Mourning, Memories, Story, and Reflection

Between extra work, mourning, and a new project, I am wiped out. My cats have sad faces and obviously miss Mac. Felix, my big tabby, hid under the bed during a thunderstorm–something he’s never done before. He’s frightened not to have Mac around to protect him.

Grief has an insidious way about it. There is the past and then there are the stories we create about the past and our reflection upon them.

I’m still trying to rise out of the swamp around me.

To that end, along with Marie from 1WriteWay (yay!), I’m taking a four week course from Apiary Lit in “Flash Essay on the Edge.” You’re right: the title is perfect for me right now. Β I’ll keep you posted. When we’re done, Marie and I will review the course.

Have a wonderful fourth of July. When I was a kid, I used to spend it on the lake with my father.


Filed under Blogging, Cats and Other Animals, Essay, Memoir, Nonfiction, Research and prep for writing, Writing, Writing goals, Writing prompt, Writing Tips and Habits

60 responses to “Mourning, Memories, Story, and Reflection

  1. Spending the day at the lake, This generation sadly doesn’t know how beautiful that bonding moment sigh πŸ™‚

    • Ah, that is so true for so many families today. And when they are together, everyone is one their iPhones! We had nothing to draw us away except an occasional landline call when we were at the lake. And even then they were on a party line that we shared with 3 neighbors so nobody could sit on the phone. Even so, I remember that awful feeling of being pulled away from the moment.

  2. I am so sorry for your family’s loss. The sailboat photo is lovely, and the reflective effect makes me smile. It’s soothing, and reminds me of summer days at my grandparents’ lake cottage.

    Enjoy your flash essay course – I look forward to hearing more about it when you’re finished. And I’m very glad that you’re taking it with someone you know – that’s always a good thing. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Jennifer. I actually made this photo a while back and can’t remember how I did it! So dumb. I don’t remember what meme make I used. Lake cottages were the BEST!
      I am feeling a little intimidated, more for the reading than for the writing at this point! So many little essays to read! I’m really glad Marie is in the class with me. We can pass notes and stuff ;).

  3. Beautiful photo, Luanne. Cherish every memory, and know that we hoist some of your burdensome sorrow for you, and will continue to enjoy memories as well. πŸ’–

    • Thanks, Sammy. It helps so much to have found good friends here in the blogosphere. It’s such an odd time of my life. I was so blessed to have so few losses up to now.

  4. Grief is much like your picture, sometimes still and calm, other times ripples and at times, waves. So sorry to hear about Mac. Sometimes, too, one grief becomes a reminder of all the others. Take care of yourself, Luanne.

    • I had made this photo before and when I was thinking about how I feel and think right now, I remembered that I had it. I don’t remember what meme maker I used to make it; I wish I did. My Mac was a mighty personality. It seems as if our house doesn’t have a center in it right now! Thanks so much, Michelle!

  5. Pet death disrupts the household in more ways than you think and for longer than you think too. We have buried 3 pets in the last 13 years. I have an old one now that’s hanging on but we are focusing on making good memories with him now.

    • Good move, Kate. Make the most of your time together. I am worrying now about Pear Blossom, age 15. She has had mild kidney disease for some time and now she has dandruff, which I think is a sign she could be dehydrated. Now she needs more blood work . . . .

  6. Hope you get a chance to re-energize. Sounds like it’s been a tough time. Enjoy your course, and I hope you have a relaxing Fourth.

    • Carrie, I sure do need it. I hope you have some great plans for the weekend! My mother asked what we were going to do and I said, “I hope nothing for a change!” Of course, we can see fireworks in 3 directions from our balcony, so that’s a plus. Marie and I will report back on the course!

  7. I hope the flash writing helps lift you out of the swamp, Luanne.

    • Thanks, Sue. Maybe the idea is that I have to keep my mind busy. There is so much reading already and I haven’t started any of it!!!

  8. Looking forward to hearing about your flash writing course, Luanne. Hope it lifts your spirits. xo

    • Thanks, Rudri. I loved the idea of learning more about border-stretching stuff, as well as FLASH. Short. So we’ll see if I don’t get too overloaded.

  9. Holy Ka-moly – I just looked at this again on my laptop instead of my IPad and the reflection of your boat is SHIMMERING!!! How did you do that?? It’s amazing!

    I came back to check your URL because I want to send my buddy Dan here to look at the reflection and that was BEFORE I saw the shimmer!

    • It’s so cool, isn’t it? Why oh why can’t I remember what meme maker I used to make it? I made it awhile back and I didn’t keep any record of making it, of course. Just commented on your blog as a former Michiganian LOL.

  10. That sounds like a fun course. I get so deep when I get ideas, I’m no good at short stuff. Have a happy holiday πŸ™‚

    • That has always been my problem. Once I start writing, I need more detail and must explore different psychology, etc. So hard to go right to a quick finish.

  11. I love this photo of yiu and yiur beloved Dad!
    My Dad was great on Lake Erie. For a man who never had vacations, he was so fun to be around water. During days- outgoing and throwing us in. And then later in life, tossing grandkids into water. He would have noodles, balls, floating devices and make sure we were well supervised, Luanne.
    In the night, he was quiet and full of awe while rowing into the dark, deep lake. As if he were realizing how small we were in the vast body of water.
    Today Carrie and her boys, Skyler and Micah, will come to play in the lake. It is so hard to imagine going back to 2001 when I lost him. She was 21 years old and inevitably, (always,) my children bring him up and I am thankful they knew and played with him.
    It may not help but the pain will fade into sweet and treasured, blessed memories, Luanne. Sending you big hugs and warm comfort. So sorry about losing your dear Dad and Mac, too.

    • Thank you, Robin, for the hugs. And I’m so sorry about your dad. He always sounds like such a wonderful man!
      I’m glad you got to play in the lake with the kids!
      My cat #2 is now sick, so I am pretty heartsick about it, as you can imagine. Just hoping for the best tomorrow when the vet gets in.

      • Oh dear! So sorry about your cat #2. Hoping and crossing fingers. This is just too much to handle, Luanne. Glad you had time well spent with your mother.
        Mom enjoyed showing off her two great grandsons at breakfast on three mornings. Micah “won” a (participation) medal for his running a mile and Sky ran 5 miles and didn’t get an award. He was such a good sport. She insisted on staying home from beach, race and fireworks. We had a chair for each activity and an umbrella to keep the sun off of her. We took photos and a video, to share with her. I am glad you were able to BE with your Mom.

  12. I was so sorry to hear about Mac, Luanne. Sending you big hugs xxxx

    • Thank you, Dianne. It seems like so much to accept this on top of my father’s recent passing. But now my cat #2, Pear Blossom, is very sick and won’t eat. Keep her in your thoughts, please!

  13. I am so very sorry for your losses–your father and your beloved cat.
    I’m sure your holiday will be bittersweet, but I hope you have some good times to add to your memories.

    Lots of hiding from thunderstorms around here lately! πŸ™‚

    That photo is amazing!


  14. I don’t recall reading that your father passed away; perhaps I did read that and have forgotten but in case I did not say it before, you have my sympathies. And now to lose a beloved pet, oh so sorry for what you are going through right now. Our pets are our babies and it is so terribly sad when one passes away. You are in my thoughts and I hope some happier times are on the horizon for you.

    • It’s horrible to lose a pet, and now cat #2 is also sick and not eating. She seems to be mourning Mac, but it’s very dangerous for a cat not to eat. Hoping this holiday weekend gets over soon and the vet gets back to work!

  15. A beautiful post and photo. Hope the course helps. xxx

  16. I love the picture of the boat and the shimmering reflection on the water.
    In itself it is a poem that speaks of things moving away. I’m sorry for your swamp of grief. <3

    • Thanks, Viv. I really like how the photo turned out and just wish I could remember how I did it!! Thank you so much for your kind words!

  17. I hope your new writing course helps guide you safely through the grieving process. Happy 4th of July to you too!

    • Thanks, WJ. The course looks pretty good so far. It’s a blessing, considering all that is going on over here–now with Pear.

  18. Thinking of you. Theresa

  19. I feel you, Luanne… thanks for sharing this with us, I hope it helps you heal inside πŸ™‚

    • Thank you so much, Lily. And thank you for stopping by. The course has a lot of reading so that will definitely keep me occupied!

  20. As Maya Angelou once so famously wrote, “and still we rise.” Amazingly, we rise. Maybe not very high, but we rise. Maybe not because we want to, but because we must. I hope your rise every day gets a bit easier. The course is a good idea. Enjoy!

    • The course is more of a blessing than I could have known. Kitty #2 is now sick, refusing her food. She’s 15.5 years old and just suddenly got sick after Mac died. Please keep her in your thoughts. Her name is Pear Blossom.

  21. I am so sorry to hear about your recent losses. You will rise out of the swamp of grief again, but not until it is ready to release you. The loss of a parent takes a long time. Be kind to yourself.

    • CM, thank you so much. I’m sure you are right that this can’t be rushed. I read that your mother passed away two weeks before your father who had Alzheimers–is that right? What a terrible blow upon blow and a tragedy for your caregiver mother.

      • Yes. We lost both of them within 2 weeks. It was rough. It took me a good two years before the cloud lifted, or in your terms, before I made it all the way out of the swamp. You’ll get there. Grief is the price for love.

  22. Sorry to hear you are struggling with grief I hope you start to have some better days soon Luanne.

    • Thanks so much, Kath. It’s been a tough year. Kitty #2 has been sick now for a week, so I’ve been focusing a lot on her. I am updating my blog roll and adding your blog :).

  23. I’m so sorry for your losses Luanne, sending best wishes to you and your family.

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