Into the Long Night 

13 cm x 9.5 cm x 4 cm

© copyright Brangwynne Purcell


Into the Long Night

“I feel very tired and so I would love to lie down & fall asleep in your arms.”

Patricia Ann Broad / Purcell [30 September 1931 - 27 October 1978]

Darkness fell at the end of that day.

A day that was wet & grey. Or maybe warm for October. Who remembers the hour? I did not find these things detailed in the ephemera; could not retrace this minutia through the labyrinthine web of memorabilia. Somehow, these details seem so important now.. To know how that hour came to her. To know who was with her, holding her hand, as she passed on into that other side. I have tried to imagine what came to pass on that day, so long ago now & before I was counted among her children. I had presumed to know the truth, thought maybe he was the villain. But I have heard the whispers, that in the end he arrived. He was there to se her t the other side. I think he made promises. Only this time they were promises he would keep.

What I do know is this…This is the story of the unsung hero.

Her story.. And his.

The one that lay sunk & forgotten like the ship they sailed over on. Until that far off day, in recent history, when the retrieval process began. The dredging up of of all that lay forgotten was pulled up from the depths. Pulled up & onto a life boat of sorts, the recovery mission. Not to be forgotten.

We can’t remember or we choose to forget or maybe children never know or are never told. But the truth, always, just there under the surface of the tide, remains. Ready to be found. I think, in the end, needs to be found. Listen. For it finds its voice in the silence, it is what speaks ben when ou don’t hear it. It is your history. A mother’s love. A father’s betrayal. It lingers, long in the soul. And it waits. It is the legacy. That which gets imbued & transferred, whether we like it or not. The inevitability of the truth.

The truth will set you free. At least this is what they say. Only, too often, we are too scared to ask.

But what if the truth is sweeter than we remember? What if there is life after death? What if, by way of love, the crooked path is made straight & the temporal, made eternal? Would we ask then, for the truth, for the truth to be told? The truth of true love; a love greater than can be found on this earth.

I think this is the only way she was able to pass on, to leave them behind.

She believed in a love greater than her own. And I think it was resurrection; the promise of redemption that saw her through. For don’t you see? Her children & their children have been her life after death. Her second coming. This is what has been loved every day since her departure; a resurrection of sorts.

Don’t be scared. The truth will set you free.

She knew this; trusted that what was lost would be found.That those 4 lives, borne out of love, would find their way. That in the end she would not be lost to them forever, but rather her love would remain in ways both imperceivable & profound.

A mother’s love, stronger than death, is transcendent.

It brings life after death & sets you free.

~ Brangwynne Purcell