The opposite of hello

14 Comments

goodbye

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” ~ A.A. Milne

~

I write this post through swollen eyes and saturated shirt sleeves.  Tonight while watching a scripted episode of a television show I witnessed a group of friends bid farewell to, not only a fellow cast member but, a confidant, a lover and a friend.  And although it was scripted, it was a heart-wrenching hour that brought any of the goodbyes I have ever experienced bubbling to the surface of my emotions because it was a genuine farewell to a person who will no longer be in their day-to-day realities.  The poignant words of the writing team were presented with a deep honesty because the melancholy was sincere and the pain was palpable.

Anyone who has lost someone can relate to the despair I am currently feeling.  Memories of the anguish I felt in the moments of my own losses came flooding back and I envisioned the struggle I endured to force myself to change the definition of those bonds.  I cried for their pain and I cried for my own pain.  The most difficult part of saying goodbye is knowing that you had something remarkable in your life and it was taken away before you were ready to part ways.

Living through a loss is inevitable.  We can never fully prepare ourselves for the roller coaster of emotion that follows that loss. Death is hardest on those left here to endure the sadness.  It is a closed door that can never be opened again but I hold strong to the faith that what lies beyond that closed door is filled with happy memories and moments that can be cherished by watching the movie of the life they lived.  

The bonds we have with those who have left us still remain.  The parameters of that relationship may have been vastly altered but the connections we have still exist.  We have memories to cherish and, in time, reminiscing will make that goodbye a little less painful and allow the happy memories to outweigh the grief.

Gone but not forgotten – Trifextra post

12 Comments

Confessions are never easy.  There were moments that I was happy you crossed over.  But then I remembered all of the good things about you and I cried because you passed too soon.

~

Written for the Trifextra Challenge :

On now to our weekend challenge.  This weekend we are asking for a thirty-three word confession.  You’re free to write non-fiction or fiction or to blur the lines in between.  We just encourage you to get creative and give us your best.

This weekend’s challenge is community judged.

  • For the 14 hours following the close of the challenge, voting will be enabled on links.
  • In order to vote, return to this post where stars will appear next to each link.  To vote, simply click the star that corresponds with your favorite post.
  • You can vote for your top three favorite posts.
  • Voting is open to everyone. Encourage your friends to vote for you, if you wish.

Decease and desist – Trifecta Post

29 Comments

His halted steps were deliberate.   He had no physical ailment restraining him but the heaviness in his heart seemed to impede his movement.  The church steps spanned his peripheral vision and the large wooden doors loomed ahead making him feel small, almost minuscule.   He had to cross the threshold.  He knew that as sure as he knew he needed to breathe the air that now seemed viscous and ready to choke him with his next inhalation.

One foot found its place in front of the other and his hand reached for the over-sized handle.  The door groaned its argument about being forced open but he moved forward, knowing what waited for him on the other side.  He knew the faces he would see would seem vaguely familiar but he could not focus on them.  Today was about something much deeper.  Today was about death.

He had recited the eulogy aloud over and over until the words had etched themselves into his brain.  The crowd fell silent as he made his way to the front of the room.  He furtively glanced at the collection of people gathered within the confines of the church walls and collected every ounce of strength that remained in his sorrow-filled body.

The many trial runs in the mirror made it easier and the words seem to spill from his lips.  “My name is Ray, and I am an alcoholic.  Somewhere along the way, the person I was died and this is his funeral.”

“Hi, Ray.”

~

This post was written for the Trifecta Post:
DELIBERATE
1: characterized by or resulting from careful and thorough consideration <a deliberate decision>
2: characterized by awareness of the consequences<deliberate falsehood>
3: slow, unhurried, and steady as though allowing time for decision on each individual action involved

Remember:
  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • If your post doesn’t meet our requirements, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone. Please join us.

I’ll never really say goodbye

22 Comments

This post is written for my dad.

Seven years ago today I watched my father take his last breath.  It was a moment filled with, not only great sadness but, a small amount of relief.  The years leading up to my father’s passing were difficult.  The body of a once vibrant and gregarious man had been ravaged by the effects of  years of alcohol abuse and the subsequent illness that followed.  My mom became his primary caregiver and we could do nothing but watch as the disease progressed and introduced new complications.  My father began having seizures and, after several weeks, he was finally hospitalized.  My brother spent most of the night at the hospital with us but in the darkness of early morning my mom and I sat at the end of his bed during his last few hours and talked to him, telling him it was alright to let go.  And he finally did.

The image of my father lying lifeless in that hospital bed is still strong in my memory.  It wasn’t until several years later was I able to replace that image with thoughts of my dad as he was – full of life, always smiling and loved by everyone.  He oozed charm and was always the life of the party.

I knew from a young age that my dad had a drinking problem, but it wasn’t until I was in my early thirties that my dad confessed something to me that I will never forget.  He told me he didn’t think people would find him fun if he wasn’t drinking.  I had always seen my dad as a man brimming with self-confidence but the man who sat before me, confiding his truth to me, was a man so unsure of himself that he resorted to a habit that would eventually steal his soul.

The phrase “courage in a bottle” was thrown around by friends during our college years, but until that exchange with my father I had never conceived the weight of its meaning.  On the outside my father was the guy everyone wanted to be around because he made life enjoyable.  He enriched the lives of people he touched and left them with lasting memories of laughter, songs and love.  But on the inside he found himself trapped under the canopy of self-doubt and he quieted his demons with alcohol.

The memories of the good times with my dad far outweigh any negative thoughts about his illness.  The way his eyes twinkled when he laughed, the daisy covered speedo he would carelessly throw on the dock so he could suntan naked, the ballroom dancing in the living room and the blueberry muffins I would bake every Sunday morning so we could all have breakfast in my parent’s bed – those are the things I hold close.

Several months after his passing, our town council honored my dad with a plaque and a newly planted tree for his dedication and commitment to the Communities In Bloom project.  There was a small service at the park and I wrote this poem to read at the ceremony.

I miss you dad.  Your light will always continue to shine.

birch tree

As Seasons Change

We give these gifts of nature in your name,

to forever keep you near,

to take root in a place you kept close to your heart,

and represent the things you hold dear.

Your rock will remind us to always be strong,

and to remain solid in the lives we love.

And follow in the examples you gave us in life,

as you look on us from above.

Your tree will remind us to accept the changes,

of seasons that come and go.

As the tree becomes bare at times in our life,

new leaves will blossom in time to show

that nature is beautiful and life has a season,

but all things do come to an end.

And with each change and leaf that is lost,

family and friendships help mend.

Branches sway in the winds of time,

and your whispers will be heard in the breeze.

Your memory lives on in the nature around us,

the air, the rocks, the trees.

Hidden in the Woods – Trifecta Challenge

23 Comments

Here is my take on this Trifecta Challenge.

The clanking sailboat masts shouted with panic.  He wouldn’t look for long.   He could not abide the thought of any child discovering what he had discovered.  The woods were  now around the remnants.

~

This weekend we are playing another type of word game with you.  Below are photos from the 33rd page of one of our very favorite books, Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge.  What we want you to do is to scour the page (click to enlarge), choose 33 words, and reshape those words into a piece of your own.  Your piece does not have to tell an entire story.  We just want to see what you can do with this particular word bank.  Punctuation is up to you.  Use whatever you need, whether or not it appears in the photos.

Audience of one – I wish it were you

17 Comments