I worked with a writer whose father had committed suicide when he was twelve years old. He was one of twelve children.
His first writings were filled with rage and betrayal. He couldn't fathom what had driven his father to suicide. As if that wasn't enough, the family lived a lie: "He died of a heart attack in his sleep."
When he completed the memoir, it was a moving story of a family tragedy, truth-telling and the power of family love. No matter how many times I've read the ending, I cried!
What allowed the writer to move from rage and confusion to love? One day, when he and I were discussing the many incidents that made him angry and left him bereft, he mentioned, with sadness, that he hadn't been allowed to go to the funeral.
"I can't tell you how much I wish I'd been able to go to the funeral," he admitted.
"So go," I suggested. "Write the scene where you go to the funeral?"
"I can do that?" he asked in amazement.