Warning Shot Across The Bow

I’ve always liked the expression, warning shot across the bow meaning, a statement or gesture intended to scare someone into changing their course of action.  It’s nautical of course, but very powerful when used metaphorically.

One of the young women working at the library I belong to died suddenly leaving everyone who knew her in a state of shock and bewilderment.

In the main foyer, they have what I irreverently refer to as, the guess who died table, usually reserved for writers who pass, last one being P. D. James.

I was stunned when this young girl’s picture and dates were displayed upon it in a mourning frame.

She was 39.

It’s odd when emotions take the lead, bursting into involuntary tears surprising the head librarian.  He said they got a call saying she had died claiming no other information.

Of course one’s thoughts when someone so young passes immediately goes to suicide, especially if no one states otherwise.  If it was due to natural causes, why not simply say so.

By not saying, they seem to say everything.

I knew she had a chord of melancholy recognizing a kindred spirit when I see one.  You’d notice it while in repose sadness simmering around her big brown eyes.  When she smiled though, how the sun would shine.

M loved Carmela the basset hound.  When I’d bring her in whomever was at the desk would call her and how I’d laugh when she’d come charging down the stairs.  I’d let the leash go so Carm, without pause, would run to greet her.  Once I said it was like having a fat, frisky slinky come a’ callin.

Before this news, I was in a very unhinged state due to series of small upsets I just couldn’t shake.

But being reminded how fate can step in taking you when you least expect it felt like cold water thrown at me.

It was that warning shot across the bow I sorely needed, though at much too high a price.

Life is short…despite religious beliefs of an afterlife when we all come back graced, happy and wrinkle free, we really don’t know.  This could very well be it, and those small upsets mar the time we have left.

M’s passing and the tears I’ve shed for her have surely changed my course of action.

Happiness is a decision we make while gratitude and grace walk alongside.

I will miss her.    images-1





About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in animals, Books, Faith, Gratitude, Health, New York City, women, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Warning Shot Across The Bow

  1. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, I feel so sad that your friend was unable to sustain joy in life. No one should ever feel so desolate.


  2. Ally Bean says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. So young. Life can be unsettling sometimes. I cannot imagine how I’d process my grief over such a loss, but clearly this woman made a positive impact on you. And I suspect many others.


    • I saw her almost every day so she became part of the fabric of my life. She’d greet me…we’d exchange a few words. She was a port in the storm…and the library for me is just that…I don’t need to hear there…an oasis for someone suffering from hearing loss. She welcomed me always. Yes, a loss to be sure. Thank you for what you wrote.


  3. This is a beautiful post. You’ve also stated something I didn’t realize. When they don’t say, it’s probably suicide. Several years ago a friend (but not real close friend) lost her 25 year old son. He was a handsome, healthy guy. I asked what happened but no answer came. I knew he had dabbled in “light” drugs when he was in college but he had a good job and a serious girlfriend. Naïve me thought perhaps he had a congenital health issue. It never occurred to me that he took his own life until two years later when a mutual friend (who is much closer to the other friend) said that’s what the unconfirmed scoop is. I re-mourned my friend’s loss because it seemed so much worse than losing a child to a health issue. The sense of helplessness must have been overwhelming for my friend. Your writing here is spot on. You saw the “chord of melancholy recognizing a kindred spirit” and brought it home with happiness as a choice. Pulitzer!


  4. MIke says:

    Depression is a m…..f…… . I went through a period where I just withdrew, didn’t get out of bed. Refused to look for a job, then couldn’t find one. Lost pretty much everything. Except my life.
    I was working for a company in Phoenix, AZ, my boss of our department found out his wife who had battled depression had taken her life. Two daughters still in high school, she did it while one was at home. I never met his wife, but he never brought any of his home problems to work so it was a complete shock.
    On health, I don’t know why I got away with smoking for 24 years with no negative signs of any damage(thank GOD) but a niece that never smoked dies at 34 years old.
    I watched a video this weekend on losing weight and I wasn’t sure how to fit it in but I think here is as good as any. One of the partakers mentioned her arthritis was gone, another depression was cured, and of course you don’t need to lose any weight but what goes in us may have an outward effect on our health. http://www.rebootwithjoe.com/watch-fat-sick-and-nearly-dead/


  5. Patricia says:

    Sorry for your loss. It is sad to lose a friend. The daughter of someone I know committed suicide a couple of weeks ago. It is devastating news to me and I do not know how a mother gets beyond the horror. Remember your friends smiles and know that you were at times the reason for them.


  6. micklively says:

    I come hot-foot from a funeral, so the point you make is poignant and topical for me. They say life is a journey not a destination, I think the same is true of happiness. You can always find someone else to blame for your predicament, and you maybe right, but it’s still your predicament. So live your life to the full versus what if: it’s a no-brainer.


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