From a kids’ book called Tear Soup by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen:
The next morning as Grandy was cleaning up, Chester asked her if she was done making tear soup.
“Well, I don’t think you actually ever finish. The hard work of making this batch of soup is almost done though. I’ll put this back in the freezer and will pull it out from time to time to have a little taste.
…I’ve learned that grief, like a pot of soup, changes the longer it simmers and the more things you put into it.”
I woke up thinking the words: “They are on Planet Earth. You are on Planet My Baby Died.” Somehow these words had been entangled in my dreams, and I woke up with them exactly on my lips.
When I finished my grief writing course back in March, I spent a lot of time gathering a list of prompts for myself, to continue. The writing process of using the prompts has been partially opposite of the writing course: rather than receive a prompt and letting it carry me, I will have an incident occur and want to write, and find a prompt around which to wrap it. Sometimes the process is more linear and the prompt will trigger a specific memory. It works for me.
I began my process with 222 prompts. I do not share everything I write. Sometimes what I have to say is too angry, too shaming, or too private. I counted yesterday and I am down to 82 prompts remaining. My pace has slowed to five or six per month, which will keep me going for a little over a year. Then what? Has the story ended? To I need to find some way to tie everything together into an “ending” and move on? Does it become redundant to write at that point?
At what point does writing over and over about how I am affected by grief benefit no one, including myself?
I’m not there yet, but I wonder. Does the end of my prompts mean the end of my writing about grieving? Or at least the end of writing in the way that I am now? Is it an end to my own batch of tear soup?