Rising Tide

Death is such a heavy word, thinks Maura; the waves lap and splash around her. She sits on the rock, and the sun dips under the bleakness of her sorrow-laden heart. She wipes tears from her eyes and wishes she could turn back time.

Last week she was settling into her new life as a happy wife, and the future lay before them like a sun-bathed prairie. They had returned from their blissful honeymoon, and the world seemed to shower them with good fortune. On that day, Maura had dared to believe in a radiant forever. How she paid for her temerity!

Painful sobs erupt in her chest, and hot lava spills over her eyelids. Tears heavy with death roll down her cheeks, and she puts her head in her hands and wails. She buckles under the sorrow of a wrecked car and a husband’s life ended by a drunk driver who will never experience the aftermath: a future ripped from Maura’s heart. A tornado rages through her mind as the ocean licks the rock, and the surf surrounds her as the tide rises.

The sun sinks into the water, and Maura knows she must leave the spot where he proposed to her before it disappears under the waves. Even the ocean wants to take back all the happiness it brought her.

Wouldn’t it be better to stay and let the sea drown her in her grief?

“No,” the ocean whispers, as the waves kiss her bare feet and play on her toes, “I’ll spit you back out.”

And Maura knows it is only a passing fantasy in a flash of despair. She cannot leave yet. She stands up and walks inland from the beach. She pauses and gazes toward the rock as shallow waves roll over it. Placing a loving hand on her belly, she smiles; Death left her a precious gift.


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