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  • Writer's pictureSurapsari Fujimaru

Lunar Eclipse, Grief, and Continuum

The arc of darkness is slowly advancing over the golden full moon. It is a subtle move but undeniable. Little by little, Earth’s shadow covers the majestic being in the clear night sky. She gradually succumbs to the power of the universe, in silence, with grace.

Inside the moon, I see the face of my deceased husband. Moment by moment, his faint smile is eclipsed by the force that mutes the glory in the inky sky.

The memory of his descent into death returns: the diagnosis of Stage 3 lymphoma, chemotherapy, his refusal to continue the treatment, alternative medicine, Stage 4, radiation, farewell to his oncologist, hospice care at home, loss of his consciousness, and his last breath.

Each incident emerges in the gradation of light and shadow: denial, hope, sorrow, will, acceptance, courage, tenderness, pain, smile, tears, and love — always love.

Inside the orange-hued moon, I see my husband and me holding onto each other, fighting the unconquerable challenge together, and slowly surrendering. When our once-great hope was reduced to a prayer for a miracle in the end, we accepted our fate and let death take over his life. We obeyed the universal order beyond our personal power as the golden sliver of the eclipsed moon yielded to darkness.

But the luminosity of the moon is too glorious to be erased.

The full moon stays visible throughout the eclipse, with her milky-orange light softening the intensity of the midnight sky. Her existence continues to illuminate the world even in Earth’s shadow. Her light, now muted from the great splendor, soothes and nurtures everyone looking up at her, including myself.

I feel the love and tenderness of my husband dispersing light from behind the orange moon. It soothes and nurtures me and countless others who call him father, brother, and friend. I know his light will be part of this vast universe, even after I have left the earthy world. Our universe is lit by the lights of all the souls that have once existed in this physical world. I will become one of them sometime.

I now see the radiant golden color returning to the moon. First, it is just a thin arc. Then, it expands little by little, gently pushing the veil of darkness. I get up from the lawn chair and leave the yard, knowing that the moon will reclaim her majesty in her complete form, hours before the rising sun takes over the sky. There will be a new day when several hundred thousand people die and are born.

Our paths to death are different, but we all yield to the universal power at the end. If we can see the continuity of our lights, we will give our farewell to the world gracefully and let new lives take over us.

I return to my bedroom and slip into the space between the sheets. I close my eyes and let the peace in my heart lull me to sleep.


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