Below is a link to a piece I wrote about the medical story of my father’s death. I have written already (in Lunch Ticket) about the emotionally complex single hour that followed his death. Now that his death is far enough away, I’ve found myself reflecting on his medical care, and his frustration (as well as our emotional nadirs) around his slow death and complicated care.
I wrote this piece while at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. What a place, I was on their wait-list and got the call to come to Virginia for a week in May! I got there and set to work on my novel, finishing up a draft I had begun at home. One night I went out to Thai dinner with some of the other artists-in-residence, and at the end, one of them, one who I felt was way too cool to be my friend, asked if I’d like to read with her, since we shared an interest in medical issues. I said yes, having nothing to read, but unwilling to pass up this chance to work with her.
That is where this piece of writing came from. I wrote like a mad-woman, spending maybe 10 hours straight figuring out exactly what it was that I wanted to say. This kind of deeply focused work can only happen at a place like VCCA.