Climbing, grief and tropical storms. 

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For those of you who have read all my blogs ( I applaud you, well done!) you may find this familiar and that’s because it’s a part of my life I still need to write about and to heal from. 

Scrolling through my TL on Twitter today, I read a post about a tropical storm baring down on the Bahamas that was named after someone I am more than familiar with. It stirred my brain to recollect the name of the previous storm …. And after a quick check, I was right, it was the name of my late ex boyfriend.

I don’t know if they repeat names but I remember seeing our names listed in 2003 (I think …..). That always stuck with me. I realise that it means nothing, that nothing spiritual is going on but it makes me shiver anyway.

I started writing this poem about it a few years ago: 

Hurricanes – 1st draft 
The two of us like hurricanes 

Our names called up for storms

That blew us together

And blew my soul away

Left me gaping open

Left you a mortal wound

And I never got the chance

To say goodbye

So should I wait for hurricanes 

To rip through me once more
And I was struck by the last line but one ‘should I wait for hurricanes…’ . This burden of grief that I have placed apon myself, has done very little in lifting. I’m wise enough to know that grief never truly goes but it lessens and it many ways it has. It’s not that raw, searing pain anymore. Like someone has torn out your chest and you can’t breathe. Now it’s more gentle but like the weather, there are times when it rips in to me. Today was one of those days. 

This year is slightly more poignant as the climbing wall where we met, where I was thunder struck by him, where he taught me to climb and where we had our fun times too ….. Is to be demolished and a trampoline park put in its place. It’s the whole chest tearing moment again. 

There are ghosts at that wall, not just of him but of other climbers who have died. The smell of the place, the office and the desk, the ropes, the holds, the overhang where he tried to push me up, the sandbag he jokingly pushed me off of, the platform where he taught me how to abseil….. All going and I have nothing physical left of him to hold on to now. 

I have no photo, no letters. Just a grave that isn’t my place to visit and my memories. My main memories  of him being when he apologised for breaking my heart. Then there was the time my ex husband banned me from being friends with him and the last memory I have is seeing him walking up the road with the pace of a man who was not long for this world (we somehow managed to end up living a few houses away from each other). 

I knew when he had died, I felt it. I had been walking past his house for months and literally smelling death pour under the door and out on to the street like black tendrils of tar. That day …. The day after my son’s birthday… I walked past the air was clear, there was a sympathy card at the toddler group we both attended and I cried. He died whilst I was celebrating my son turning 10. Out of fear of my ex husband finding out, I pushed my tears back in and spent many months feeling lost and hollow wirh no one to confide in. 
So …. Danny…. Where ever you are,I hope that you’re climbing. No need to think of me at all. We can let each other go, at least I can let you go. That’s a lie but I will do my best to rest you in peace knowing that no one can take memories away of the time we collided like stars or should that be storms? 

Exxx 

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