Grief can be a whirl wind of feelings but typically shows itself in two possible ways. There is the bawling, curled up in a corner, dramatic version and the stoic, silent type. You can’t look at someone and know how grief will affect them. I lost my dog, Bindi-girl, a year ago. I held my baby when she left this world and cried. I held her, apologized to her for the pain she was in at the end, and cried for myself. Once she was wrapped in her favorite blanket, I released her to the veterinary staff and walked away. Did I continue to grieve? Quietly and alone to this day. The Hubs isn’t an overly reactive person on any given day, but at this time he was also dealing with Covid, so his responses were limited. Neither of us are the ‘throw yourself on the casket’ type, but it doesn’t mean we don’t hurt.
Heck, I have grieved at the loss of a good coffee pot. I am lucky to have the beauty I have right now. I am willing to share that joy with anyone interested. Come on friends! Let’s go fill our cuppas and grab a nibble from the fridge. I have celery, carrots, and mini cucumbers. It’s a plate of sadness as the Hubs would say. I get it. We can grieve the lack of flavor, but I will enjoy the lack of calories. Don’t worry, there are other options available. Grab what you want, fill that mug, find your copy of Creating Character Emotions by Ann Hood, and meet me out on the reading rug.
I will try not to make you sad but the goal here is to learn just that. Writing to make the reader react. I wrote O-B*tch-uary for the purpose of feeling what the MC felt while dealing with cancer. As you can imagine, it has heavy emotions that include humor, love, and loss. I knew I was successful in the loss aspect when I made the Hubs react to it. Bam! I win! Whoop…okay, maybe that’s a bit much. Moving on.
Loss isn’t limited to death. It can include the loss of a relationship, a job, an important item. The loss of love can be equally as powerful as the loss of life. It’s the death of a relationship. The power of heartache can crush a person. I’m sure we have all felt loss in one way or another, how would you write it?
Simple, stand in the place of your character and allow the feelings to flow through your fingers. If you don’t cry while writing it, your reader won’t. I ugly cried writing O-B*tch-uary. I’m not kidding. I had to keep a box of tissues close by. It was worth it. The power of that loss landed on the page and is now shared with everyone who reads it.
** Keep in mind grief never ends. It can and will lessen, but it can resurface at any time. **
Bad examples: Throwing yourself on the casket. – cliches are easy when writing loss. The widow wrapped in black, clutching a handkerchief, and wailing in the rain over a grave site. Lord do better than this. Be better.
- Write a scene where your MC is told their partner died in a car crash. Do not use the typical response. Find a different way to relay their grief. (Guilt, relief, hate, excitement, anger)
- I am a care giver. I rush to fill glasses, plates of food, and catering to the needs of others. I grieve quietly and alone.
- Write a scene where the grieving character must step into the non-grieving world. Returning to work or going to the grocery store. Going to the bank or Social Security office to file the paperwork for the death of their partner.
- Use external descriptions to show emotion.
Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
I’m always looking for new friends!
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Universal Code for O-B*tch-uary: https://books2read.com/u/bOZe8o
Universal Code for Sin Full: http://books2read.com/u/m2Vdqd
Author Page: amazon.com/author/nellawarrent