River of Memories

Updated on January 21, 2019


River Walk
River Walk

A Mind in Recovery.

River Of Memories.

She takes a seat by the river. Perhaps not quiet enough. Close enough to enable her to watch the Sunday crowds and tourists. Their cameras clicking like a hundred clocks, or a heavy handed person typing noisily on a keyboard.

The clatter of crockery, knives, forks, spoons, as they tuck into food. Laughter amid cries of approval as they watch a small ship, The Matthew, drifting slowly by, sails unfurled, heading downriver to the coast. The clicks gather in momentum, each photographer trying to capture a picture for posterity. Something to show the office, the relatives, the friends back home.

The buzz of chatter fills the air, the sound waves carrying out to the river, echoing as they drift on almost as if following the The Matthew on its voyage. A mother pulls her little son away from the edge of the river wall, scolding him for getting too close.

Too noisy here, she picks up her coffee and walks further down river. She needs only the sound of the river, the gulls above her head, traffic in the distance. All else is too intrusive.

There. The seat that has almost become her own.

Taking a sip of her by now, lukewarm coffee, she tilts her head back, closes her eyes waiting for the pictures in her mind to slowly move into focus.

So many times she has fought to keep these pictures from shifting out of her minds mist. This time would be different.

Different because without re-living, bringing back those pictures her life would never move on. It has been too long. Time had not healed like they say it does. Because until this moment she has refused to see the pictures in her head.

To see meant to lose forever the sight. The last sight of her.

It meant she had to feel those last moments again. Moments so painful, so raw even now. Yet she knows she must do this.

The headache. A killer migraine Saskia had called it. The irony of that would soon be evident.

As recall brought clarity and focus, she could see how pale

Saskia looked that day. How lethargic and how the light was hurting her eyes. The hospital.

It was just after 8am.

The next picture lifted, floated in her mind. Brought into focus

the vision of her love, barely conscious, now lying on a hospital bed. Nurses and doctors, Saskias’ own friends and colleagues surrounding her.

The next picture…….. A man in theatre garb walking slowly into the relatives room. His eyes say it all. Saskia is gone.

Numb. Lost.

It was just after 4am

A dog barks and her eyes open, banishing the pictures.

The memories fall like a river down her face as tears. Sobs rip through her like punches to her abdomen. She is for some minutes wracked with the pain and sorrow of grief and loss. The unreality of the speed with which Saskia was taken from her.


She hears her loves voice in her head. The whispers, the giggles. One sentence hangs in the air.

“When the time comes, let me go.”

She sucks in a deep, deep breath, closes her eyes for a moment more, picturing that beautiful face and whispers,

“I miss you, I love you, and now I will let you go”.


Opening her eyes once more, she places a hand on her heart.

Closing the door finally, but placing Saskia and all those memories where they are safe. In her heart.

The time has come, to finally move on. She disappears into the crowds with a soft, if sad smile on her lips.


© 2019 Carole Emb


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    • Carole-Emb profile imageAUTHOR

      Carole Emb 

      17 months ago from UK

      Many thanks for your kind words Lora. :)


    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      17 months ago

      A very moving account of the tremendous sadness of losing a loved one and how it can continue to impact on our life. Your article is skillfully and poignantly written.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Heartbreaking but well written. Thank you for sharing Carole.


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