Takotsubo – the shape of a broken heart

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monochrome heart-002

Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy

   I’m reviewing a left ventriculography
   from a man with chest pain, MI ruled out,
   his wife dead for a post-crash hour.
   The scan shows his cardiac apex
   bulging with each beat, shaped
   like a takotsubo, an octopus trap
   a Japanese cardiologist recalled
   from his childhood fishing village,
   the scan just another broken heart’s
   beaten down story of futility and resilience.
   And I will say, “I am sorry for your loss,”
   explain the image, reassure him
   his heart muscle will recover in a week,
   all the time wishing I could hug him
   with eight strong arms instead of two.

Richard M Berlin

This seems to me to be a love poem from a psychiatrist to his patient, to broken-heartedness.

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy aka ‘broken heart syndrome’ is a real medical condition with physiological symptoms. It is caused by severe stress, and what can be more stressful than the loss of a loved one. Broken heart syndrome can lead to death, and so it is that we can die from a broken heart. Nevertheless, it is usually transient as we adapt to our loss in living, as we resolve the sense of incompleteness in our mind, as we appreciate the timelessness of being and resurrect our hope.

For a reason I am yet able to articulate, this poem provides me with the enormous sense of this ‘thing’ called love, which no one has been able to objectively define yet everyone has hope to experience or has experienced.

There is a grandeur,
an exhilaration,
a comfort,
a strength…
that cannot be universally named,
only felt.
The feeling of being safe and held,
emotionally and psychically;
the reflection in another’s eyes, and
experience of you
as you
with little distortion of the lens,
filters removed.

How would you describe love as you know it, what would it be?

Perhaps there is no need for us to describe our sense of love, it is felt and that is enough. And it is enough to know that we have loved.

– FlorenceT

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Memento

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“Mum, mum, he hurt me, he hurt me!” Sophie runs across the room, hurling herself onto my lap. She curls tight and places her head on my chest, waiting for my soothing words. Peace is shattered. I sigh.

The decibels had gone up, steadily and I knew it was a matter of time before Sophie was in my study. She and Robbie had been playing companionably in the rumpus for an hour or so now. I guess an hour of solitude for me is nothing to scoff at, though it frustrates me how these two kids just can’t play amiably. There is a large space, enough to leave each other alone if they so choose. There is a wide selection of toys and games, both single play or shared play to occupy their attention. So…

I place my hand on her head, gently stroking her hair. My mind still on the recent past. “It’s alright, darling. It’ll pass.”

“No it won’t! It hurts and it’s all his fault. Robbie is mean.”

“Sweetie, Robbie’s behaviour is mean, is it? Tell me what happened.” I ask, already knowing her reply. Her reply has not changed since 5 months ago, and it won’t today.

“Well, Mum, he hit me on the head with it and he called me names.” Oh dear, this is new. Robbie is usually a gentle child. He is angry now and has resorted to name calling but hitting? This is disturbing.

“Sophie, tell the story from the start.”

“Well, I wanted to play with it, it’s so beautiful. But Robbie said I can’t. He keeps saying it’s his and it’s special. But I wanted to, Mum. Who made him boss?”

I can’t help a little smile forming, she is a feisty one.

“Okay, so you took it anyway?”

“Yeah and he chased me, and Mum,” Sophie looks up at me, tears still glistening on her lids, “I ran faster than him”. A tone of smugness creeps into her voice.

I hug her a little tighter.

“Anyway, he got me in the end, he is bigger you know. He snatched it and then, and then…” a sob escapes her lips.

“Hey, where does it hurt?” I guess Robbie’s behaviour can wait. I need to look after this little one.

“Here.” she pointed to the top of her head. I felt the lump. Not too bad… nothing a little lavender oil can’t fix.

I reach for the oil on the shelf next to my seat. This is one of my favourite spots, on this wing-backed occasional chair Tom bought for me and had it positioned overlooking my herb garden. Tom was always thoughtful like that. I had said how wonderful it would be to have a chair here, and the next weekend, he had insisted we went shopping for one. Wouldn’t take no for an answer. That was just before he left for his conference in Italy. Only 5 months… but seems like a lifetime ago.

Shaking a small quantity on my finger, I gently rub the oil on the lump.

Sophie smiles, “magic oil mummy…”. “Yes darling.”

Sophie relaxes into me, having had her ‘injuries’ attended to with the requisite TLC. Tender loving care, as we call it in our family.

“You sit here on my favourite chair and have a little rest… I’ll go and speak to Robbie, and bring back some afternoon snack for us, alright?”

Sophie nods and closes her eyes.

I cross the hall and into the rumpus room. At first glance, Robbie is nowhere to be seen then a soft sound from behind drew my attention. Turning to the corner table, I see Robbie sitting under it with tears running down his face. Clutched in his hands is the aeroplane, a model of the one which his father had died on that fateful day 5 months ago.

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Flash fiction using visual prompt provided by Ronovan’s Friday Fiction. As usual, I am late for the deadline. but I figured it is good fun so why not.

 

© 2015 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Dare to fly

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Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge prompt words – grief and  pine – hit a spot this week. So first, my haiku.

storm

Sorrow like a storm
Cleansed the debris of this farce
No longer pining.

At the same time, thinking of Colleen’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday – to be by a poet this week – brought this contribution.

ErinHanson2e.h. is Erin Hanson, a talented 20 year-old Australian poet. Her work shows a depth of maturity and a rhythm that appeals to me. So here is one of her poems. Hope you enjoy!

ErinHanson1Incredible poem, isn’t it? You can find e.h. on The Poetic Underground on Tumblr, or Pinterest, or Instagram. Check her out!

Sometimes we spend so  much time focusing on what we have lost and the fear of losing that we fail to just stop, step back and consider the big picture. Beyond the usual ‘advice’ to be grateful instead, for me loss is just is. The judgment we place on ‘loss’ as being good or bad gets in the way of our truly seeing – that certain things are meant to be lost so we can find, that the loss in fact enhances what we have, that the loss may indeed free us, that the experience of loss is growth…

Within every experience of loss, there is a gain.  Let this gain be worthy of the beauty that is you.

Namaste!
– FlorenceT

© 2015 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

#HaikuChallenge 49 @RonovanWrites – Lock, Gab

ronovan_writes_haiku_prompt_badge_autumn_2014
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RonovanWrites Haiku Challenge #49 – this week’s prompt words are ‘gab’ and ‘lock’.  Tough indeed!

Join in, see what you can do 🙂 and have fun!

broken heart

Liar close thy mouth
The truth will out, don’t pretend
Lock that precious heart.

 – FlorenceT

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

#HaikuChallenge 48 @RonovanWrites – Inspire, Loss

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RonovanWrites Weekly Haiku Prompt Challenge #48 – this week’s prompt words are ‘inspire’ and ‘loss’.  Reluctant to use the word ‘inspire’, out came the thesaurus. Lo and behold 🙂 inspire => impel => give rise to => cause => prompt.

 

gaudy-expensive-car-7

None prompts sense of loss
Like the beautiful and rich
  Yearning abundance.

– FlorenceT

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Love you like I’m gonna lose you

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A love song, most definitely tinged with sadness. Does this song embody to ‘live in the moment’? Somehow it doesn’t feel like it…

It seems to reflect the malady of the ‘modern’ age – the transient nature of ‘love’? On one hand, the longing to experience the ideal romantic love – the subject of literature and music since time immemorial; on the other hand, our cynicism of whether ‘love’ will last thus the self-protective gesture of ‘I’ll take what I can get, for now’.

Have we the courage to live for the moment? Have we the courage to hold out for a love that is true?

Is your attachment to the past a source of pain and sorrow? Is your attachment to a dreamed-of future a source of discontent and unhappiness?

Food for thought for the weekend… Oh, too serious? 🙂 Well then just enjoy the music!

– FlorenceT

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Pondering

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What does it mean? Being lost, to be lost…  It is the opportunity for adventures so ‘I’ can be found.

 

 

I can’t believe it’s over
I watched the whole thing fall
And I never saw the writing that was on the wall
If I’d only knew
The days were slipping past
That the good things never last
That you were crying

Summer turned to winter
And the snow it turned to rain
And the rain turned into tears upon your face
I hardly recognized the girl you are today
And god I hope it’s not too late
It’s not too late

‘Cause you are not alone
I’m always there with you
And we’ll get lost together
Till the light comes pouring through
‘Cause when you feel like you’re done
And the darkness has won
Babe, you’re not lost
When your worlds crashing down
And you can’t bear the thought
I said, babe, you’re not lost

Life can show no mercy
It can tear your soul apart
It can make you feel like you’ve gone crazy
But you’re not
Things have seem to changed
There’s one thing that’s still the same
In my heart you have remained
And we can fly fly fly away

‘Cause you are not alone
And I am there with you
And we’ll get lost together
Till the light comes pouring through
‘Cause when you feel like you’re done
And the darkness has won
Babe, you’re not lost
When the worlds crashing down
And you can not bear the cross
I said, baby, you’re not lost
I said, baby, you’re not lost
I said, baby, you’re not lost
I said, baby, you’re not lost

 

Sometimes…

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Forlorn desolate

Sometimes
We fail to pay attention
Fail to perceive the changes
Fail to see the ones we love
 

Sometimes
We fail to rein in
The thoughts in our heads
The images in our mind
 

Sometimes
We fail to recognize
The life we have missed
The ones we love and lost
 

It is then we notice
What we have left
The remnant of a life
Too late to regain.
 

-FlorenceT

 

© 2014 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

A fleeting sensation

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Broken dreams

A fleeting sensation
Not to be mentioned
The erratic beat of the heart
An obsession of the mind starts
Catching a glimpse of paradise.

Enticing words replete
This world beyond complete
A gentle sway the mind espy
This need to no longer cry
The boundless possibilities.

A cherished interlude
Love forever eludes
Ashes of once roaring fire
Perfect dreams thus must die
Reality at last intrudes.

– FlorenceT

 © 2014 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.