Essay: Divorced, Beheaded, Survived
The pain from losing a beloved one is in fact an inevitable part of being alive. As much as we want to avoid it, the faint line between death and life is something we human beings have to learn how to live with. Robin Black’s short story: “Divorced, Beheaded, Survived” from 2010 portrays the life of Sarah before and after the tragic death of her brother. As Sarah is struggling with the difficulty of coping with her brother’s death, she slowly draws closer to the essentials of the passage of life. Undoubtedly dealing with the pain of the loss of our loved ones is tough and heart wrecking, but is it possible to live on without a proper confrontation or closure of your grief?
The storyline follows the protagonist Sarah through her mental progress of accepting the death of her brother, Terry. The emotional aspects in the story are exemplified through the twisted chronology consisting of Sarah’s present life and flashbacks from her childhood. Black uses Sarah’s childhood home in Massachusetts as a contrast to show traces of Sarah’s mental state of denial. “To my own children, that long-neglected backyard is only part of grandma’s and grandpa’s house, where we go for Thanksgiving, for the Christmases with Lyle’s folks in California…”(p.2, ll- 52-53). It is shown here how the old backyard which used to hold a lot of importance for Sarah, her brother and their friends, has become a incidental place for annual occasions to her kids. This line emphasizes how Sarah has not passed on her joyful memories to her kids as a result of her lack of confrontation about her late brother. The protagonist has still not fully processed her sorrow and she is therefore not capable of have her children involved in her own childhood. Also it is seen that Sarah’s past still has a tremendous impact on her present life, as she speaks about the age gap between herself and Terry, comparing it to the amount of ages between her children Mark and Coco....
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