Today’s post is written to a weekly prompt from Tuesday Tales, ‘rough’. Previous posts have taken place in 1934 Iowa, in Calico Connections. However, since I’m now in the middle of another fiction for a contest submittal (I only need another 30,000 words in the next two weeks!), I don’t want to re-enter my Iowa make believe world yet. Here is my entry for the week in the memoir genre, for possible inclusion in another WIP, Planting Carrots. We’ll see.
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OUR WORDS HEAL, OUR WORDS HONOR
People say that losing a child is one of the worst things to happen to a parent. They say it is difficult. They say it is rough. If you haven’t been there, you have no idea. You can’t imagine how this tragedy will affect your life in all aspects. Two friends lost children, years before I lost my stepson, Mark Gloyd. I did not fully understand the depth of their pain. I didn’t know the void left in their life. I could empathize with them. I could cry with them. I couldn’t fully know the feelings and emotions a child’s death evoked.
December 27, 2005, two days after a joyless Christmas, I entered their world – a world consisting of bereaved parents in various stages of grief, denial, pain and recovery. I did not want to join their club. I held no sway with the nomination process. I had no say in the outcome.
Mark was one month past his 23rd birthday.
My sole consolation was that I was there for him at the end of his losing battle with cancer. I held his hand and stroked his brow. His mother sat on his other side. His father hovered around us all, encompassed in an enveloping grief and sorrow that permeated the room. I was there as he drew his last breath, as I was not when he drew his first.
So what do we do as writers? We write. We write about our life. Our world and experiences are transcribed into words. We write on paper; tablets, napkins, parchment, standard bond. We type on computers; click-clack-click-clack, keystrokes slowly etching our memories onto hard drives and flash drives.
We write. We journey through our souls. We heal. We honor. The memories of our loved ones become engraved in time, their footsteps on this earth memorialized by our words. Because that’s what we writers do. We write.
They watch over our shoulders. Smiling. They know they are loved. They know we remember.
RIP Mark Gloyd, my third son.
November 25, 1981 – December 27, 2004