Write, Cry, Breathe

Surviving the Process of Transformation

Photo by Wren Wright

From the back cover:

RISE is a collection of prose and poetry exploring the concepts of change, renewal, and rebirth. When things change, we experience a variety of emotions — from anger and fear to courage and hope. There is struggle and strife but also the opportunity to rise from the ashes and create, grow, and love.

In these pages, you’ll find stories and expressions of joy and sorrow about love, friendship, family, marriage and divorce, loss and grief, the aftermath of natural disaster, and the consequences of our actions, whether momentous or seemingly inconsequential. Change comes to us in many different forms, but we can be inspired by each other to grow in strength, hope, and resilience as together we each face the challenges of change.

Photo by Wren Wright

Write, Cry, Breathe:

Surviving the Process of Transformation

He fusses with his blankets, tears off his hospital gown, picks at his clothes. He hallucinates. He grasps the air, peels bananas that aren’t there, asks me to pull the needles out of his legs. I go along with it all, especially making sure he understands I removed all the needles. He’s satisfied and falls asleep smiling. At last he’s at peace, and I can take a break from being with him in his dementia. But that lasts only a minute.

He wakes up, flails about like a fussy baby, arms and hands and head moving in short, jerky, out-of-control motions, his hands pulling my hair and necklace, holding on as he falls deeper into the nightmare only he experiences. He squeezes my fingers so hard that I remove my wedding ring to prevent injury. He reaches for me, misses, unintentionally grabs and bumps and punches me. He’s fighting something. Part of me wants to cry, but my crying would not make this double helix of hell easier for him, so I search my mental landscape for the thing that will make it easier. And there it is — my presence, my strength of presence. More of that, then. I’ll give him my attention and his dignity and ask that I’m gifted the power to sustain them.

Daggers shoot from his eyes, heading toward me, hundreds of tiny daggers. I take the hit. I take all of them. They pierce my skin, my heart, stomach, lungs, and throat. I’m in great pain, but Alan’s pain is much greater. He thinks I abandoned him, that I’m gone for good, never to return. Fear, anger, and loneliness simmered in him all day. By the time I appear, he’s a pressure cooker of ugly notions soup, and when I walk into his room, the pot explodes and the fuming contents spatter all over me, burning me to a crisp. I couldn’t prevent it, but I could clean up the mess. So, Alan and I take our pain and fear out for tea. We make friends with it, and we become a big happy family of pain and fear. We hold hands, the two of us mewing like abandoned kittens, each forgiving the other, ourselves, this atrocious dementia, the universe. Finally, finally — we laugh.

One loving household, torn apart by dementia,

In the fair Rocky Mountains, where we lay our scene,

From ancient karma break to new chaotic placenta,

Where primal love causes new love to teem.

From forth the celestial loins of opposing forces

Our two star-crossed lovers live their lives

Together but apart, alone on separate courses,

As their devotion to each other moves forward, ever strives.

The fearful path of this frightening disease,

And the continuance of its terrifying rage,

Which, but all cries and hearts nought could please,

Is now passing across this, our stage;

The which if you with patient ears attend,

What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

There’s nothing more to do but wait. I hold Alan’s hand, wanting to be with him forever, to walk with him, to fly away with him. Outside, it’s growing dark, quiet, calm. I’m at his side, still holding his hand, when the sun sets gracefully, exquisitely, with his last exhaled breath. At last he’s free, and I’m empty, eerily at peace.

Book cover design by Wren Wright, photo by Donna Clement, graphics design support by Luis H. Ruiz.



Writing mostly to heal myself from life; sharing in hopes you’ll find some of it helpful. Also books, personal development, and anything else I’m drawn to.

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Wren Wright

Writing mostly to heal myself from life; sharing in hopes you’ll find some of it helpful. Also books, personal development, and anything else I’m drawn to.