The concept of stories, storytelling and narrative fascinates me and is a constant source of discovery. I’ve also explored the idea of writing as therapy for depression and grief. In the search to understand my personal grieving process I have explored fiction and non-fiction, and recently read How we Grieve: Relearning the world by Thomas Attig (OUP, 1996) which suggests a way of thinking that I had not previously considered and which makes perfect sense – especially if you are a writer. In discussing how we relearn our relationships with the loved ones we have lost, the author suggests:
“As we come to know and love others, we come to know and cherish the stories of the lives they live…..if we have known and loved well, the stories become interwoven with the fabric of the stories of our lives. As we relearn our relationship with the deceased, we continue the interweaving process. In all of our relationships we have unique and privileged access to parts of the full stories of others’ lives. Our knowledge and love of the stories remain after the loss of the presence of the deceased………as with any good stories, but especially with the intricate stories of human biography, if we read them but once we fail to captures the richness and fullness of the tales. As we review and retell stories repeatedly, they return ever new and unexpected rewards each time……we can return to the stories deliberately for specific purposes (to refresh our memory or understanding or to seek new understanding) or as events in our lives remind us of them and of their continuing importance to us.”
I found this deeply moving.
We are all stories. Living, breathing, works in progress. Whether tragically short or on a more epic scale, our lives are uniquely individual stories. They may encompass adventure, romance, horror, joy, loss, humour and fantasy. But however they differ, they all have in common one aspect: mystery. The unknown. We don’t know how the story will end. But would we want to?
To find out more about Jane’s creative story, visit her blog www.janeayres.blogspot.co.uk
Her recent e-book, Joyrider, is available from Amazon