Loss and Bereavement
At many points in our lives we have to deal with the loss of someone close to us. A death is always a terrible shock and these bereavements take us time to get over, sometimes affecting us for the rest of our lives. This week I heard of two deaths, one of a 6 month old baby and the other of a 90 year old man. It struck me of the great difference between these two losses. One was a a life that had no time to reach its potential, the other a life that had been lived to the full, but both caused great grief and sadness to those closest to them. I was also struck by the fact that there is a difference between a sudden death caused by an accident and those who have suffered long and lingering illnesses so that their death is expected. However, both take their toll on those around them.
Inevitably loss and bereavement are central subjects in fiction writing. There is hardly a work of fiction where a death doesn’t occur, usually at a point that will give maximum impact. Who can forget the description of the child’s death in “Jane Eyre”, or the impact the death of Kathy had on Heathcliffe in “Wuthering Heights”? Many readers of “Parallel Lines” were shocked by the car accident which killed Celia at the end of the book. But these things do happen. Every day we hear of tragedies of this kind. Sometimes it is the account of multiple deaths that proves shocking, such as Kate Atkinson’s brilliant coverage of the London blitz in World War Two in her novel “Life after Life“.
There is another kind of loss which doesn’t necessarily mean a death. This is the loss of someone leaving – the end of the affair, or a marriage. A break-up is like a death but in some ways is almost worse because there is no closure. In my poems, “Between Sanity and Madness” I touch on such an event. This kind of loss is also the fodder for a great deal of fiction and I will be returning to this subject again.
On a more cheerful note I have finished the revisions on Book 2 of the Trilogy, “Triangles in Squares” and it goes off to be proofed next week. Once the cover has been designed, again by Green Door, it will be ready to be published. This will probably be in September.