I have been one of those people who thought I was always going to handle the loss of a loved one the same way no matter who the person was. Sure, there would be different degrees of grief depending on how close I felt to the person while he or she was alive but I really did think it would all be more or less the same basic feeling.
My great nephew lost his life in a fatal car accident on June 5, 2017. The day’s weather and road conditions were the culprits. The rain came down in sheets, sometimes at an angle, other times straight down. The paved roads did not have any gravel in them that I have ever seen in the nine years I have lived in the area, making the streets shine on the best of days. Of course, I cannot condemn the weather. It is certainly beyond anyone’s control. However, the circumstances of the road is a different matter. Why the state government is so stingy with funds for the thoroughfares around here is clearly outside the limits of my comprehension, especially when there are ice storms in the area during the winter months.
The young man’s car hydroplaned at the same time another car was doing the same thing going the other way. They collided in the middle. The other driver survived but did sustain injuries. I do not know how bad off he was. Still don’t.
As the days of mourning passed and the family talked about my great nephew, I felt the way I had felt when others had passed on who I feel close to. I am not a crier, although tears fell down my cheeks during the funeral service. I was mournful for a couple of days after that. It all seemed perfectly normal to me.
Yet, here it is, the second to last day of the month, twenty-four days after that fateful accident and I am still feeling solemn. Did he make that much of an impression on me? I did not know him as well as I wanted so I cannot say it was that I felt a special closeness to him. Could it be now that I am older, I have a better grip on the significance of mortality? I have already taken a brief trip to the other side [near-death experience] so my understanding of impermanence in this life is well intact.
In an attempt to get myself back on track of everyday life with a more benign attitude, I decided to take my reaction to this incident in hand. I am working on the groundwork for a new writing project. I am implanting bits and pieces of my feeling into this venture. I am, also, using the characteristics of some of the people I have seen during this somber event.
My reasoning is that maybe I am still feeling the gloom because it serves a purpose for me–a writing idea to expand on.
Have you used a difficult challenge in your life to spur your writing?
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“Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.”
― Leo Tolstoy