkness that drew my family into an ever tighter circle. First four, then three, now two.

I would like to hold each of you suffering losses in the hollow of my hand for I know what you go through in the course of an ordinary day. And especially on holidays. But about nine months ago, a shaman peeled my grief away to a considerable degree. I was ready or it would not have worked. I was ready to rejoin the company of the living.

I hope you are happy I made it. I hope you like what I write. It came with a price and it saved my life, more than likely.

Vicki Woodyard

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