It seems as if there is one particular theme that seems to come into just about all that I write. It doesn't matter what I set out to put to paper (or computer screen), but somehow it becomes a base of my stories. It's grief. Perhaps, it's because I've had such a personal relationship with this emotion, or that it's something that seems to revolve and evolve with greater intensity with each generation in my family, but either way, I seem to embroider this emotion into my stories with greater intensity.
Some would think that this denotes a sense of depression, but I actually think it's a way for my mind to evaluate and deal with the emotion. Even when I was involved with Maine Ghost Hunters I found that the cases that had the greatest pull on me emotionally and physically were the ones that involved a family's sense of grieving. To have that need to react and reach out to those that have passed can bring a family or loved one to the greatest of efforts to continue the bond.
Yesterday, two of the younger people that work with me, a brother and sister, lost their mother suddenly. I grieve with them, though I hardly knew their mom. But I do know about the emotions they are experiencing. Grief affects everyone differently, but the sense of loss is the same. That difference is in how our minds handle the emotion. The seven stages of grief are 1) shock and denial, 2) pain and guilt, 3) anger and bargaining, 4) Depression, reflection and lonliness, 5) The upward turn, 6) Reconstruction and working through it, 7) Acceptance and hope.
Very few will experience these stages in order. Some jump right to anger and bargaining, others with work in a numbed shock until the body can no longer deny what it needs to assess. But it's important to remember that just because someone doesn't experience a certain stage it doesn't mean that the emotions aren't real.
This past summer we lost my dad-in-law. He was an incredible man who is greatly missed. Each of the 9 children and my mother-in-law... not to mention the daughter and son-in-laws an assortment of grandchildren, have all experienced the grief in their own way. Each plays a role with the process and each has to find that way that works best for them. Sometimes, as in the grief of losing my own mother, it doesn't ever go away. It's the same for my husband's family.
This kind of emotion is among the strongest that any soul will ever experience. This speaks to others when it's written well within a story. I guess for now, the journey and the inclusion of grief within my stories will continue.
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