• Billy Manas

Burdened with Grief


At the hilltop, Stephen dismounted and walked steadily to the edge of the abyss. Looking up at the sky he began screaming loudly, then with his fists, he started beating his chest.

Abandoned by the strength minutes later he sat down exhausted, put his hands on his knees, gazed up heavenwards and asked: “Why, God? What have I done to you? Why did you take my wife way from me and from my children?”

The unbearable pain tore his soul to pieces. He covered his face with his hands, hiding the tears of pain that flowed from the depths of his soul.

“What have I done to you, Marina? Why did you leave me? Have you ever thought that I cannot live without you, and neither can our children, your blood? Tell me, Marina. Talk to me, please... No answer? You left and do not even answer. I wish I knew how to deal with life now... I don’t know, nor do I want to live without you.”

He turned his head to the sky and start begging: “Come on, Marina, show up. Come and sing a lullaby to our newborn son. Come to your children, they need you. Come and feel my love.”

Andrea got off his horse. Without saying a word he sat beside his friend, who with eyes fixed on the sky whispered a frozen "good evening" and continued: “Every day, this time I used to return home. I entered the courtyard and my wife, with a broad smile on her face, would be running towards me.” A tear slid down his cheek. “I miss those moments of my everyday life... and her smile.”

What can you say to a friend burdened with grief? Words are redundant at such moments.

Immersed in the silence of nature they both were lost in the embrace of the surrounding green mountains. Shortly afterward Andrea broke the silence: “When will we go to Thessaloniki to buy new seeds?”

Stephen always loved the coastal city which embraced the Balkans tribes and their traditions, including their tasty food.

“I’m indifferent to anything that does not include my wife.”

“My friend, you know how much we all loved Marina, my whole family did. Her loss hurts our heart deeply. We miss our dear friend, but please, don’t allow this absence to devastate you. Hold on strong. If not for you, do it for your children’s sake, who devastated are watching you collapsing every day. Your children need you to be strong and to guide them through the challenges of life. Sitting on the hilltops, bent in pain of the painful memories, and full of sorrow, won’t take away your responsibilities, for a matter of fact your everyday problems in life are increasing. Therefore my friend, please stand up and defeat the grief which has crushed your soul and clouded your thoughts.”

“I try but I can’t control it. It's stronger than me.”

“Don’t try, just do it and of course you can. Do you think this loss hurts you more than your children? Do you think you need Marina more than your newborn son does? Be strong and support your family, help your children to diminish their pain and sorrow caused by the loss of their mother. Take the wheel of your fate in your own hands right now. Otherwise if you don’t, life will do it for you, and certainly, you won’t like the consequences of a rudderless life.

Extracted by the upcoming book Evading Destiny by Elira Bregu


2017 Elira Bregu Los Angeles CA USA