Come, walk with me
by Emily Brontë
Come, walk with me,
There’s only thee
To bless my spirit now –
We used to love on winter nights
To wander through the snow;
Can we not woo back old delights?
The clouds rush dark and wild
They fleck with shade our mountain heights
The same as long ago
And on the horizon rest at last
In looming masses piled;
While moonbeams flash and fly so fast
We scarce can say they smiled –
Come walk with me, come walk with me;
We were not once so few
But Death has stolen our company
As sunshine steals the dew –
He took them one by one and we
Are left the only two;
So closer would my feelings twine
Because they have no stay but thine –
‘Nay call me not – it may not be
Is human love so true?
Can Friendship’s flower droop on for years
And then revive anew?
No, though the soil be wet with tears,
How fair soe’er it grew
The vital sap once perished
Will never flow again
And surer than that dwelling dread,
The narrow dungeon of the dead
Time parts the hearts of men -‘
Time parts the hearts of men
I arrived at the funeral covered in snow. Someone took my coat, and I rushed to one of the last seats that were not yet taken at the back of the church. They had already begun saying some nice words about her that would never be nice enough. She was one of the kindest and last people I knew. I looked around me and saw countless faces I didn’t recognise. New friends, I imagined. I eventually recognised her family on the right end of the first row. I recognised her husband and her two kids I had once seen on Facebook. I didn’t see her parents, so they must have passed away a while ago. It was about time they did. Not that I didn’t love them, but I think they both had dementia and were living in an elderly home. They’re “in a better place now,” they would have said.
After the service had ended, everyone went outside to the graveyard through the door at the front. I didn’t feel like watching tears of people I didn’t even know wet the soil and went out through the back door. That’s when I saw him. At first, I thought it was just wishful thinking, but he was still standing there a few seconds later, so I knew it couldn’t be my mind playing tricks with me. Seeing him again felt as if someone had finally lifted a weight that had been on my shoulders for years, and I could feel my whole body relax. I didn’t feel alone for the first time in forever. He looked up at me, and for a second he had the same look on his face as I did: relief combined with a little bit of grief. I couldn’t help but think about all of the times we had wandered through the snow on winter nights together, and I longed for that feeling of being understood that I had felt back then. He now was the only one I had left. Without hesitation, I approached him and said, “It’s sad how Death has stolen our company. At least I still have you. Come walk with me like we did when we were younger.” For a moment, I saw only the relief in his eyes as he opened his mouth as if he was about to say something, but the relief quickly turned into grief, and he took a moment before saying, “I don’t think that’s a good idea. Let’s not reopen wounds that were so difficult to heal.” “But we could pick up right where we left off! It could be the same as long ago, but this time sadly just you and me,” I said. “Time parts the hearts of men, Emily. I’m sorry, I just can’t,” he said before turning around and making his way to the graveyard.
And so there I was, all alone, left looking out from the mountain towards the dark and wild clouds that were rushing my way.
by Esther Anderson