Grief, Guest Posts, Surviving

Stonehenge, Survival, and Me

January 23, 2019

By Angela M Giles

Today is the day of my father’s death.  He was a successful suicide, which is to say my father failed at living. The loss of him, his choice not to stay with us, hurts, badly. This is something I have to carry, and it is a permanent wound that is deep and open. My body has been carrying so much, for so long.
 
I have been in London over the past days and it has been a satisfying and humbling trip. Satisfying because the time here has been utterly, fantastically delightful. Humbling, because this was a trip that was cancelled after a car accident that I was lucky to survive.

I chose the dates of my travel deliberately. I wanted to be in a new place while this old grief washed over me. The grief feels the same, but I am profoundly different: I survived S and his manipulative abuse; I made the choice to claw my way out of the darkest place I have ever known; I somehow emerged from my car accident with bare feet and broken bones, but alive. There is so much inside me that is raw and tender…and healing.
 
When I went to Stonehenge, I experienced so much. The countryside was idyllic. The air was crisp and clean. The stones…the stones were real. I watched the sunrise while I stood in the inner circle of Stonehenge. I soaked in the silence and felt the effort from thousands of years ago wash over me. I also felt all the things I carry shift, just a little. There is an energy in that place that is unmistakable. I was so present, I cried. It was a place I had ached to see, and I felt a wonderful stillness there. 
 
I don’t have words for the absence of my father. He would have liked who I have become, how I have survived him, bad men, brutal accidents. And he would have been grateful knowing that I chose a different path, one that led me to a Neolithic grouping of rocks. He probably would have chuckled when I told him I cried, but I suspect he would have understood. I miss you, dad.

Angela M Giles has had her work appear in The Healing Muse as well as on The Nervous Breakdown and The Manifest-Station. She tweets as @angelamgiles and can be found on Instagram as @angela.m.giles. When inspired (which isn’t nearly often enough) she updates her blog, Air Hunger. Angela lives in Massachusetts where she conquers the world, one day at a time.  She is a partner in crime and fellow bad-ass at The Manifest-Station.


https://www.amazon.com/Being-Human-Memoir-Waking-Listening/dp/1524743569/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1539219809&sr=8-1

Jen’s book ON BEING HUMAN is available for pre-order here.

Join Lidia Yuknavitch and Jen Pastiloff for their WRITING & THE BODY RETREAT. Portland April 5-7, 2019. Click the photo above.

 

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5 Comments

  • Reply Michelle Oppenheimer January 23, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    Angela, Beautiful, from your Rene Denfeld epigraph to “I don’t have words for the absence of my father. He would have liked who I have become, how I have survived him, bad men, brutal accidents. And he would have been grateful knowing that I chose a different path, one that led me to a Neolithic grouping of rocks.” Thank you for sharing it with us.

    • Reply Angela Giles January 28, 2019 at 9:26 am

      Thank you so much for reading….. -a

  • Reply Nina Gaby January 26, 2019 at 3:59 am

    As one who plods through such anniversaries and hits the wall, I love the planning and mindful decision you write about, how you make it matter in a different way. Beautiful.

    • Reply Angela Giles January 28, 2019 at 9:27 am

      Thank you so much for reading….. -a

  • Reply Barbara Potter January 30, 2019 at 7:50 am

    Oh Angela I love you so much. Your words touch my heart. Mom-Barb

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