Grief Surfing – Friday Fictioneers, December 2016

Copyright Shaktiki Sharma

Copyright Shaktiki Sharma

 

“He meant everything to me,” she says, adding a candle to the multitude by the stage door.

“You knew him then?”

She stares.

“Didn’t we all?”

“No, I mean really know him?”

“I felt like I did,” she says, defensive before his bleak stare.

He turns away, shaking his head, and she catches his arm.

“Did you know him?”

“I think so,” he says, remembering their last evening together.

“So you needed to be here, like us…”

He pulls free, as a bus disgorges another wave of rose-bearing, candle-carrying pilgrims who thought they knew him.

“No, I need to be alone,” he says.


A grim piece to end a grim year, in more ways than one.  Let’s hope the New Year heralds new beginnings for all of us.   A year’s worth of thanks to Rochelle for hosting this weekly get-together and wishing all Friday Fictioneers a year of inspirational writing.

 

About Sandra

I cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and write fiction and poetry. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin'. Bookmark the permalink.

66 Responses to Grief Surfing – Friday Fictioneers, December 2016

  1. neilmacdon says:

    Grim but timely, Sandra

    Like

  2. A beautiful story and a reminder that celebrities are just like you and me. I like how you’ve written about something so topical without mentioning any names. Brilliantly done!

    Like

  3. wmqcolby says:

    Ah, such a wonderful and thoughtful piece, Sandra. Having worked with people in the public eye, it seems “regular people” always feel they have “ownership” to those celebrities in some way. And I can’t say I really blame them. In my case, five years ago when our TV weather man died, (someone I worked with closely and knew quite well) all of Kansas City was in mourning. He had quite a following. But, we at the station understood because we were grieving, too, and having more people do that was actually very comforting. Even Fox News reporter, Doug Luzader, offered live on-air condolences to us after his story, which we thought was SO nice of him.

    As always, a pleasure to read your impeccable writings, Sandra, but also enjoying your company as well. Have a great New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks for your observations Kent. Celebrity death is a weird phenomena, and we’ve sadly had the opportunity to study it at length this year. Happy New Year to you too!

      Like

  4. Dear Sandra,

    Grim but touching piece. Everyone handles grief in their own way. More story layered between the lines. Well done as always.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  5. Rowena says:

    Bad bus driver! Can’t be Friday Fictioneers without a few deaths.
    Celebrity deaths are so weird. Not unsurprisingly, I’ve been thinking of George Michael this week. I was never into Wham! at the time, although the songs grew on me over the years. However, two of my school friends adored Wham! One was crazy about George and the other about Andy and I mean crazy. So, a part of me is mourning…as much for my youth as the man Then, I started to read through the stories in the paper and found out about his generosity to charity. I also found out that he’d bought a house in Palm Beach and was living a stone throw from our family holiday house. Never knew he was a local.
    So, weird things come out and perhaps a new legend is born.
    xx Rowena

    Like

  6. Beryl Ramsey says:

    Dear Sandra. I felt I could really relate to this very thought provoking story. Because of the work I used to do, I attended many dozens of funerals & was often surprised at how little I really knew about each person, no matter how long I had “known” them. Your story also highlighted the increasing fashion for public outpouring of grief about people in the public eye & I like how you question this in a non-judgemental way & leave the reader to draw their own conclusions.
    King regards
    Beryl xx

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks for reading Beryl. It was difficult trying to get this story out without, as you say, passing a judgement on the phenomena of celebrity death. I’m glad it seemed that way. I’ve been quite bemused these last few weeks by the reactions of others. Have a lovely New Year, Beryl. x

      Like

  7. Excellent. I was musing on this yesterday, how an artist becomes entwined in the lives of millions they never met. A special kind of intimacy they are not allowed to share in. It’s really something.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      There’s so much about celebrity mourning that has become disturbingly evident this last year. Besides the phenomena you mention, I find myself quite transfixed by the need for other celebrities to mark the occasion in their own way, together with the media’s assumption that this in itself is news, as they ream off the myriad comments that other celebrities have tweeted. As you say, it’s really something…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Very fitting with all of the celebrity losses this year. Interesting how different people deal with grief too.

    Like

  9. Lynn Love says:

    It really does seem that 2016 had more than its fair share of celebrity deaths, and so many too young to die too. It is at once understandable – and disturbing – when a celebrity dies and the public go into spasms of overy grief. All we have is an idea of what that person was like, their acting roles or stage persona, without having a real connection to them as a human being. Grief surfing is a wonderfully apt phrase to describe it. Wonderfully written and a good point made too

    Like

  10. It seems like this year has been filled with well-known people leaving… and I love how you pinpoint the difference between a public and the private intimate one… the year has not ended yet… but maybe we have had the last now.

    Like

  11. Michael Wynn says:

    Thinking of this very subject just this morning, perhaps unsurprisingly. People grieve for those they didn’t actually know but who gave them pleasure. In the end they are grieving for their own memories and past as much as the individual who has died.

    Like

  12. Hi, plz ignore the earlier V which i guess just went in a breeze.
    Coming back to the story i found it not only topical but also extremely sensitive and thought provoking with a very strong philosophical edge to it.
    Grief surfing. Just love that coinage. Very apt, too.

    Like

  13. So many of us are feeling this about so many this year. Dearly departed people we thought we knew…

    Like

  14. ceayr says:

    I love how, in your unique and masterful style, you lay bare the emptiness of the sad people who create the ‘celebrity’ culture and endeavour to wallow in public grief.
    Timely and terrific.

    Like

  15. This is a great story to point out that we, the public, don’t “own” any celebrity. One can’t be friends with someone they don’t know. So very well done, Sandra.

    Like

  16. draliman says:

    Topically grim. Maybe I’m emotionally stunted, but while I’m sad at a favourite celebrity’s passing I can’t seem to work up the intense emotion some people do. I didn’t actually know them, after all.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Beautifully written and very apt for the moment.

    Like

  18. Dale says:

    I loved this, Sandra. This could apply to anyone out there. Celebrity or not. We all grieve in our own way and whether it is logical or not, sometimes we grieve for those we never knew, who touched us in some way during our lifetime.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. An interesting look at different levels of grief. It is so personal to everyone that no-one can claim more entitlement to grief than anyone else, and yet it is human nature to do so. Well written with a very intimate feel

    Like

  20. I agree with everyone else’s comments. I often feel silly shedding tears for a celebrity’s deaths but their job has been to entertain us and make us love them. I spent an hour or so with Debbie Reynolds while I was in college and her grief and her ultimate broken heart effected me deeply this week.
    Btw, why is there snow, or is it tears, falling through your blog site? It’s distracting. :-[
    Happy New Year Sandra

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks for reading Tracey. I turned the ‘snow’ feature on several years ago, and I can’t remember how to turn it off. Life’s too short to pursue it, and it’s only for December, anyway. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  21. plaridel says:

    i’m with him on this. folks have different ways of expressing grief.

    Like

  22. Liz Young says:

    How appropriate after this week, this year, and how sadly true to life.

    Like

  23. rogershipp says:

    A fine piece. So well done without any names. Enjoyed.

    Like

  24. Some of us become Heremitcrabs while others need company. It’s good to be different.

    Happy New Year.

    Like

  25. This is a very well written piece and says it all about the celebrity culture. It brings to mind something that happened to me a few weeks ago. Somebody told me he was “friends” with a famous author, but then had to backtrack when I said that I had known this author for a long time, even from before he was famous.
    I have a real problem with name-droppers but I guess that some people genuinely feel that they know a celebrity because they have invested so much time and emotion in following them. Also, social media can give people a false impression that they know someone better than they do.
    Blessed are those celebrities who do many good and charitable works in their lives, without making a great song and dance about it.

    Like

  26. A timely piece of writing, Sandra. The news has been flooded with the passing of so many famous people right now. Your story touches upon the way the public feels about famous or in the public eye people. I enjoyed your take on the prompt, as always.
    Happy New Year ‘2017’ to you and your family.
    Isadora 😎

    Like

  27. A very tight piece of writing. You have just the right balance in the dialogue to make it believable yet to have it say all you want.

    Like

  28. This could only have been written in 2016, the year when so many celebrities passed. You capture that double-life of public vs personal very well. How much do we really know anybody, even those in our “real” lives?

    Like

  29. subroto says:

    Very well captured slice of real life. Everybody has an ‘ownership’ now due to our connected world. Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/etc followers. Plus grieving in front of a camera has become such a thing to do.

    Like

  30. The story here seems to be what is left unsaid, Great fun for the reader!

    Like

  31. Such an endless and powerful list of names that inspired this scene, no doubt. It felt like being hit over and over this year… and then battered in November! Here’s hoping 2017 brings some relief, she said mechanically. All of that aside: thanks for another year of support and kindness, Sandra. I love writing with my FF peeps! This, like all your stories smacks of thoughtful composition and attention to detail; it’s why I come!

    Like

  32. Lori Carlson says:

    Wow, Sandra. I think you captured how all of us felt this past year about so many losses. Beautiful, haunting story.

    Like

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