For week 1 in the creative writing class, we had to write a nonfiction paragraph that exemplified a theme. Here is what I came up with:
I just wanted to warn everyone that the following paragraph deals with the suicide of my aunt. Nothing graphic or violent because it deals with my feelings about the event and my grieving process, but if you don’t like that sort of thing, please skip it.
The day my mother got the call, I was confused. She was in shock. Then, she was inconsolable. Always crying. Always sleeping away the depression. She wasn’t the same person she had been. Losing a twin does that to you. As an eleven-year-old, when I heard the news, I was confused. What did suicide mean? Why was everyone crying? I felt nothing. I felt like I should feel something. Anything. I felt guilty because I couldn’t cry. I was happy. I got to take a vacation from school and travel to a state I’d never been to. But no one else was happy. I could feel their sadness, the pervasiveness of it. The one I didn’t, couldn’t share. There was an eerie feeling to her house. Like something dark was hanging over everything. I felt like this was a dream. The funeral went by quickly. Everyone was silent, still. The urn freaked me out. The memories are hazy, unclear after that. I remember returning to school and hearing sympathy from the teachers. I didn’t know what to think. It still feels like a dream, even though it’s been over a decade. I’m not sure if there is something wrong with me because I don’t really miss her. I didn’t know her well enough. And I still haven’t cried.
Comments I Received:
- Thank you so much for having the courage to share your thoughts and feelings about a hard time for you. Your choice of words really set the tone for the piece and made me feel as if I was in your shoes. Keep up the great work!
- I really identified with this piece because I remember having similar feelings at a younger age when my grandmother’s mother passed away. It was hard watching her struggle with a grief I didn’t understand, and I feel like you captured that same emotion and childhood innocence. I also write to sort through my own thoughts or to put them to bed sometimes, so I understand why you chose to write a nonfiction piece as opposed to poetry. Great job!
- Wow – very strong work to start this class out with and you can see that it is powerful, by the responses from your classmates. This short nonfiction piece is a poignant, well-written piece showing theme – of a suicide and the narrator reflecting back on her 11 year-old-experience of the event, as well as how she has processed grief throughout her life. I can see why you are drawn to nonfiction; I am as well, and for some of the same reasons. Well done!