Thursday, January 3, 2008

Writing Ironies

This week my essay A Kite in November about my grandson's stillbirth is among the writings featured as Literary Mama's 2007 Favorites.

When it was posted in November, a friend complimented me, saying, "You must be proud." I was pleased to be published at a website like LM because I know the staff's integrity and expectations of excellence. But proud -- no -- that does not describe how I feel.

Even now, to be included as a favorite, I don't feel proud. I am touched that my colleagues think highly of my piece. These are writers who have PhD. after their names. They have published books! They have agents! These women give me something to aspire to, as writers, mothers, and women, and while I am proud to be associated with such a fine organization, recognition for this particular writing evoked a different emotion.

If I had written about something less intense, some circumstance with a happy ending, I image the elation and euphoria of being published would have me smiling for days. But there is an entirely different feeling related to this. This experience called to be written to offer hope to others, to give a voice to the sorrow, to experience the catharsis, to honor my grandson and his parents.

While I'm glad to be recognized, I know that to write deeply, we write of our losses, yet we'd most gladly escape the losses that provide opportunity to write deeply.

There in lies the irony of writing.


Joyce said...

Your story was so absolutly vivid. My heart wrenched reading it. My sister and Brother in Law lost their first child...stillborn as well and a sweet, little baby boy.
It was the most traumatic thing to hit our family really. Still is hard and it's been 17 years now since it happened.
I will say this much though....through such events...we are able to "Comfort one another with the comfort we've been given."
You will be used one day and your daughter and her husband as help someone else though this painful process.
So sorry again... my thoughts are with you all.
Be blessed,
Joyce M.

Kim Hosey said...

I just came upon your story and your blog. Perhaps congratulations is the wrong word for the former, but you deserve something very much like it. I found it very moving and tender.

I would say, perhaps, you are already being used to help others through this process. I had a miscarriage several months ago, and it is helpful to see others who can find the promise of joy even in the midst of sorrow; and who can allow themselves the sorrow as well. Your family is lucky to have you, as are readers of your work.