Sunday, August 28, 2011


As we were driving home tonight from a weekend camping trip, I watched out the window absentmindedly as the world whizzed dreamily before my eyes. My brain suddenly registered something that snapped me back to attention. Next to the road was a graveyard, and there, absolutely blinded by grief, was a young woman sitting dazedly on top of the dirt mound of a brand new grave, which--and this must have seemed like a slap to the face for her--was overflowing with a heap of beautiful, newly bloomed flowers. Her car was next to her, and in her grief she hadn't thought to shut the door.

 My heart will break for that woman for the rest of my life--those few seconds forever etched into my memory like a photograph. I have never in my life felt so helpless--I yearned to comfort this nameless woman like a mother yearns to hold her newborn child.

I will never know her name. I will never know who she was grieving for--a parent? A boyfriend? A husband? A child? I will never know her story and I will never know if she went home to an empty house. And she will never know that I saw her and wanted more than anything in the world to reach out to her, but with hands unable to reach, I could only watch helplessly as she disappeared forever from my sight. She will never know that my heart silently broke alongside of hers that day.
Photo Credit


  1. Aly you are such a special person! Love you so your a damn good writer too! Love Aunt Connie

  2. Pray for her. God knows her name and heartbreak.
    Love, Aunt Lois

  3. You are such a good soul. My heart breaks for that woman too. You depicted it so beautifully!

  4. Oh, Alyson, it is so hard to see and not feel for those who suffer and grieve. She has your thoughts and prayers I am sure along with others who noticed her in her grief. I connected with your thoughts today as when we were driving to see our Lyme doctor, a man stood next to our car in the median in her town, with a sign that said I need work and food....He was about my age and it made me cry to see him.
    You wear your compassion on your sleeve friend....Touching post, Alyson.

  5. I don't really know what to say but I guess I wanted to thank you. Your compassion really touches my heart! I've experience so much death and loss in my life and it is so encouraging to see how much just the passerby cares.
    This month is 15 years since my dad passed away and last month was 5 years since my cousin was murdered and I've been having a hard time. But this gave me that morbid sort of boost I needed. Thank you! :)