The Weight of Sadness - by Susan Giles - I step out into the darkness feeling the weight of sadness surround me.

I sense the grief of those who lost loved ones in the past year. My brother, Matthew, is one of these. Holed up in our mountain cabin, he hopes that nature will help him forget his pain. Losing the baby was difficult enough, but then to have Laurel always turn away from him is more than he can bear.

Young Iris June recently lost the rag doll her mother made her at Iris’s birth. The doll was her constant companion, going on adventures by day, providing soothing comfort at night. Iris June now cries silently over this loss.

Samuel also lives in sadness. He and his dog Ranger were exploring a snowstorm, catching snowflakes, ducking snow-laden tree limbs. The sudden appearance of a rabbit caused Ranger to dash, barking, into the woods. Samuel shouted in vain. He returned home, Ranger didn’t. Samuel’s response to the loss of his best friend fills him with an inconsolable sadness.

Sadness is sadness whatever its source.

In the depths of night loneliness abounds. Fathers bereft of sons; mothers crying for daughters they will never see again; parents whose empty arms lost the weight of a sleeping child. All lives share in sadness.

All melancholy from the past year enters my thoughts, my skin, my soul. As a Watcher I know this is my primary purpose in life; the year’s burdens are mine to absorb. I remove pain, replacing it with hope cloaked in memories.

As I become permeated with sorrow and its pain, I find my body resisting. Each cell rebels, recognizing that such an overabundance of grief could be fatal. I stand on the hillside, knowing that to retain my sanity, I must accept this feeling and connect it to happier ones. I hear the wind’s music flow gently within me. Music! Yes!

Music now courses through my blood, gleaned from wind song and woodland chorus. I hold fast to music, sing out pain, then hold my breath in anticipation.

Above, a solitary star brings warmth and solace to night as dawn and the new year break, and I exhale.

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What a moving story, Susan. Your beautiful reading voice deeply enhances the listener’s understanding of the story, since every nuance of your voice is full of compassion and caring. Oh to have a real Watcher in our lives, to absorb our pain and turn it to hope. Your story reminds me of one of my favorite novels, “The Giver” by Lois Lowry. Thank you so much for this memorable story.

Thank you for your comments, Julie. “The Giver” has long been one of my favorite novels so it may have been in the back of my mind when writing this story. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

Susan, I like how you view sadness from different perspectives. Your Watcher - as Julie said- has undertones of Louis Lowry’s “The Giver.” Whereas “The Giver” tells of dystopia and bleakness, your Watcher benevolently absorbs sadness. Lovely way to introduce music as a saviour!

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Your story brings positive thoughts out of sadness and melancholy. And you make me smile when you introduce music to sing out and release or relieve the pain. That’s I also do when I feel breakdown. Thanks to music. Well done, Susan.

Thank you for reading my story. Its nice to hear of others who use music to release or relieve pain. Since High School I have found consolation and wholeness through music.

Thank you again for your comments.

Thank you for your comments. I really enjoyed writing this story, “The GIver” was probably in the back of my mind when writing. That is one of my all-time favorite young adult novels.

Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment on my story.

You’re most welcome, Susan. Music is always be my recourse when I am in pain or I am feeling sad. It helps me release all the pain that I have inside.