Love, Death, Memories

Your wails opened my eyes to the dark. I covered ears with shaky hands and begged for dreams of noontime. But our blood danced too fast through my veins and arteries, forcing my heart to drum its deafening thump-thump-thump into chest and skull. I had bested terrors that had lurked in the night for eleven years. But you were so small, so tender, so hairless… too many nightmares could steal bright dreams from your still soft baby head.

night terrors
love’s shaky embrace—
you are safe

I was angry with you, for working too much and sleeping near naught. “It’s not for long,” you said, “just until I get this, maybe that, and then something else. I’m safe.” I yelled my disbelief. You pretended not to hear, and said, “I want ribs for my birthday, coconut rice with black beans, and Russian salad. For dessert, I want Dominican cake.” I told you I would cook nothing, and hung up the phone when you laughed at my lie. On our next day together, bloody cracks lined your lips… I did all the talking and crying. You did all the dying.

one last laugh
death is such a thief—
bye, baby

My memory makes you eternal. In a room that’s ever-bright, my dress is red and your wings white; I cook, you eat, I smile, you drink, I scold, you laugh, we dance… and you never drive.

.
Process Note: My little brother was killed in a car accident, almost three years ago. I miss him all the time. There are days when I get very angry at the universe that took him from this world, while he was still so young. After a bit of crying and a lot of cursing, I thank nature for the gift of memories. Since he died, I’ve been writing everything I remember about him. When memories hit while I’m away from my computer, I write on anything I can find: napkins, leaves, the back of receipts… I keep those bits of scribbled treasure in a miniature cabinet I purchased from my friend Eliora, with that purpose in mind. I pulled the first haiku of this haibun out of my little cabinet of remembrances. It’s October… The Veil is thinning… It feels right.

linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Tuesday Platform

pre-Witches in Fiction 2015, fourth giveaway:
Ancestor/Loved One Honoring Ritual Chest, by Eliora

Loved One Honoring Ritual Chest, by Eliora1
Witches in Fiction 2015… Death Rites and Remembrances 4th giveaway is sponsored by Eliora. A very lucky Wicked Darling will receive an Ancestor/Loved One Honoring Ritual Chest, which contains four white candles, a wee bottle of ancestor candle dressing oil, a photo frame (black velvet easel back), a vintage embellished brass candlestick, and a suggested ritual.
Loved One Honoring Ritual Chest, by Eliora2

Loved One Honoring Ritual Chest, by Eliora3

Here is how to enter this giveaway: Leave a comment telling me a bit about how you honor/remember/celebrate the memory of loved ones who have left this world. For one extra entry, visit Eliora’s page, scroll down her wall, and come back to tell me what caught your eye. Wishing for a second extra entry? Share this post on Facebook (tag me and Eliora). You can get a third extra entry, if you add these words at the end of your comment: “Magaly, do throw my name into your witchy cauldron!”

Giveaway Rules, details and stuff…
* I need to be able to contact the winners. If you don’t have a website or social media profile, through which we can interact, then please add your email to your comment. If your name comes up, and I have no way to contact you, I will choose another name.

* You can group all your entries in a single comment—or not… the choice is yours.

* To my Canadians, before you can claim your prize, I must test your mathematical brilliance by asking you a very obscure question, such as… what’s 13 + .5? Yeah, obscure…

* All Witches in Fiction 2015 giveaways will end on October 20th, 2015, at 10:13 pm, EDT. The winners will be chosen using Random.Org, and announced on October 21st, 2015.

* This giveaway is open worldwide, excluding any place where prohibited by law.

This is a pre-party post. Witches in Fiction 2015… Death Rites and Remembrances won’t take place until October 17th; to join the celebration, click the link.

Other Witches in Fiction 2015 pre-posts:
– “Loving You through the Veil
Culture with Real Fictionalized Witches in It
Shaking It and Twisting It until It Says Yes
Not All Witchy Souls Are Religious
– “A Rattle and a Wee Book on Her Grave

58 thoughts on “Love, Death, Memories

  1. This really is powerful Magaly. *hug*

    I guess I also like to write and tell stories to honor the memories of the ones who have passed on. I have a small ancestor altar as well, that always has a full cup of water and a candle on it. Some days the memories come sharper than the others though, don’t they? And when that happens I try to take some moments to pause and honor that feeling too.

    I have so many pretties in my house from Eliora (they’re among my favorite things), though those custom altar sets always catch my eye when I look at them.

    The link has been shared and of course, “Magaly, do throw my name into your witchy cauldron!”

  2. Only one?! I love the athames & altars (would be interested in seeing one themed about Hulda). However, the Raven screen of the Witches’ Pyramid is my current favorite. jonquilsgrdn@gmail.com *sigh* too young by decades, your brother :/ “Magaly, do throw my name into your witchy cauldron!”

  3. As for remembrances, my Father’s family don’t really get into such. My Mother’s family writes down stories & saves photographs. Perhaps this difference is down to social distinction (my Father’s lower working class while farmers & bankers run strong in my Mother’s). As for me, I’ve traveled often enough to not feel connected to only two of my immediate dead. My maternal & paternal grandmothers. For them I have stitched their associated animal, with birth/death dates & birth places.

  4. In some ways, this radiates pain and anger, and of course weeps its more quiet losses profoundly, so why do I feel over and above everything else, how lucky you were to love someone this much? I have had few people leave my life whom I actually mourned–there is a great richness of connection and deep affection here among the sadness.

    • You feel it because I do feel lucky. I feel happy that he was so wild–he lived a lot in his two and a half decades. I’m kind of glad that he didn’t listen to anyone when he was told that he was too young to marry or to have a child, or that he needed to stop partying so much and think of the future. If he had listened to any of this, he would not have left so many memories for us to remember him by… and to smile to. Bittersweet, but good.

  5. That was so beautiful my sweet Magaly! I hope you are doing well these days! Brightest blessings!
    I guess I honor my dead beloved grandma keeping her picture on my desk where I work at all times. This way there is not a day that I don’t see her.
    Brightest blessings!

    • I am well. I get a wee bit melancholic during the first weeks of October. But it’s a good kind of melancholia, if that’s even possible. I remember all of my dead more vividly in this month, and I have a lot of them to remember… Things can get crowded in my head and heart. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. ♥

      That is a lovely way to honor your grandma.

  6. The memories one has of the dear departed are often two-fold, a mix of pain and pleasure. But in time one becomes accustomed to loss.

  7. You address when writing is the only way to cope.. I have not been in that position yet (but I think writing has made me prepared). The losses I have seen has more seemed a natural process, a fading, a slow waning.. the end you describe, the sudden, violent is so much stronger in emotion, and not just sorrow… excellent writing.

    • Your last sentence is very insightful. When my grandmother died, I was sad… but I didn’t do a lot of crying. A century of living is a lot of living, and she was ready to go. But yes, it’s different when a young life is snatched and ended in such a terrible way. There is so much anger, hurt and indignation…

  8. So sorry for your loss. I hold on to the happy memories as I think that’s how they would like to be remembered. I have dropped anger and other negative emotions as it detracted from the beautiful memories and they are in my head and heart.

    btw not entering the draw.

  9. Oh my…I am so sorry for your loss. Your words are full of passion, pain, anger. Often on the anniversary of the death of someone close to me I spend the day remembering all I loved about him/her. It brings light into my place of sorrow.

    • Thank you. Loss is an emotional hurricane, indeed. I like the idea of remembering the good things around the anniversary of the death of a person I care about. I tend to do that around their birthdays… Around Halloween, I’m all about remembering the quirky bits. 🙂

  10. When I went to Eliora’s page the meme with the quote from Simon and Garfunkel’s song, “The Sound of Silence” stood out. It is one of my favorite songs of theirs. In my nights of insomnia I am often flooded with the sounds of silence.

  11. Hi Magaly — My kid brother suddenly (heart attack) eight years ago, and we’ve had such an amazing relationship since then. Much magic there, or in the air between us. All the young in my related clan have died first, while the old live forever. Strange. The well though that has been opened there has such cold clear water. Keep up the work.

  12. Here in India too we just celebrated the rituals of our ancestors long gone , where we remember them, pray for them and distribute special food items to the ” Brahmins”.This ritual goes on for 15 days and is celebrated every year. It is a ritual scared to Hinduism.

    • Culture is a wonderful thing. We do the same in the Dominican Republic. I don’t know the proper name for it–will ask–but growing up, we called “Quince” (fifteen in Spanish). There would be food, singing, drum dancing, around an altar that represents the deceased. Also sacred for Caribbean Catholicism.

  13. I have started gathering photos, and have been putting them together in my own little version of a Book of the Dead. Originally, it was going to be so that EVERYONE was represented on my altar at Samhain, but I really want to get a pretty corner set up where they can have a space year round. Aside from this, I have bought perfume, nail polish, & cigars. The grandmother that helped raise me & the one whom I was just beginning to know both wore Candid, so I bought a bottle of that and the lotion, & it’s funny how quickly it takes me to them. My most recent loss, my grandfather, always favored these terrible, cheap cigars. I don’t smoke them, but when I light them, it’s like he’s RIGHT HERE still. And the nail polish is for his late wife, my grandma Linda, who taught me all about fixing my hair, perfect eyebrows, & unapologetically loving red and leopard print. 🙂 I miss them all so much.

  14. I love pretty much everything Eliora does, but I REALLY WANT the kitchen witch athame! And because I forgot to say it before, *Magaly, do throw my name into your witchy cauldron!*

  15. I have a “Rememberance” wall which is, an entire wall of family photos, some very old, of family members that have passed. It helps me feel close to them. I am a huge fan of Eliora’s work, and am particularly “enchanted” by her amethyst wand! I have shared and tagged, so finally, “Magaly, do throw my name into your witchy cauldron!”

  16. A beautifully moving piece my dear Magaly.
    Heartbreaking yet hopeful with remembered joy. The memories that make those that we have lost eternal. I love that ….. ❤️💔❤️

  17. I have a shelf in my magical doll room dedicated to my lost loved ones. On that shelf are photos of each of them, and a token that represents them to me. For example, by my father’s photo is a little sewing machine and a music box angel, because he was an opera singing tailor. And interspersed with the photos and tokens are beautiful pieces of “memento mori” art by many talented artists. I also like to have roses from my garden in tiny bud vases, both fresh cut and dry. Life and death. Both beautiful in their own way …..

  18. I had a peek at Eliora’s wall and fell in love with the “I Love Cats Athame”!!!! I ADORE it!!! It’s on my wish list …. 💖✨💖
    I do love cats, although I’m badly allergic to them ….. 😢
    I have a collection of cats that don’t take my breath away ….. 😉

  19. This is a highlight in the WIF posts, you have captured loving siblings perfectly Ms Wicked, concern, laughter, anger, love, and the heartbreak that you can no longer spoil them, knowing in an instant you would change the past so your brother could still be eating Dominican Cake, and you would be still giving him advice which he would ignore, laughing, then pick you up from your seat at the birthday table and dance you around until you too would be spinning and laughing with him 😉
    I honour and remember those beyond the veil in the everyday, mementos scattered through the house, photos on walls and resting on books on shelves, the fingerless mittens of my grandma’s I wear in winter while I sit at my computer or draw, her rosary beads, the retelling of the stories of my father, his cover-less yellowing poetry book that now has the addition of a favourite hand written poem he used to recite me as a child that my mother found and gave me this week, my dear sweet nephew Thomas’ pirate ship framed and on our wall I helped him paint before he passed away, a photo of Dane, his older brother who was so tiny and died on Bernice’s birthday, he was 2 weeks old, my grandad Thomas’ war medals, he taught me to draw and we spent many hours at the kitchen table, his hands so knotted from arthritis, he never tired of drawing for me, my sister Bernice, I have trinkets and a pet rock she gave me, I honour them all my retelling of tales, laughing at stories, sharing the past, prayers, just realised, photos, mementos are pinned, on shelves, on display, tucked in spaces, worn, all through my families homes, perhaps in an attempt to have them still here.
    Eliora creates precious altars and many objects of desire, a beautiful soul and gifted with talent, I love this altar (much better than my Arnotts biscuit tin I rescued from the trash as a child to make one 😉 I look at it and see the beauty where one could place moments collected from past, and when opened it becomes a conduit to honour and connect with absent family. gorgeous giveaway Eliora and thank you for being so generous to donate so we all have an opportunity for it to be in our homes x
    Please… “Magaly, do throw my name into your witchy cauldron!”

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