The Paisley Soul of a Stricken Man

John de Gruyther Blog

This is an excerpt from my novel The Paisley Soul of a Stricken Man

Chapter 12 – 1,893 Days Until The Crash

When I was growing up bereavement and grief became familiar companions to my family and for me I began to view these emotions as having their own distinct personalities. They were like animatronic crows, perched on the edge of every conversation, ready with a bitter put down designed to suck all the hope and joy out of life;

“Did you have a good day Eddie?” Mum inquired.

“Yes thanks Mum, I finally made it into the first 11 for the school team”

CAW – Look at im, happy iz ee, selfish bastard, when everyone is sad because iz grandad is dead, ee is going on about football CAW 

“That’s nice dear, I’ve had a bit of a low day, you know thinking about your Grandad”

 CAW – See ow selfish ee iz, why doesn’t he think fore e opens iz stupid mouth CAW

That’s how it felt all the time, every conversation turned back to the same incontrovertible fact. I could no longer enjoy the innocence of being young, it was time to grow up and be a man.

Pain and grief can infect our lives at anytime and it can turn people sour or change them for good. It changed my Mum, over the years she got better in the sense that she mentioned Grandad less. She superficially carried on and “got over” him, she completed the “grieving process” whatever the fuck that is.

But something inside of her was missing, she lost a piece of herself when her Dad died, and every time I saw her all I could see was the gap where Grandad used to be. That little sparkle in her eyes, a spark caused by years of untainted happiness, had now vanished. So for all my resentments and hang-ups, I always felt sad, sad for everything that had been lost and could never be found.

I would change all of that and I wasn’t going to simply paper over the gap in my families’ soul, I was going to fix it completely and bring my Grandfather back. This was it, this was when the plan started properly. I took a deep breath, reminded myself that I was now long-lost Cousin Joe from Canada, and I knocked on my Grandparents’ door.

©John de Gruyther 2013