This is a very sad tale, but one which was freely given to me. The narrator is a friend of mine, an Irish woman who has lived in Jersey for many years now. At the time she was a 14-year-old growing up in the family home in a small town in Ireland. Her father, to whom she was devoted, suddenly passed away right in front of her. You can imagine how distraught she was at the time and for many months thereafter.
It is a few weeks after her father’s passing as she takes up the story in her own eloquent style.
“One day I was lying on my bed/mattress on maybe my 100th reading of one of my great artist magazines. The lightbulb in the room had already ‘gone’ and the only light into the room came from the landing. As I lay on the dangerous, spring-popping mattress I turned to my right, just randomly, and a long shadow lifted from the bed next to the mattress. I watched it gently move high above. I only realise now that the shadow was the greatest, for my whole world changed. As soon as the shadow had risen, in my mind it was about to turn and look at me. I shot out of that room like a bat out of hell.
“I sometimes think that this shadow followed me my entire life. At first I thought it was my mind playing tricks, but the clear outline of the shadow figure has now left no doubt in my mind. In those precious moments, and despite my fear, I know that all the beauty and meaning of my short 14 years of life was made up of a shadow in Mammy and Daddy’s bedroom at no.56 and whenever there is a shadow there is always light and my light came slowly that summer. I moved from a 14-year-old to a 24-year-old. My little 14-year-old died a little inside only to be reborn and to rise again in a stronger and wiser version.”