It's a funny thing to publish a memoir, to bare your life for all to see, to write about the people who've changed your days, and your heart. The most you can hope for is that they read with an open mind, that they forgive you your memories and experiences, that they trust your intentions, and that they see, a little more clearly, all the things you meant to say all along.
- Claire Bidwell Smith
When my mom died I immediately dove into memoirs about loss. I craved the written words of others who had gone before me, walked the motherless path, found themselves navigating a new world. I read a lot. One of my favorites was The Rules of Inheritance, by Claire Bidwell Smith.
Claire lost both of her parents to cancer. The way she is able to weave her words, the honest portrayal of her grief, struck me so. I have gone back and re-read parts of it many times in the last year. I loved the above quote, in fact the entire article is a good one. It sits with me, as I pen my own memoir.
There are parts that are ugly, in fact, there's a lot that has been hard for me to write - and I know will be hard for some to read. Namely, my family. This has been a huge struggle for me, the idea of telling the story as it is meant to be told, knowing I'm cheating it if I'm 'too careful' and yet, wanting to honor the memory of my mom.
An email from Claire last spring allowed me to realize something important, as she encouraged me to read books of the same genre, "They reminded me of things I could write about, reminded me to be brave in my writing, reminded me that these stories are important."
When I came across the article and quote mentioned above it was just the reminder I needed, and it spoke what my heart has felt all along.
"The most you can hope for is that they read with an open mind, that they forgive you your memories and experiences, that they trust your intentions, and that they see, a little more clearly, all the things you meant to say all along."
Yes, yes, yes. So much yes.