Anniversary, a Suffocation

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scraps of script
steal breath and bend time
then go back in a drawer.

one year down, all the rest to go


Eight years ago and just moments after I came across a note my husband once penned, I wrote that poem. It was the first anniversary of his death from ALS.


This is the beginning of the freewrite. Truth be told, I didn't have time to set the timer.

Yesterday I had just finished my entry to @mariannewest's freewrite prompt "suffocate" when FB showed this old poem to me as one of my memories. I had completely forgotten yesterday was the anniversary of my husband's death until that moment. As you can see, I am conflicted on this issue of his passing. I am failing at the grieving process. I suppose I felt suffocated that day. Now today I feel a little suffocated too.

I got the three of swords in a #tarottuesday by @traciyork card reading on Tuesday. I've never gotten this card before, but it stole my breath. Three swords stabbing a sky-born and bleeding red red heart-shaped heart. I had no trouble choosing among those three cards.

Here's a free-ishwrite haiku, mizu no oto style:

please sorrow
loosen your grip
on my breath

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I need to remember that I am my own monument. Sometimes I forget.


End of freewrite of loosey goosey timing but it was long enough and not too long.

This is my entry to the weekend single prompt option "suffocate". https://steempeak.com/freewrite/@mariannewest/weekend-freewrite-7-27-2019-single-prompt-option

I entered one for Thursday's prompt too, but it was just a lead in to this. The best kind of freewrite, one that just bursts out.


The image is a detail of a portrait of me painted by the incomparable Lydia Viscardi.


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Goosebumps. Sometimes I will have deep dreams about my dad (he passed 5 years ago) - and I will wake and think he is still alive for a split second, then I come to and have to come to terms with it again. Happens rarely these days but still does.

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Yes, I am always aware of the presence of those who have died. It's as if they never left really. That sounds trite, but it's true. I still talk to my dad when I am driving, and my mom when I am very sad. My hubby was much more complicated, and that is who inspired this post. I really appreciate your support on it, this post means a lot to me.

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I not infrequently have dreams that my dad is still alive (he died a long time ago when I was 14; leaving me an orphan). Honestly, they are hard to deal with, as they feel so real. Waking up and realising it was all a dream can be shattering for a brief period of time. I'm getting close to age that my dad died, and I fear this is going to bring these dreams on even more. I honestly prefer to remember him while I'm awake than asleep.

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Orphaned so young--my condolences!
I know that dream. My sister was missing for months, then found dead. To this day I dream that she is alive again. It wasn't her they buried (I suspected it all along! We weren't allowed to see the body). In the dream, I often say, "I've dreamed this so many times, and now it's real; now it's really happening." Then I wake up. It was only a dream. The subconscious can be so cruel!

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That sounds terrible - it's hard enough to remember them while awake! I've been lucky I guess.
I wish you deep and restful sleeps!

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Thanks @owasco, you too. :)

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Now you and @revo have me thinking about how difficult it must be to wake from dreams of people who have died - to think they are alive for a moment and remember they are not must be terrible. I've been spared that.

Such a touching piece of writing. It's amazing what can flow from us when the time and circumstances are just right.

I think grief of separation of someone we have been so close to comes in waves. So that as we are alive to our present life we can breath more deeply into it and as we breathe more fully we can let the past have its place and let any sadness about it, gently melt way ~ So that all that remains are the beautiful memories/feelings and the closeness that was and will always be there will become even stronger. ♥︎♥︎⚖️♥︎♥︎

I'm sure eight years can sometimes feel like it was only a moment ago. I hope you can find some continued healing through the process of finding your breath again. 💚

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I've learned the importance of a deep breath at tough times, each breath an instant healing. I'm breathing. thank you for your hope.

wow... this is a wonderful look back and tribute.
thanks for sharing this @traciyork on #pypt @pypt today!

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Hi dear I got goosebumps just reading and I have a inner voice or guiding spirit who is always right I have to listen to it or it goes wrong. So I do and I live with that safe feeling but just like @theycallmedan said I also have the dreams sometimes and I learned to embrace the moment and think about the one that died

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I am sitting here crying because of the sufferings of those who dream about their loved ones and have to wake to knowing they are gone. I have been lucky in that way it seems; although I have lost a bunch of people, they haven't visited me in my dreams. To have them torn away again! Embracing the dreams seems like a good strategy, just letting them be with you again and be grateful. Is that possible?

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I dont know , it works for me. The biggest fear was also a getting on a plane and crashing, now i think than i crash than its my time that helps me but being scared still is there

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I hate flying, but I must. I especially hate it when my kids are in the air. We fly an airline that bought a bunch of those 737 max planes. Very scary!

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Me too ever since i have the kids i have that !!!

I am so sorry for your loss, I find it hard to read to the end, I had to force myself.

Am here to also deliver the new prompt to you.

https://steempeak.com/freewrite/@mariannewest/day-646-5-minute-freewrite-sunday-prompt-a-curse
...
...
You can also do us @freewritehouse a favour by checking through this post in a bid to win thousands of #neoxian power.
https://steemit.com/neoxianpowercontest/@zaku/neoxian-silver-neoxag-power-contest-for-communities-or-or-10k-neoxag-power-or-or
...
Do have a Blessed Sunday.

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Thank you. I'm sorry it was difficult to read, it was "easy" to write. I guess I am getting ready.

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Curated by @adsup and division of @adsactly.

Also, Kudos for @theycallmedan for bringing this to my attention.

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Oh my thank you so much to both of you @adsactly (which I have JUST discovered) and especially @theycallmedan. And thank you for supporting this particular post, which is one that turned me inside out.

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I believe that we never overcome mourning, we only learn to live with it, and with the absence of those we love.

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We do learn to live with absences. It's odd how easy that can be; we wake up the next morning and have coffee and answer our emails. Then sometimes the grief swoops in and we swerve. (Swerve is not my word! @kimberlylane used it today, and I love the word.)

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It is so strange the way we adapt to life without a person, although as you say we can act quietly or normally, until we simply remember and that is when we crumble like a sandcastle badly made in the face of a strong wind. I sometimes with my grandmother, and this year there are already 10 who is not with me!

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What I've found with serious grieving is that it takes around 2 years to get over it enough to leave it behind somewhat and get on with life...

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His death was very complicated for me, like no other. I've gotten on with parts of life though.

im just going to comment to complaing about you not using the palnet and creativecoin tags so i can upvote you and give you all the tokens you deserve!!!!!!

this post really speechless

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Oh my goodness I usually use palnet I don't know why I didn't on this one! erg. Too much to remember to do!
But thank you. I feel this post has power. It's nice to know you thought so too.

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let me know if you add the palnet tag so i can unvote to revote (? revote? is that a word? english is obviously not may main language sorry) is nice to see this kind of post in the platform so well written it shows the good content Steem has to offer so, it deserves more upvotes!

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lol. This is my top earning post of all time! Thank you for appreciating it.

Hugs from me. You are not alone

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Thanks, we all have to go through this. Only the most unlucky of us do not.

Congratulations @owasco! This post was selected by the Power House Creatives as today's Rally Upvote Post :)

You can find the community announcement on Discord :) and it has also been shared on our FB Page and Twitter feed.

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Oh my thank you again so much! A little freewrite that I knew moved me but wondered if anyone else would even read it. I'm so happy you have! xo

Powerful. You loved your husband very much, it's clear. When he was alive, he knew it. Your forgetting the anniversary of his death shows that you are healing, I think. It doesn't mean that you love and miss him any less. I hope the suffocation you are feeling goes away quickly.

Congrats are in order as well! :)

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Thank you! The response to this freewrite has sure helped with the sorrow!

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This is great news indeed!

Bitter/Sweet memories flit in and out over the years, one never forgets, only how to accept going on with life without a loved one.

Time does not heal, it remains a constant reminder to enjoy the time we have since our loved ones would wish it so @owasco

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That is very true. Peace.

@owasco, I’m so sorry about your husband’s passing and his illness. Perhaps dealing with his illness was grief enough.
It seems a little thing can trigger the emotions of dealing with a death and you relive the sorrow all over again.
My only child, Kevin, passed twenty-one years ago this Christmas and when the memories flood my mind, it still seems like yesterday.

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Oh my that must have been horrible! I can't imagine losing one of my children, although I live with that possibility, as one of them is very ill and regularly hospitalized.
Yes, all it takes is a memory, like a tiny piece of paper with some writing on it, and I am right back there again.
I'm so sorry for your loss! Kevin. How old was he if you don't mind my asking.

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For sure, Owasco, one wants to be in the club of mothers who have lost children. It’s like someone took part of your heart and you have to live without it.

When someone asks me if I have children, I say mine is my Guardian Angel. There were many premonitions before it happened as if someone was trying to prepare me.

Kevin was 35 yrs. old. He was never sick a day in his life. It happened suddenly in a car accident on Christmas evening. He had no children. Although I was a teenage mother, I often told him I was lucky to have him.

I hope your child is doing better now.

Oh, truth. I still have thoughts of my dad and used to sit up in the middle of the night for a moment, wondering which truth was real.

Was he gone or was he here.

Truth.

I am so sorry for your loss. Truly. xo

!tip

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Several folks have talked about how difficult dreaming of a deceased loved one is. I've been spared that horror. Thanks for the tip, you. I'm going to have to figure out how to do that, it gives a much more warm and fuzzy than my nearly worthless 100% upvote.

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🎁 Hi @owasco! You have received 0.1 STEEM tip from @dswigle!

@dswigle wrote lately about: Sublimely Beautiful Sunday Walking Chincoteague Beach Feel free to follow @dswigle if you like it :)

Sending tips with @tipU - how to guide :)

I lost my father eight years ago but his memories are still alive.
I can understand you.

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It's not a terribly long time is it? I wonder if it will ever feel like something that happened long ago.

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It's still doesn't feel long. But I guess it will, someday. This is how nature works. Our emotions and feelings fades away slowly.
I used to dream about my dad a lot before, but it reduces like one or two in a month. So...

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Everyone grieves in their own way, and I'm absolutely sure there is no "one right way" to do it. When you're ready to heal, you will.

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thank you! I'm on my way.

I don't think anyone can tell you how to grieve or what is grieving. One does it in one's own way and differently for each loss. I cannot imagine the pain of losing a spouse - especially under what must have been very difficult circumstance. They must have been the cause of much conflict and pain too.

I wish you well in the healing process. However you deal with it.

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Thank you. His death has been the most difficult to deal with, not because I loved him more than the others, but because my feelings for him and the manner of his death were so complicated. He is in every corner of my house, every fiber, every meal, every moment. Really tough loss.

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My heart aches for you. Sending you strength.

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thank you! but today my heart aches for all those who have commented! Sitting here with tears streaming down my cheeks for THEM. Steem strength coming through.

Life is hard with the lost of loved ones.
I don't know what I would do if I lost my husband.
I've told him before that I rather go first before him because I don't think I can live a moment without him.. And I know I won't
So, my heart goes to you and the strength that you have

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Very hard. And we all get through it somehow. The sun comes up and I make a pot of coffee the next day. You would too. You would have the strength you need, and, as you can see above, the support of Steemians galore!

Poignant haiku 😥

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oh thank you for that comment! I love that haiku. That it is essentially a freewrite makes it all the more right.

I can give you the philosophical answer though we can leave that for a time when you are feeling more objective.

Today I offer condolences on the anniversary of one year of separation from your husband.

Now I completely understand the significance of the Three of Swords. For me, my dad's passing in 2001 hits me like this, even after all these years, and I felt your words down to my core. Thank you for sharing this amazing piece of writing, and...

memorial candle.gif

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Yes I understand it too. I found it odd that my eye went to that card, which as I told you I have never gotten before, but I couldn't even look at the other two, I was drawn right back to the three of swords. Very powerful week! You were one of the earliest supporters of this post, first reblog. I thought it would be a purge, but no, no such thing going on. Now I'm awash in all the sorrow in the comments.

As a friend of mine said recently, don't carry the pain, carry the hope.

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It was meant to be there for you, apparently. And I was very honored to support this - while I'm sorry it led to even more sorrow via the comments, I'm glad so many people found it resonated for them, and hopefully the sadness will lead to even more healing for you, your family, and everyone touched by your words.

Your friend sounds very wise, and I can't help but think that phrase would make an amazing tattoo.

Bright blessings to you, dear lady. 💜

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Also, you may have a few more folks coming over to comment - I shouted out about this post on this morning's #PYPT (Pimp Your Post Thursday), and figured I'd give you a heads up.

sending steem hug, red heart.gif

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Why thank you! That explains it!

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You're very welcome! 😊 🤗

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They still talk to our inner being don't they. My losses started at the age of 13 and they have continued relentlessly to this day, until there's only us two siblings left.
Soon it will be either of our turn.
Grief needs to be accepted as a part of life and everyone's grief is not the same.
But it's the tomorrows that heal and thankfully time is indeed a great healer.

All blessings to you my friend!

A beautiful sentiment, pouring out your feelings. Thanks for sharing this very personal post.

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Very personal is right! I'm used to hardly anyone reading my stuff.
Thank you for being one of my stalwart supporters! It's mutual.

I have my mamma's voice as my ringtone @owasco. Everytime I receive a call, my mamma speaks to me! 💕

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oh that is so nice. We did not record his voice at all, even though several people told us to, and it was one of the last things to go. I'm so happy you have that. It must be lovely. I'm tearing up thinking about it.

this was beautiful. really touching 🌸💜I can't imagine what it feels like to lose a partner like this

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Thank you! It was super hard. Not my best years for sure. They came after actually. I grew stronger, so there's that.

Dear @owasco,

That must really be a hard time for you. Honestly, what touched me so much was this:

please sorrow
loosen your grip
on my breath

No one deserves to feel the pain, all their hopes dashed and, generally feel sad. But, that is the reality of life and, we really do not have any choice but to go on with it...........

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There's nothing like a haiku to get to the heart of any matter. I love writing them. thanks for letting it touch you.

I'm so sorry you lost your husband! Your plea for sorrow to loosen its grip on your breath is riveting. Another Lydia Viscardi painting--it's beautiful, as always, and remarkable, the way the picture-within-a-picture shows your husband at a remove, in the background. I love the way you're both smiling in the painting. "One year down" - I'm reminded of Queen's "39" song, though I don't imagine you'd say, "For my life, still ahead, pity me." You bravely face the years ahead without him. {Hugs!}

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Thank you! It was a complicated marriage, friendship, death and aftermath. Nothing was ever simple with this guy! That was what I both loved and hated about him. I learned a lot too.

I don't like death, but its part of us. Memories Will live with us as long as we live.

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Yeah, and then our kids have to throw out the photos because they have no idea who the people in them are. I've been doing this the past two weeks so I'm very open.

Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

You have been curated by @freedomtowrite on behalf of Inner Blocks: a community encouraging first hand content, with each individual living their best life, and being responsible for their own well being. Check it out at @innerblocks for the latest information and community updates, or to show your support via delegation.

I understand. I have never believed that I have reacted in the way I should to someone's passing. Grief for me is a very personal thing. My way of dealing with losses over the years is to be thankful for the time I did have with the person.

Just a year ago my brother-in-law passed at his own hand. Though the circumstances of his death caused me great anger at him, I now feel pity and also loss.

I pray for you comfort as I can never share your sorrow or pain. I can only speak from my experience in losing someone close, for me it never gets easier.

I thank @traciyork for sharing your personal moment with us on the #PYPT Podcast and for you sharing it with the STEEM Community.

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Why thank you for stopping by. This might be the most personal post I have ever made. I'm used to almost no one reading my stuff! Good think this is steem and not FB or I would feel exposed.
I can't imagine losing someone close to me in the way you have. It must be especially difficult to find the "right" way to grieve.

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Daddy has been gone for over 40 years (I was a boy when he passed). The pain is still with me. There is not, in my not so humble opinion, any right way to grieve. My brother-in-law his inner demons killed him. It was a different type of loss.

Loss is a fact of life, don't mean I need to like it. All I can do to help is virtually hold your hand and listen.

G-D bless you and give you comfort.

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Thank you my friend. I wish the same for you.

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I am terrible at grieving. I never feel like I can let it go, so it becomes a part of me and will pop up and choke me when I'm not paying attention. I wish there was a way to move through it and come out free of it on the other side, without feeling like the memory of whoever is lost has faded. Sending you big hugs.

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Oh I have the opposite problem with this death. I haven't let the feelings in at all. This week I learned (that tarot card reading helped a lot) that I'm carrying a very heavy sorrow, but I don't even think of him on the date. I remember thinking "Hm. July 25 seems significant, but what could it be?" for real. None of my kids thought of it until the day after either. Mostly I don't know how to handle the grieving process for them. It was a complicated marriage and a complicated death and I am at a loss as to how to process it. For others who have passed I have been different. It seems the more clearly I loved them, the easier it is to grieve. The

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I've never lost a spouse or a parent, and my guess is that I would react similarly in those circumstances. When it's too close, not letting the feelings in must be a kind of self preservation. The sense that if you allowed yourself to feel it, it would take you down too. A good friend of mine lost his father, and their relationship had been difficult, and I never saw him grieve. Not like he did with his mother.

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Yes I went through the same with my parents. When my mother died, I fell apart for a couple days and now I miss her terribly. My Dad, who went second, hardly a blip, not because I didn't love him, but because it was complicated and the grieving is a more tortuous process. The family dynamic shifted big time too, so we have to also deal with that.

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Clocks and calendars (and commitments) - it took decades for me to figure it out, but one reason I don't remember dates is because November 28, Julie went missing, and March 18, she was found dead, but I quite capable of writing these dates on a letter or in a checkbook without thinking this is the day--or waking in the morning, glancing at the newspaper date, and not thinking of it. Or, I used to be. Since 2015, that started changing. The 40-year anniversary became the 44th. I dread the 50-years-cold case. Anyway, the date on the calendar came to mean nothing to me, and unfortunately, I overlook everyone's birthdays now, in part because I attach no significance to my own, or anyone else's. Just a date on a calendar. My motto is to be nice to people every day. Send a card or email or token gift if you think o the person no matter what the date. Ignore Hallmark occasions that guilt-trip us into buying cards and useless trinkets to show you care. I care. I care about a lot of people, and I show it in my own way, on my own time. For Julie, about all I've accomplished is the planting of purple flowers to keep her favorite color on view from April to October. In the grand scheme of things it signifies nothing; she is six feet under and not at all likely to be viewing those she left behind; if there's an afterlife, she's off having a helluva good time in the stars. Somewhere. Somehow. I don't blame her for not looking back. (So many people "sense" their lost loved ones watching over them. I do not.) Sorry - this is longer than a five-minute freewrite! *Thinking of you and not gonna mail a card to prove it. (A pity: I love the story of the man who founded the Hallmark greeting card industry!)

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I want to be as good a friend to you as you are to me.
Or something like that.
We can send our own heartfelt messages on steem, but I'll try not to rip of old Mr JC (Hall) when I do it anymore.
You the best, woman.

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Awww! Sad to say, your opinion of me puts you in a very tiny minority. :)
I'm a curmudgeon!
Opinionated, annoying, and worse.
But I love you to bits!!!!!!

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Then steem brings out your best.

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People like you bring out my best.
You can actually find a lot of cut-throat drama on Steemit, if you don't make it a point to run from it as fast as you can. I'm happy to say I've seen none of it at @Freewritehouse! If there's a flare up, it's gone before I catch even a whiff.
Thanks for being here!!!

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Aha. I did blog about him here!

New Years cards if you guiltily failed to send Christmas greetings

It happens every year. Someone sends me Christmas greetings and they arrive December 24, too late for me to reciprocate in a timely fashion that would indicate I thought of them without needing them to think of me first. Oops!
Some years, I've sent New Year's cards, or even Valentine's Day cards, as a way of showing I'm no slave to the calendar. I can think of you any day of the year! And I don't need a Hallmark card to prove it.

@traciyork shared this wonderful writing of yours in PYPT, a curation show on Discord for Steem posts. It hit home with me, as I also lost my husband several years ago, too.

I am failing at the grieving process.

I felt the exact same way until I learned that everyone grieves in their own way. There is no detailed process, per se, but only a vague "thing" though which we must walk, and no two of us walk through it the same way. Some walk though it faster, some walk through it slower, some veer one way while others veer another... but we get through it, somehow, in our own time and in our own path. There is no prescribed "correct way," regardless of what anyone else tells you.

Something that I heard, years ago, remains with me even though I forgot where I heard it: When we lose someone close to us, it puts a hole in our heart. Nothing will ever fully heal the hole, but the grieving process allows us to learn to live with the hole. Understanding that point has helped me tremendously.

I love the portrait! And I love the haiku! I wish you peace, and light, and love... 💖

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Thank you so much for your comment! Yes, there is a hole. But there is also all the fullness of the years we spent together. Growing older is very interesting I must say. It is not possible to learn some things without going through them a few times, and grieving is one of them I suppose. Although I've done it very differently for others who have gone. This one perplexes me!

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