When we read really great books, like Harry Potter, we not only see the character’s pain but we feel it. I am not referring to the physical kind of pain either. I’m talking about the emotional.
Three weeks ago my 16-year-old calico died… probably a stomach tumour combined with old age. It was half expected and I found her in the morning and had to put on a face for work. We buried her that evening and though I felt the tears, very few actually surfaced. I don’t want to say that I didn’t want to cry, I just didn’t want to cry then.
Fast forward to this week. Over the past couple of weeks there was major weight-loss noticed in one of the horses at the barn. Because we did chores for a year and my daughter rode this horse and taught lessons with him a few times we knew him well enough. He was a sweet big guy. The diagnoses were lymphoma and a few others such as a bad virus. It was confirmed to be lymphoma. He was put down on Monday. That too got the tears started.
Then Tuesday we were informed at work that a patient passed away. This wasn’t just any patient, she was also my neighbour. She would message me questions about her son. I gave her son shots at home… you get the idea. She had cancer. She was 44, only three years older than myself. This is the first time in a decade that I will be going to the funeral home.
I actually texted my mom yesterday and asked who was going to die because let’s face it, it might as well be three in three days.
But it did get me thinking about how I would define the pain, the grief that I’m feeling right now. How could I put it into words to express to my readers how my character is feeling? And get that across… that’s the key!
How do you describe the heaviness in the heart, the constant thoughts of these individuals going through your mind day and night, sleeping less, and then there is the need to cry but not the time or place.
As we age, we deal with grief differently and I know that I usually take death with a grain of salt, it’s for the best, etc. but this time, I hurt. This time my heart aches. For those who are now at peace, for those who have been left behind to grieve, to find that new path in life.
My other cat is now alone and he certainly demonstrates that. He is needier right now than he normally is. He is grieving too.
So how do you find those words?