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  • Writer's pictureKate Clarke

No Deadly Nightshade

Updated: Nov 14, 2022

It is no accident that Shakespeare cast Romeo and Juliet as 13 or 14-year-olds. Separation is so heavily laced with grief when you are a kid, isn't it? So, how surprising to find that separation can be central to your life as an adult but carry so little sting.

I suppose this is because while someone is still in the world, what's to grieve about? When you are older and you have lost people and you've found yourself doing that bargaining-with-the-universe thing, doesn't your mind fall so very easily upon: "Well, if he can't be here in my house, then let him be somewhere living happy a life, even if I can play no part in it."

I think I mentioned before that when my brother died, in his teens, I told myself for the first few months after his loss that he wasn't dead. In fact, he had gone to live in Australia, we probably wouldn't hear from him again, but he was living a good life and

he was happy. I knew this wasn't true, but it was a consoling daydream and I thought about it often. I mentioned this fantasy to my mother a while ago and she said she played the same scenario for herself at that time. So, now I believe she implanted the story in my troubled teenaged mind to make the grieving easier. I think it worked.

So, someone I love is on another continent, living a good life in a beautiful place, with people around who care about him. I would change some of our circumstances if I could, for sure. But I couldn't be happier.

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