As a writer of short stories, I try to read a plethora of short stories.
I recently purchased the PushCart Prize 2018 edition which contains the story I read:
“The Home for Buddhist Widows” by Blair Hurley
This story has a theme of grief and how we deal with it. In the story, a group of American women has gone to live with the monks to deal with the grief of losing their husbands. One of the women go missing and the group struggles to find her.
Some favorite lines:
It is looking at art or listening to your favorite songs and feeling puzzled by them, those things you loved suddenly bereft of meaning.
Anger has always helped me survive, she says.
But the moment someone becomes a widow, the world wants her to stop in time, to freeze exactly as she was.
What were the Buddha’s last words?
All things are changeable. Nothing is lasting.
I married young, and marriage was a benevolent monster, eating me gently from the inside. I never had to be anyone at all, as long as there was the monster there to care and feed.
This story causes me to reflect on what I would do if my husband passed away. How would I deal with his death? Would I want to travel halfway across the world with strangers? Maybe. I would more than likely find a tiny house and fill it with books and paper and be alone. When trauma strikes my life it is what I tend to do, I retreat.
It also makes me think about how when life changes there is a struggle of perception between you and those around you. The idea of the line above that when someone becomes a widow the expectation is to be frozen as that person.
What comes to mind for you?