Hit Counter

Home About Writing Books Novels Blog contact

Wendy Mewes writing about Brittany


Part 1  October

Grief is a long road. You would think I knew long roads well, but there is no preparation
for the weight and pain of this.

Recently I had to say goodbye to my beloved dog, constant companion of the last thirteen and a half years. Imprinted on every page of every book. Partner in my story.

Grief is disorder and chaos, walking backwards, love with no outlet,
looking for a missing part.

I floundered without all our sweet routines. Leaving the house became an ordeal,
staying in it was awful. Long nights without sleep, long days without him.

For the first few weeks I believed walking would save me. But grief is indeed a long road to walk. It finds out every weakness in your stride and posture. It crushes impulsion.

I moved relentlessly, forcing action, along our favourite paths over the hills, around the park, by the sea, through forest and moor. I walked blindly, eyes swollen with tears,
limping out the route, remembering and crying, crying and remembering.
There was no consolation in nature, in those chilly flat visuals.

Familiarity hurt me like a sharp stone.

For territory unmarked by shared adventure, I took a new walk to an isolated chapel.
I wandered on an unknown beach. Where was my own connection through walking?
That profound sense of being an insider outside? Of being alive.

Muted to the mundane: scrunch of gravel underfoot, the thwack of a branch,
humdrum rustling. No music in the trees.

I was no more than an intruder in the landscape, muffled by grief wherever I went.
Angered by loneliness once so desired. No longer fitting in.

Grief is separation, torture by memory, intense absence, a white stone in the heart.

Walking is moving forward, making progress. Grief is restriction. Inside it there are no tracks or signposts. Moments of clinging to inklings and dreams in the darkness,
but no way illuminated. Imagine that, being pathless.

Then walking stopped. My body and dry heart simply gave up. No more echoing our steps.
No more empty treks. People keen to tell me that grief has stages, as if that helps, as if it will align miraculously with all the many journeys I have made. As if post-grief goals exist.

Just leave me alone, in the spot where I am. Months later. At absolute halt.

Part 2   November

November notices I am not walking,

Poses the lure of a pyrotechnic forest

Which leaves me cold.

Keep walking, some idiot says

So back to my place of tough passage

Where hauntings shimmer

On the sodden heath

I walk from the lowest point

(There’s no more starting on a high)

And come up onto a dark moor

Under a dark sky

With waves of wind

Unsettling the fixtures,

Letting wraiths go by

Without recognition

Walking this way is brutal

And unkind

A dark sun

Describes that broken line of dark rock

Where the track mounts slowly,

Dragging out the pain

And the same deceit

As walking again

A change in the light

Ahead signals

An opening or

More tricky adumbration

I turn back to look behind

To see where I have been,

Just checking,

And he is following me,

Taking his time.

I call him and he comes


To be heard again by love.

It makes me see.


A split stem from the storm,

Winter butterfly still trying,

These dead details emerge

And I start to remember all I have


Pouring over and over

Merging with that stream

Strimming the path.

I lie down on the wet stone

And tell him again and again

What I know and have learnt

From all our years

And each and every time

And as the dark sun vanishes

Below the dark moor

I am still here

Whispering in a dead dog’s ear.

Part 3   December

In tune with dying light, I take a solstice walk

Hoping to end somewhere other than

That same old place called grief.

Face to the strong sun, looking to relieve old pains,

I am thinking a lot of last things, and never agains.

The east wind is almost a stranger these warmer days,

But now it whips me all the way, zips up my edges into one

Sealed mourning parcel.

The wheel is turning. Don’t look back. Don’t search the moor for him. He always did blend in.

At the top of Tuchenn Gador

The stones await, like wizened old men wedged beside the bar.

Well, we have all seen better days.

The sun torments me in its slow decline

Through still bright sky,

Lingering an hour above the smouldering line

Of thick grey haze.

The shortest day is over, but every day is long,

Grief makes the time pass slowly,

It makes the right time wrong.

Spreading flares of sunset

Pink quartz points in the rock

Transform my field of vision

To one rose-tinted block.

Then, going down the hill

Silhouette against the fiery sky behind,

Down the hill something changes:

I am in my skin, fluent in walking

Joints working, the sad glue of deficit

Melting away in motion

The wheel is turning, don’t look back

For this sudden descent

The earth, the air, the solstice afterglow,

Pull back into alignment.

Alone upon the lonely moor, am I broken or mended?

Beginning or ended?

Moving faster and faster, trying to outsmart grief,

Dusk descends quickly too, running alongside me,

Grinning. For dark is what comes next.

And here he is in front of me

Waiting by the car, knowing

That what grief and walking are not about

Is getting there.

All text and photos on this site are © Wendy Mewes. Please don’t steal my work.