Death & Lasagna

kings dominion

I write about death a lot*.  In Neverending Beginnings my main character is dealing with her mother’s death.  My current work in progress revolves around the death of the main character’s fiance.  I published an essay about death last summer.

Before you decide never to read anything I’ve ever written on account of morose-ness, stick with me for a minute. I write stories about women’s personal journeys, and let’s face it death is something that will inevitably touch each of our lives.  In fiction, it’s a perfect catalyst (for better or for worse).  Grief is a story arc in and of itself: anger, denial, depression, bargaining and acceptance.  Back and forth again and again.  The imagery around darkness and light are powerful.  Most of all, though, I write about death because I like to write about friendship and hope and faith; the things that bring us through the dark.

Last Thursday, I got a call from a dear friend who told me, through tears, that her father had passed away.  The only words I could find in that moment were: I love you and I wish I was there right now.  I counted the hours until I could see my friend and wrap my arms around her and was reminded that in real life, the words are often less important.

* I also write about lasagna, a lot.  In my first novel my character makes lasagna over and over again and in revising my work in progress I realized that there is also a lasagna-making scene.  Next time someone asks what my books are about, I think I’ll just say: “death and lasagna.”  My friend’s Dad would have had a good laugh about that; then probably suggested I write a Death by Lasagna mystery series.

Picture above is circa early ’80s.  My friend and I are in the front (I’m rocking the pink pants) and her Dad is the tall, handsome guy in the back.

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4 thoughts on “Death & Lasagna

  1. Thank you for sharing. I use to love going over to Becky’s house when I was younger…it was always fun being around her Mom and Dad.

    • I agree! Always fun and so welcoming, like you were part of the family. Thanks for reading and commenting, Robyn.

  2. I’m right along with you. The tragic death of my old friend Laura “Clay” Cavedo and her two young daughters was the inaugural post of my blog back in ’07, and death is practically a character in the novel I just finished. As humans we may be the only living things who carry the anvil of mortality awareness — how then can death fail to show up the snapshots of all the things we do?

    • So well said! I think our awareness of death can actually be one of the most powerful motivators for living life fully and authentically while we are here. Thanks, as always, for your insightful comments.

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