Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Grandma's Hands

We all handle loss differently. It is not easy to know what to say to someone that has suffered loss. The difficulty lies in a fear of saying the wrong thing, or saying something that does not comply with what the bereaved person is feeling. We see this in an excerpt from Pages in the Wind, when Emily tries to understand what people are saying to her after her grandma’s funeral.


I moved slightly to avoid the false mourners, and think about grandma. During my summers at her house, she would walk me to town every day to see the big waterfall at the park. It was a mile-trip, and grandma would hold my hand as we walked. She would say “when I squeeze your hand that is me saying I love you.” That was my grandma. She made the world more bearable in her absence, and more beautiful in her presence.

Not wanting to see the attendants, I closed my eyes. I imagined walking the mile with grandma to the big waterfall. I took one hand and placed it over my other hand. Gently, I squeezed my hand as Grandma did. I shut out the chatter around me and concentrated on Grandma’s face as she walked alongside me. I could hear the gentle rustling of her dress as she walked, and the rhythmic sound of her heels walking in the direction of the park. I felt the warmth of her hand surrounding mine. I felt the gentle squeeze that was her secret signal that she loved me. I was loved by grandma. I sat there for hours, pretending to be asleep so I could feel the gentle squeeze of grandma’s hand. With each squeeze I felt my body relax. Grandma is here. Grandma is here. If I close my eyes she will come to me and signal her love with a gentle squeeze. As long as I can shut out the noise, and close my eyes, grandma will come back to me and I will never have to be alone.

As Emily struggles to find a way to cope with the pain of her grandma’s death, she finds solace in her own way. The pain that she is feeling does not correspond with her surroundings at the memorial, and only intensifies her confusion over how to cope with the loss of her beloved grandma. This is a huge loss for Emily; her grandma was the bridge that she walked on every summer to feel whole and to feel loved. Letting her go means losing that part of herself that made her feel worthwhile. She uses her imagination to bring her grandma back to life, in an effort to stay afloat in a world that is full of despair and loneliness. Can you relate to how Emily is feeling?

10 comments:

  1. Your post is so beautiful, and it sure does remind me of my own grandparents. It was my best relationship as a child. I love your Emily, she is so sensitive and I hope she grows up to find happiness in spite of her childhood. Well written and cannot wait to read the book.

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  2. I relate to your writing it is sensitive and it touches me very much. I relate to your character and looking to the book and big wow. I believe that Emily will always feel her grandma, at least I hope so. She has the senitivity to feel it. I love your writing you are the best author. Thank you for your gift of writing.

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  3. Lovely writing and Im looking forward to your book when it comes out. Emily is a great character, interesting and complicated which is the sign of a good work of art. Love your blog.

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  4. I found Emily's grandmas funeral touching and very real. You have a way of drawing me in, and I have experienced this exact feeling. I dont know how you do it but your posts all seem to hit me exactly as I have felt before in one form or another. Sign of a great writer, Im excited to read the finished book.

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  5. Emily seems lost without the grandma but I hope she finds someone in her life. I lost my grandparents and it sure left a big hole in my life. I love your writing, sure grabs the reader. I'm following Emily.

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  6. You write so beautifully it is like you know what Emily is feeling. I love Emily's character and the girl that she is. My hope is that she does grow up and fall in love. Whether it is Red, I have my doubts. I so far like his character and have a feeling that they will have a huge love affair. I hope that they do because they make for a great read. Love the blog!!!!

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  7. I am following your blog, found it on google reader. When it comes out in a book, i'm definitely going to buy it. I am wondering what will happen to Emily, she is a great character. Nice read!

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  8. I'd love to read more abt emily !!

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  9. Nice fragment. I especially liked the reference to the "false mourners." Well-said.

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  10. Yes,I loss my grandmother too.Its beautiful when someone has a love power over you.Pure love.Real and present. Its also interesting to find out how much of that person you have become. She also dropped a seed in my spirit that has the power to save me again and again from my darkest fears.Her words somehow echo in my present life daily.

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