MidReal Story

Healing Meadows: A Journey of Grief and Hope

Scenario: All was peaceful and serenaded in the meadow. Then kissed his face as he stared into sun.
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All was peaceful and serenaded in the meadow. Then kissed his face as he stared into sun.
I hadn’t been to the meadow since my wife died.
It was too hard, too painful.
But I needed to go back.
I needed to feel something other than the crushing weight of my grief.
I needed to find a way to live again.
The meadow was the only place I knew where that might be possible.
The sun was high in the sky when I arrived, and I had to squint against its brightness as I stepped out of my car and into the meadow.
The tall grasses swayed gently in the breeze, and the air was filled with the sweet scent of wildflowers.
The sound of birdsong filled my ears, and I closed my eyes for a moment, letting it wash over me.
When I opened them again, I saw that nothing had changed.
The meadow was still there, just as it had always been, and yet it felt different somehow.
It felt like it was waiting for me, like it had been expecting me all along.
The meadow had been a part of our lives for as long as I could remember.
Clara and I used to come here all the time, to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and just be together.
But that was before everything changed.
Before she got sick.
Before she died.
I had never been back since, and it felt strange to be here now, without her.
It felt strange to be here at all, after so many years.
But when Dr.
Benson suggested that I come, I didn’t hesitate.
He was my therapist and a dear friend, and he thought that being in this place might help me feel better.
He thought that it might help me heal.
And God knows I needed that.
I had spent the last year wandering through my life like a ghost, feeling nothing but grief and pain.
Like the rest of the world, my heart was frozen and dormant, and I didn’t know how to thaw it out again.
But as I walked through the meadow, I felt a flicker of something inside of me, something that was almost like hope.
The sun was warm on my skin, and the grass was soft beneath my feet, and as I kept walking, I let myself remember what it was like to be happy here, with Clara.
The meadow seemed unchanged since we had last been here, as if it were somehow immune to the passage of time.
I could almost see her there in my mind’s eye, sitting in one of her favorite spots and waiting for me to join her.
She used to come here even when I couldn’t make it, just so she could bask in its beauty and smell its sweet perfume.
It was one of the things she loved most about this place, about life, about being alive.
Life is a precious gift, she would say, one that we should cherish every single day.
And even though I had lost the ability to do that, even though I was struggling to find a reason to keep going, I knew that she would want me to try.
I knew that she would want me to find my way back toward the light.
The meadow was the first step on that journey, or at least that’s what Dr.
Benson thought.
He said that I needed to confront the past if I wanted to move forward, and that if I could come back here again without feeling like my heart was being ripped out of my chest, then maybe we were getting somewhere.
So far, he was right.
It still hurt, but not as much as it used to.
And maybe someday soon it wouldn’t hurt at all.
As I kept walking, I thought about what Dr.
Benson would say if he were here with me now.
He would probably tell me how proud he was of me, for taking this step and coming back to a place that meant so much to both of us.
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I didn’t think I was ready.
I don’t think I ever would be.
But I didn’t have much choice.
I needed to try.
I needed to find a way to feel alive again.
I needed to remember what it was like to be happy.
I needed to remember Clara.
When I reached my favorite spot in the meadow, I sat down on the ground and closed my eyes.
I took a deep breath and let myself remember.
I let myself remember what it was like to be happy with her.
And when I opened them again, everything was different.
The colors were brighter, more vibrant than they had been before.
The yellows were yellower and the blues were bluer and the reds were redder.
Everything was covered in sparkles, as if someone had sprinkled glitter all over the meadow while I wasn’t looking.
The air was filled with the sweet scent of wildflowers, and I could hear her laughter all around me.
It was everywhere and nowhere at once, filling my ears and my heart until it was all I could think about.
Her laughter had been one of my favorite things about her.
It had been so full of life, so full of joy, so full of love.
And I missed it more than anything else in the world.
I missed her more than words could say, and as I sat there in this beautiful, magical place, all I could think about was how much I wanted her back.
I missed everything about her, everything that made her so special and unique.
I missed her warm smile and her gentle touch and most of all, I missed the way she looked at me like I was the only man in the world who mattered.
My vision blurred as tears welled up in my eyes, and for a moment, I let myself cry.
I let myself cry because I missed her, because I loved her, because I would never see her again.
I let myself cry because I was angry and sad and broken, and because I didn’t know what else to do.
I let myself cry because it was time that I did, and because Dr.
Benson said that I should.
When he gave me his blessing to come here, he said that he wanted me to embrace these memories rather than run from them, and that if they were too much for me to handle on my own, he wanted me to call him instead.
He said that he was here for me whenever I needed him, day or night, rain or shine, for better or for worse.
And for that reason alone, I pulled out my phone and dialed his number without thinking twice.
As soon as he answered on the other end of the line, he said two words that brought tears to my eyes all over again.
“I remember,” he said with a smile in his voice that made me feel better than I had in months, maybe even years.
“I remember what you told me.You said that you would never forget this place or what it means to you.”
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We were both fine, but we were soaking wet, and covered in mud from head to toe, and it took us forever to clean up after ourselves when we got home.
But even though it had been a pain in the ass to clean up after ourselves, we still had a great time, and as soon as we were done, we went back outside to do it all over again.
I remember how Clara had laughed when she realized what I was doing, and how she had smiled at me with her big blue eyes when she saw that there was still a lot of mud left over from before.
I remember how much fun we had playing together outside, and how it made me feel like a kid again, and how it brought us even closer than we had already been.
I remember how happy it had made us to do something so unexpected, so spontaneous, so ridiculous, together, and how it turned a boring old Thursday afternoon into something that neither of us would ever forget.
I remember how much fun we had on that day, and how much more fun we would have after that, and how much fun we would have after that too.
I remember how many great memories we had created for ourselves over the years, good ones and bad ones alike, but most of all, I remember how many great memories we would never be able to create together again.
“Don’t you think you’re taking this a little far?”
he asked when he saw what I was doing, and when he saw the tears shining in my eyes.
“Don’t you think you’re going to be here for a while?”
“I have nowhere else to go,” I told him with a shrug of my shoulders as I turned off my phone and tucked it back inside my pocket, “and nothing better to do.”
There was no other place that I wanted to be.”
The gray clouds overhead had started to clear up by then, revealing a bright blue sky that went on for miles and miles and miles, as far as I could see.
The sun was out in full force, shining down on us with all its strength, casting long shadows on the ground below, and making everything look clean and fresh and new again.
The air smelled sweet and warm, and a gentle breeze blew through the trees, making them sway back and forth like they were dancing with each other, or waving at us to say hello.
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I looked around the meadow as if seeing it for the first time in forever with wide eyes that felt like they were seeing everything for the first time in forever, as if they were realizing that nothing had changed since that awful day when Clara died.
The flowers were still there, growing in tall green stalks that went up past my ankles with bright red petals that looked like they were on fire.
I walked through them slowly as if afraid that they would burn me up if I touched them, but they didn’t.
They didn’t look like they had changed at all since the last time that she had been here with me.
Some of the other flowers were pink or yellow or orange or purple or white or blue or green or black or brown or gray or silver or gold or… well, you get the idea.
It was impossible to count how many different kinds of flowers were growing in the meadow because there were just too many of them to count.
There were wildflowers growing inside the flowerbeds that Clara had loved so much – daisies and violets and lilies of the valley – as well as flowers that were growing outside the flowerbeds that Clara had loved just as much – poppies and sunflowers and roses.
There was a small patch of grass surrounded by flowers that was starting to turn brown just like the rest of the meadow was starting to turn brown too.
There was a small wooden bench sitting on the edge of the patch of grass that was starting to turn brown too, next to a small bookshelf filled with books that Clara had loved to read.
Reading was one of her favorite things to do when she had been alive.
She had loved to read all kinds of different books – fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, horror stories, romances – but most of all she had loved to read outside in the summertime when she could feel the warm sun on her face while she read.
She had read all of the books on the shelf at least once before she died, but she had never read any of them again.
I walked over to the bench slowly as if afraid that it would fall apart if I sat down on it, but it didn’t.
It didn’t look like it had changed at all since the last time that she had been here with me either.
It was hard to believe how long it had been since she died because nothing looked like it had changed at all.
As I continued to walk around the meadow slowly, I saw a small tree growing in the middle of the meadow that was starting to turn brown just like everything else was starting to turn brown too.
I saw a small stream running through the meadow that was starting to dry up just like everything else was starting to dry up too.
I saw a small pond shimmering in the sunlight that was starting to evaporate just like everything else was starting to evaporate too.
But most of all, I saw a large tree growing near the center of the meadow with thick branches covered in dark green leaves that were starting to fall off just like everything else was starting to fall apart too.
The tree had been there long before we had ever come here.
We used to lay down underneath it in the summertime when we were hot from playing in the sun, but we hadn’t done that in a long time.
Clara had never gotten a chance to say goodbye to it either.
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