The End – The Australian: Chapter 17

It had been almost a year since I gave into the temptation to email Ian. So why, the urge hit me so hard the other day, I don’t know. But, instead of sending an email that I didn’t expect a response to, I did the next best thing. While sitting at my office desk, I googled him.

The fourth result down held his full name. And something more…

It held the day of his death.

Time slowed.

Ian is dead. Ian is dead. Ian is dead. That phrase ran through my shocked brain over and over.

I clicked on the link and my blood ran cold. He had been buried on my birthday.

A million tiny splinters fragmented in my brain. I grabbed my purse, paused only long enough to tell a coworker that I had a meeting I had forgotten about, and fled the stifling office. I texted my best friend: Are you home? I need to come over. 

She didn’t ask questions. She just simply texted back: Sure. Come on.

I drove with my mind in a fog. My entire reality had shifted. It never occurred to me that he would die. How could he? We still had time. He still had a book signing to attend. The book that told OUR story. Someday, someday… someday we would get to be together. Even if it was just for a few stolen moments.

I parked in front of my friend’s house and she met me at her door. My eyes were dry. Shock had blocked the tear ducts.

“What’s wrong,” she asked after taking one look at me.

“It’s Ian,” I whispered, hardly believing the next words that would be passing my lips, “He’s dead.”

With the uttering, I broke. The tears came. And she held me as I wept.

This is what I have been processing for weeks. What has prompted my silence here. How did the man who changed my entire outlook on life leave this earth without me realizing it?

And how did he die? I had to know. Days of digging later I had the answer. And I’ll only say that it was unexpected and not self inflicted. That at least gives me some peace. But the knowledge that I’ll never again hear from him… that it isn’t even a possibility… haunts me.

I was driving home from my run when those thoughts were again running through my head. I pulled off the main highway to a deserted side road and parked my car in the shade of an old tree. The sobs came. And I let them flow unchecked. I needed to grieve.

“Shhh,” I heard Ian’s voice in my head, “Breathe Marian, breath my beautiful one. Sweet Marian. Tender Marian.”

I took a deep breath and stilled my shuddering body.

“This isn’t the end,” his voice continued, “For the rest of your life I’ll be the wind running my fingers through your hair. I’ll be the warmth of the sun caressing your face with gentle kisses. I’ll be the starlight reflected in your eyes. And our next time around, maybe we’ll get more time. We don’t always get to even meet you know. Sometimes we aren’t aware. We pass like ships in the night, running with no lights. I see it all now. All the times past. There will be more dear Marian. There will.”

Just then a gust of wind swirled through the trees and blew my hair in a million directions. The clouds parted and a beam of warm sunlight fell on my face, drying my tears.

 

-The End-

29 thoughts on “The End – The Australian: Chapter 17

  1. Oh honey. I’m so sorry to hear this is the end (this time around) of your story with Ian. I can’t imagine what it’s like to not carry around that seed of hope anymore. I’m so so so sorry. xoxo

      • Of course…you’ve always had my support, no matter what.

        This is not an “ending” I would have guessed in any scenario for you. It makes me think of all those men out there who I think “oh someday we’ll have our chance”… but it’s a reminder that it’s not always meant to be, this time around.

        I’m so sorry. I can imagine this has been a difficult thing to process, given everything.

    • It’s been long enough that I’m past the tears. But that you relate and feel the emotion. It keeps what happened alive somehow. Made it mean something… More. Thank you.

  2. Oh Marian! I knew this was a sad tale, but I never imagined this was the ending.
    I just want to hug you.
    Somehow, a part of me thinks that maybe this is a better ending than the messy one where he tells you he’s happy in his new life, has met his soul mate (another one) and to please butt off.
    At least, your love is still pure, and his too.
    I know, small comfort!
    As I said. Hugs!
    XO

  3. Like many here, I have long awaited the ending to this tale. And now it has, ended. Life, and especially death, remain among the greatest mysteries in the universe to us. How does life begin? Why does it end? Or does it?

    Ian does live on … in your memory, in your heart, and in your wonderful writing about the magic that can happen when fate decides to (re)unite two souls.

    Mike

  4. Devastating, I can’t imagine your pain. I find death absolutely terrifying and in this story, even more so. But it sounds like you found some peace or comfort despite the pain, I hope so. You have such a beautiful soul.

    • Thank you Holly. Death has touched my life three times this year. And I don’t understand it. The idea of being present one second and then gone the next baffles me. That said. I do feel peace. I’m not unhappy. I’m here.

  5. … fuck it’s hard to write for the tears in my eyes, damn, losing someone you love, forever sucks, *hugs* you two better get your timing right next time, I won’t stand for another missed chance, even if I have to come and push you together.

    damn, damn, damn, sorry for your loss marian *hugs*

  6. I couldn’t write my thoughts the first time I read this, I simply sat with my heart cracking for you. You are loved, you are fabulously and wonderfully loved. This doesn’t end. I am so sorry Marian. I am not sorry you had love, I am only sorry it ended.

  7. Oh Marian, I’ve been putting off reading the last of your Australian Story posts as I knew it would have a sad ending. Never in a million years did I think unwound feel something crack in my own chest. I’m so, so very sorry to hear of your loss sweet noodle. 😓

  8. Marian, I hope it is ok I am calling you by your first name. I have been following your blog for over a year. I have laughed, gushed and after reading this, cried. I just started a blog (barely) so I could not only finally begin to express myself, but also because I wanted to finally be able to comment on your posts. My heart continues to ache for you and it opened a few of my own wounds. I just wanted to tell you how much I adore you. Thank you.

Talk to me. Please.

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