I attended my sister’s memorial service that was sorely needed by family and friends. We called her Tita because my brother when he was little could not say the word “sister”. People were there who have known me all my life – not just family. I held it together until I stepped into the chapel. In a second, I went from pensive and thoughtful to dripping snot and mascara. I left a huge ball of damp tissues stuffed in with the hymnals. Protestants always want you to sing and they launch right in – hymns seem to be deeply weird poems – “I was there to hear your Borning cry”. So, there I am getting freaked out by the word “borning”, unable to make a sound, dripping snot and standing next to Vicky, my other sister, an ex-opera singer, who sang like an angel. My sister’s husband and sons grieved hard. The minister was an old girlfriend of my sister who had gone back to school to become a protestant minister and spoke sweetly about my sister’s life. It was a fine farewell.
It’s been a painful ten years of loss – my brother got cancer and died, my mother got cancer and died and then my sister. I think all this loss as made me less interested in death as the primary subject in both reading and writing. As a writer, I have become interested in the fantastical, in fairy tales and in romance. Yes there is loss, death and tragedy within those stories but not as the heart of the story. I am less interested in “magic” which to me is religion but I enjoy the activity of imagining things that are impossible or improbable. This imaginary escapism is like travel when you arrive at a desired amazing location; you suddenly understand where you have come from. But for me – reading an interesting story, a story that takes you and lets you live with its characters – that is simply a pleasure, a joy. As a writer, I enjoy writing speculative fantastical stories with heart and a little romance.
Nice post Kate . Such true descriptions of how our emotions go hay wire saying goodbye to a family member. I too thought about the choice of hymns. I left my program in the pew and wish I had taken it. I am reading a Novella ‘In Short measures ‘ by Michael Ruhlman I got a collection of 3 novellas of his from Book Bub. It’s about a woman who runs into An old love , who never loved her in the same way……….takes place at Duke… Any way glad you got home to LA . Love , Vic
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Thanks! I am glad you are enjoying finding interesting books on bookbub. I just looked at the book ‘Short Measures’ on Goodreads – looks awesome.
I love this blog….Thank You for sharing your losses and painting such a poignant visual of the memorial. Want to respond to it all…As a Protestants by birth, I have an interesting relationship with the hymns as well. I either find them a nostalgic balm (especially sitting next to an ex-opera singer or the churches favorite Baritone) or say wha? or, oh phew, TG I know this one… “I come to the garden alone while the dew is….”
I have had those seemingly endless years of loss, and, many have After a 10-15 year stint…I asked G_DD please give me a year off…I was granted 5!!! May this be so for you and yours as well….
Swirling Hugs and Love, Belle