Writing Images and Emotions

A few weeks ago my brother-in-law committed suicide. During the days since his death as I struggle to control my anguish and comfort my family, I find myself remembering images. My grief pulls pictures into my mind like a slide-show— my mother-in-law, her face crumpled as she cries, my great-niece peeking around the corner, searching for her Papa, the young neighbor boy at the funeral trying to keep his composure, holding back tears. Grief hits me like a driving rain each time I think about it, one breath away from sobbing. While others think in terms of capturing a memory with a photograph, I remember moments in words. My mind replays events, and then the work begins as I describe those images, grasping the emotion forever.  Joan Didion once said, “I write...

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