The Joyful Goodbye

They say time heals a broken heart but some pieces never fit back together. None of us know what happens to us when we leave this world except for the fact that we leave a hole in the hearts of those who love us.

The town looked like something out of a fairytale as he opened his eyes to the sound of the birds chirping and the morning sun slowly creeping into his room. It had been many years and the view outside his window had seen more seasons than he could remember. He had seen people fall in love for the first time in the midst of the blossoms and seen hearts broken as the rain masked their tears when they walked away. 

But the first day of spring always seemed to give people a sense of new beginnings and hope that made them bustle around earlier than usual.

He reminisced, as he slowly limped out of bed that morning, how beautiful their street had looked the day they had brought their son home for the first time. Chuckled, as he remembered the small bundle in his wife’s arms and the look on her face as her eyes met his, blurry with tears of joy as she held their son.

The walker scraped across the kitchen floor as he poured himself cereal in a bowl and drew up a chair. He knew people thought of him as a senile old man as he chattered about his week and slowly ate his breakfast in the empty kitchen. The chair beside him had been empty for quite some time now. It had been many moons since he had laid the love of his life in the ground but her presence was still all over the house. The paintings she was too shy to show the world hung all over the house proudly and the armchair was still near the fireplace the way she had always liked it. 

He washed the bowl and kept it back on the shelf as he walked slowly towards the living room and settled in his chair and looked at the family portrait on the mantelpiece. His son and his family had visited him yesterday and he looked fondly at his granddaughters who always looked like little angels as they ran up and hugged him. They had raised a good man, he sighed to himself as he had once again pleaded with his father to come live with them but he waved him away with a frail smile.

He had promised her he would learn to move on after she left. Learn to live without that beautiful laugh or picking up the books and coffee mugs all over the house. The way she handled her son’s tantrums or the way she never held a grudge when he lost his temper. Without looking into those mesmerising eyes or waking up next to her every single day. Learn to live without the coffee he used to place next to her as he  kissed her forehead and whispered it was time to wake up. Or that childish pout that he could never say no to even after sixty years of marriage.

The trees outside the window danced gracefully as a tear streaked down his face as he remembered the small things that had filled his heart his whole life. She had been his entire world since the day he had met her. A world she had created with her beautiful mind filled with memories and fulfilling each other’s dreams as they had raised their son together. It had been a good life and he had lived it at its full. 

“I will see you soon, my love” he whispered to the dying fire in the fireplace.

Spring was finally here after a long and painful winter and he greeted it with open arms one last time.

Mirali Sridhar

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