Category Archives: Ask Me

An unanswered question from reading at Mrs. Dalloway’s

In ‘”The Burden of Dreams,'” why did you put the burial before the death?”

I do things instinctively, what feels emotionally true. Later, I might realize that they are not logical or chronological, but I don’t let that sway me from what feels right. I met this extraordinary young woman. A year later she was dead, and by her own hand. I barely knew her yet felt a tremendous loss like nothing before. Hers was such a white light. As one friend said, let’s remember her the way she was. That’s such a human response necessary for survival. Yet, I felt her so alone on that last hour. Alone, and very brave. But alone or in company, it is alone that we meet death. Putting the scene of the burial before the death, butting it up against the exuberance of that day we met, giving the reader no warning, seeing her rich potential and the loss of hope, for us and for her, showing that everything can change in a moment, the stark finality of death — I wanted the reader to feel some measure of that.