Here is a piece that I wrote during the memory workshop. I felt that this would work well for the Writing Life, Self, and the Other blog post because it is similar to the work we have been doing in class.
Heightened emotion: rewrite
It wasn’t the actual death that was the worst part. No, his death would have been fast, and quick. ‘Oh shit,’ and it’s over. He feels nothing.
The worst part was the funeral. Watching the family stand at the front of the room and openly weep for their son, their brother.
My best friend standing up there with her mother and her father and her stepmother and half-siblings, she held her stony face. She was staying strong for her mother, but the pain was clear in her eyes, if you knew how to look.
But, at that time, I’d know Monica for 13 years. So I cried for her. Jarrod was a fucking pain in the arse but losing a brother, even one so annoying as him, is unthinkable.
So I sat there in that pew, listening to the priest throw abuse at young people doing stupid things, and I cried for Monica. I cried for her mother and the pain I knew would never leave her.
And let me tell you that it does not leave. Now, in 2017, it has been almost two years since that fiery car crash (not a stupid thing, priest, you fuckhead), and I see Monica frequently. I’ll be seeing her this weekend. Just last Friday she was trying to get out of homework by hanging out. I know her. She’s been one of my best friends for a long time now, and I can see that pain.
I see it when I go to her mum’s house, when I walk through that door and the pictures of Jarrod are hanging on every wall and sitting on every flat surface. Apart from the silence, you would think he never left.
I see it when Danielle, Moni’s mum, comes over to chat with my own ma. She asks me to plug in her phone to let it charge and the screen lights up with last picture of her and her son.
But I don’t grieve for Jarrod. He’s gone, he’s not thinking or feeling or reeling in pain like those he left behind. No, I grieve for my best friend.
Moni’s mother is so trapped in her own pain, leaving images of Jarrod around the house, leaving him as her screensaver on her phone and no doubt her computer, and where is Monica?
In this life carved out in the wake of Jarrod’s death, where is my best friend left in this family? She’s there to tell the story.