Saturday I took a class at the Co Lab here in Port Townsend. The class was sponsored by Hospice of Jefferson Health. The writing class titled Sorrow Words and was taught by Sheila Bender, a local author who lost her son several years ago in a snow boarding accident. My partner, Don, died suddenly of a heart attack 12 years ago. I wanted to explore ways to inspire and improve my writing so decided to signed up for the class. The workshop was not a poetry class but writing style Shelia encouraged us to explore was more similar to writing a poem vs an essay. The workshop was not a sad activity for me but a joyful activity recalling all I once had and have in my life. I facilitate a small bereavement here in Port Townsend so I hope to share some of the writing techniques I learned with the women in my support group.
I really enjoyed the class and would love to take another writing class with Sheila. Here is a link to her website with lists of upcoming classes and books she has written.
The piece I shared below is from an assignment yesterday. We were to look out our classroom window and describe what we saw, then ask a question, next add parts of some dream we have had, a memory of the person we have lost and something from earlier in the day. I really had fun writing this one.
Brief Moments of Grief
Dark night, stormy seas, alone on deck, my watch at the helm. Left to fend for myself. He said I couldn't live without him. The wave hit, the boat rolled slowly and slipped below the water.
At the sink washing dinner dishes. He grabs me from behind unexpectedly. He twirls me around, then holds me close in his arms, we dip and swirl. I throw my head back and laugh, he smiles and kisses me softly. The dog jumps and barks. Pacing and turning circles with us, not wanting to be left out of the magical moment.
Running late, making time for coffee, sitting watching a pair of resident squirrels performing their daily aerobatic routine, jumping limb to limb. The dogs lay at my feet in anticipation.