My grandmother recently passed away, and one thing that really stood out to me in the aftermath of her death was how differently everyone in my family grieved the loss.
I’ve learned that there’s no right way to grieve. The grieving process varies from person to person based on a number of factors including, but not limited to, personality, the relationship between the deceased and the surviving person, and the circumstances surrounding the death.
Some people want to pack everything up and move on. Other people need time to look at photos and objects that belonged to the deceased. Some people talk about the loss, while others joke about ironic parts of the situation. Some people cry buckets, and others don’t shed a tear. Some people focus all their energy on taking care of others’ needs, and other people curl up in bed or in front of the TV. Some people want to do something to honor the deceased’s memory, and others don’t want to think about the loss. Working through grief is incredibly individualized, and everyone grieves at their own pace.
Your writing prompt for the next two weeks is to write a scene in which your protagonist loses someone close to him/her and/or to write a series of scenes covering the week after the death. Below are some things to consider when writing.
- What was the protagonist’s relationship with the deceased?
- How does the protagonist handle his/her grief?
- Was anything left undone or unsaid between the protagonist and the deceased?
- What else is happening in the protagonist’s life (e.g. finals, an upcoming move, layoffs at work, etc.)?
- How are other people with whom the protagonist comes in contact grieving the loss?
- Make sure some sort of conflict arises as a result of the death. It could be as simple as two people’s grieving styles conflict (e.g. one needs to clean up and move on and the other needs time to process the death). It could also be that a longstanding feud or slowly building irritation comes to a head or that deceased had a secret that now comes to light.
I would like to dedicate this post to my grandmother, Margaretha Betz. Thanks for everything, Oma. I love and miss you.