Sometimes writing about the loss of a close family member can feel too hard because the enormity of all you have lost might stop you even starting. You may feel that in trying to describe it all you lose the sense of the person. What about writing about one aspect of the person? Start with a small physical characteristic or a small feature you loved about him or her – their smile, the way he sat to read, chat, write; the way she dressed or cooked or performed a regular chore. Below, Maree Reedman writes (in Grieve Volume 5) about hands as a recurring image which creates a clear and intimate portrait of her father. Enter your poem or story/essay into the Grieve writing competition.
My Father’s Hands Maree Reedman Long, tapered fingers,like candles. Not a musician,though your sister tried to teach you the piano. A gardener of fruit trees and roses until you toppled over the rosemary; the builder of a mustard bookcase for my childhood and my adolescent home; a maker of home brew and pongy dog stew. Your half-moons purpled with blood as I held your hand while you snored, mouth open you always slept easily. My brother tried to close your lips when you left, off to go on that long-awaited honeymoon with Mother, the one you never took.