Tag Archives: Grief

FF – The Creek

Thanks to Ted Strutz for this week’s photo, which reminds me of the Zac Brown Band song “Toes”. I went a different way for my story, though. I welcome your comments as always.

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The Creek

Allie lay down in the creek. The rushing water eased her muscles, washing away a week’s sweat and mud. The water stumbled on rocks and branches, but never relented in its quest for the ocean. Allie wished she had the same certainty of purpose, but Owen was gone, their children were gone … She had no one and nowhere to race toward.

She was soaked when she finally stood again – diverting just a little of the creek from its mad rush to the sea to travel a while with her.

“You’ll get there eventually,” she whispered. “And so will I.”

 

 

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Summer Rerun – His World

When Rochelle asked for our favourite stories from back in FF history, I had an enjoyable morning reading back through my old contributions. I found some I remembered being proud of that didn’t chime so well this time around, some I’d forgotten entirely, and a few that I still love. One of the last category was this one – His World. Interestingly, it continues the grandparent theme of recent weeks.

I’m grateful to Rochelle for the opportunity to look through, and to rerun this one.

 

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FF – The Greatest of These

This week’s FF story is a special one to me. During my recent absence, I lost my last surviving grandparent: my Grandma. She was a wonderful woman who wore her heart on her sleeve and never let any of us forget how much she loved us. She follows my Grandad, with whom she had a long and loving marriage of over 60 years and who I know she missed every day since his death. Although I don’t know what is on ‘the other side’, I am certain that her grief is over. Either they are now together or else it doesn’t matter.

When I saw Rochelle‘s picture, this story is what came to me. I hope you like it; I welcome your comments.

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The Greatest of These

The noise lapped over her in waves: hushed voices, a reading from Corinthians, a baby crying and quickly quieted. There was a weight to the sounds that wrapped them around her like an embrace, though she could see, hear, and feel none of it.
From a distance, and across a gap both wider and narrower than the physical one, she knew nothing of the details. Sight, sound and sensation were lost to her. Where she was, only love remained – from those near and far, surviving and already departed. It was love that flowed both ways, and would never end.

Of all the photos from my wedding, this remains one of my favourites.

Of all the photos from my wedding, this remains one of my favourites.

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Friday Fiction – Behind the Facade

I nearly didn’t get to contribute something for C.E.Ayr’s FF prompt today. Although the boys gave me a hands-free naptime, I had to use it to mow the lawn and then the cat decided to take advantage too. Plus the prompt said a whole lot of factual stuff to me and not a lot of fiction. But eventually Pepsi decided it was time for a wash, so I started typing and this is what came out. My story is under the prompt – feel free to skip the random non-fiction musings that precede it. EDIT: Oooh, I forgot – language warning!

The first thing that sprang to mind from the picture was how much it fits the FF motto (from Henry David Thoreau) “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see”. I also wondered whether the mural preceded the dilapidation of the building, and whether it was put there as a sort of graffiti or an official attempt to prettify the neighbourhood. And I wondered why there aren’t more things like this around.

And then I went back to the Thoreau quote and I started thinking how what might be true for writing prompts isn’t necessarily true for everything. Take the Seaworld debate, for example, where what you see is an amazing and fascinating whale show, but what you’re looking at may (or may not, I’m not trying to open a wound here) be torture and animal cruelty.

Which got me thinking about the wider scope of that too. At the weekend we saw a snapping turtle by the banks of the lake where we happened to be walking. Jon and I were probably more excited than Sebastian, because he couldn’t really be expected to understand the novelty of the situation. He’s seen turtles in the zoo, roughly that close, and he’s never been on a lakeshore walk and not seen a turtle, so how could he know this was special. Even I don’t know how special it is – are snapping turtles a fairly standard occurence in Ontario’s cottage country? Or were we extremely lucky to find one? (Here’s what Ontario Nature says about that)

All of which ponderings didn’t lead me to a story. Luckily, the old “start typing and see what comes out” trick did. 😉

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Behind the Facade

Isla smudged “mardi gras” across her eyelid and blinked at the mirror. Not a bad job, considering she hadn’t worn makeup in almost two decades. It wasn’t really her colour anymore; she might have felt more comfortable with a subtler shade. But comfort was for cowards and prisoners. Tonight, Isla was wearing a dress that came up too far on the leg, down too far on the cleavage, heels that said she wasn’t walking and mardi-fucking-gras eyeshadow.

“You can put lipstick on a pig,” said her husband’s voice, but she couldn’t hear him. Six feet of earth saw to that.

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Friday Fiction – Untitled

Long intro alert – skip down to the picture for my FF story if you prefer.

Last week’s Friday Fiction story prompted a lot of judgements about Wilf’s grandkids, so I thought I’d share another view of the cabin on the island – click here if you didn’t see it and would like to.

This week’s prompt is a repeater – my original story link is here. I decided to go ahead and write something new though, and that story is below the picture prompt (photo copyright Madison Woods). I hadn’t read / remembered my old story when I wrote this one, but now I have, I’m pondering the significance of the running theme, and smiling at the importance to me of the original post.

I couldn’t think of a fitting title this time, so your feedback on that, and on the story itself, is very welcome. My sincerest apologies and condolences if the loss of a baby is a sensitive topic for you. I found this article from Huffington Post / The New York Times incredible, and incredibly moving.

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[untitled]

How many friends had warned her, “You won’t remember a time before you were a Mother”? Certainly, there was nothing before that moment when the doctor frowned, took Bea’s hand and said in whispered words that deafened her, “No heartbeat.”

But was she a mother now? A childless one, encircled by misery where there should have been diapers and toys, tiny fingers and too-loud cries. She picked up the plaster-cast footprint and held it to her heart, then pulled back the curtains to stare at the moon. They’d named her Celeste; another angel in heaven, another star in the sky.

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Friday Fiction – A Spiteful God

Thank you for so many lovely, supportive comments over the past couple of weeks. I continue to have my hands literally and metaphorically full with the boys, but I love writing and your support means a lot. Today’s FF picture is Rochelle’s own; the words are mine and come with a slight language / blasphemy warning.

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A Spiteful God

Janey was superstitious about them things; went f’in’ crazy if I said anythin’ was good.

“Nice weather, eh, Janey?”

“Don’t spoil it,” she’d say, like God might hear an’ send rain just t’spite me. I thought she was being soft.

It was her what said it in the end. “Job for life,” she said when them toffs took ‘er on to clean house. “Just the lights’ll take a decade,” she said.

“Aye, life,” said God, rubbin’ ‘is hands at catchin’ ‘er out. Eight days on, she’s up a ladder polishin’ one minute, stone cold on the marble floor the next.

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Friday Fiction – Beyond His Shadow

Normal service resumes, folks. I am home, I am sane, and I am writing fiction with a dark side (SPOILER ALERT: someone even dies)! I hope you enjoy this story, and I welcome your critique and your interpretations, whether good or bad.

This glorious photo, courtesy of Sandra Crook, goes to show just how much the bitterness of winter can also be its beauty. Toronto is finally warm (by which I mean positive temperatures. +2 feels balmy after a few months of -20somethings) and sunny, the snow is melting and we can walk down the street without having our faces ripped off by the wind. I am fortunate not to suffer from anything as extreme as SAD, but the Winter definitely takes its toll on my mood, and I can’t wait for Spring to get its boots on and come out to play.

frost-on-a-stump-sandra-crook

 

Beyond His Shadow

When the dust settled, everything was almost as it had always been. Life revolved around the gaping hole where the old man used to stand as though a real dust, an embodiment of his presence, coated everything. I went shopping and felt his hand on my arm; I heard his voice on the train, on the phone, in my dreams; I lay awake in bed, waiting for his hand on the doorknob.

My father’s grave weathered seasons of frost and rain, tenacious weeds and beating sun. And I weathered grief and relief by turns, learning to live beyond his shadow.

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