Monday, November 15, 2010

The Loss of Emily's Grandma - A Critical Abyss

In Pages in the Wind, as young Emily prepares to leave for New York City, her grandma, the most important person in her life, is left behind. The loss of her grandma shatters Emily, because she made Emily feel safe and loved. More significant, when she was with her grandma, she felt normal and did not feel the omnipresent sting of criticism and ridicule. During the last ride to grandma’s house, she feels lost and in her creative mind tries to find an escape that will help her to cope with the reality of her young life.

The ride to grandma’s house was miserable. Her father smoked cigars and coupled with the car air conditioner, the air was stale and the stench and smoke made her eyes water and burn. She tried to roll down the window but her father shouted to roll it up. She sat in silence wondering why she was in the car, and feeling like she wanted to be someone else. She closed her eyes and imagined herself to be a young girl that lived with a bachelor uncle in a beautiful home. Her name was Anna. Anna’s uncle doted on her, took her on long walks in the sunshine, and at the end of the day, read her bedtime stories. She finally fell asleep, lost in the fantasy of being Anna. She woke up to find that she was at grandma’s house. Anna was gone, and Emily stared at the house as if she saw it for the first time. What always seemed a beautiful and inviting sight now had an air of finality and sadness. She fought the feeling for she knew that grandma would be coming out on the porch to greet them. Her mother had told grandma on the phone that they were moving to New York, and knowing that this was the last time that Emily would see her for many years made her eyes well up with tears, and her lip quiver. She bit her lip to stop the trembling, and pulled on her golden hair to redirect her emotions from sadness to physical pain. She knew that her father would be angry if he saw her cry. Grandma finally stepped out onto the porch, her weathered face seemed older with her smile gone and Emily pulled her hair harder to stop her tears.

For Emily, her grandma gave her not only unconditional love but a sense of wellness. The constant criticism of her father and indifference of her mother made her feel inferior and flawed. Her grandma gave her the feeling of acceptance and freedom to be herself. The positive role of her grandma was amplified in her young mind, and significant to her mental development. The loss of her grandma left a critical abyss, which Emily would need to fill in order to survive an intolerable childhood.

To my readers, how will she fill this void, or will she? Are the memories of her grandma, and the wellness that she felt in her presence enough to sustain her?


  1. i live for your new posts!! I htink that Reid will not be the person that will fill her grandmas role because he is out for himself. I worry about Emily because she is losing the peson that gave her some real feeling for normal and being just a normal kid. I just love your writng it is like your writing for me and cant wait for the next post. Is this going to be a book soon because I know you are working on the characters which I love and hate!

  2. This sure was a special post to me, I only had my grandmother growing up. I dont know what my life would have turned out to be witout her. Beautiful writing! You touched my heart with this post and I hope Emily will be okay too.

  3. I think that she'll eventually find a way to fill that void. Throughout our lives we have many loves. She won't ever forget the pain, but I'm almost sure that she'll at least get to a point where there won't be as much of a hole in her life anymore.
    I love the description of the car ride, it really gives a good sense of the kind of mood she's in when she's around her father. It sets the tone and helps lead up to the intense sorrow of leaving her grandma behind. We don't only KNOW why, but we can also SEE why she's in so much pain.

  4. Role models are so important to children and especially when there is a lack of them. Emily will feel the loss for a long time and I dont know what the outcome is long term. Love your writing so much you have a way to build the scene. Love it.

  5. It makes you stop and think about the roles we play in people's lives we might not even know. Great post, great blog.

  6. Pople underestimate the role of grandparents especially in abusive homes. Emily needs her grandma for that gives her strength and normalcy. I love your blog, it is quite a beautiful piece of writing - hoep to see it in book form someday.


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