I’ve heard many times that there are things that happen in life that are considered major life changes, and it’s hard to get through them without some tough times. Those things include moving, building a house, having a baby, losing a loved one. Obviously, the death of a loved one can be one of the worst. And when death hits home, it’s always hard to deal with. We learned today that two of the girls who dance at our studio have suffered a major life change. Their stepfather, a very supportive man who was there for them, when their biological father was not, was killed yesterday in a horrible motorcycle accident.
The accident was so bad that they are cremating the body. I have heard some details from someone who happened upon the accident, and they said that he was basically ripped apart. His wife had to go down and identify his body, because he was not carrying ID. He borrowed a friend’s motorcycle, went for a ride, and never returned.
Life is now so very different for these girls, and their mother.
My heart goes out to them, in the time of their loss.
In this business, major life changes result in stories. Our heros and heroines are usually complicated people, who have been scarred by major life changes. Some life changes are worse than others. I have heard people say that divorce is worse than death, because death is so final. Divorce usually means years and years of dealing with someone who has hurt you, or cheated on you, or who stopped loving you. Death is very final.
Do you ever get past it? I don’t know.
My friend Jenni lost her first husband. They were both young, and her daughter was only six months old when her father died. He was the victim of an industrial accident, and so it was very unexpected. She went a little crazy for a while, and can now recount exactly how she felt, even all these years later. Her six-month-old is now eleven, and she has remarried and has four other children. But she’s never forgotten. It has shaped her.
When she heard about this death, she was immediately sympathetic, and offered to help the mother through the crisis.
I suspect she will not forget this event, either.
A heroine who has faced this will obviously never be the same. She will mistrust life. She will not easily jump into a new relationship, and will always be waiting for the “other shoe” to drop.
Other “life changes” that rock our boats include:
1. An abusive relationship, marriage, or parent.
2. The loss of a child.
3. A cheating spouse.
4. A rape.
5. A spouse that disappears.
In Wives and Sisters, my heroine suffers more than one of these, and it shapes her. Makes her stronger, despite the adversity. But angsty, and haunted with with ghosts and demons from the past. I gotta admit, that’s how I like my heroines.
How about you? Does it bother you to read about a heroine who has suffered in her past? Or is that part and parcel of reading this type of fiction?