Yesterday was my birthday; family gathered for lunch and birthday cake. It was a great day until it was shattered by the news of the death of Kobe Bryant, his thirteen-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others in a horrific helicopter crash.
It saddened one of my sons to near tears as he was a basketball player throughout his secondary school years; Kobe was one of his idols, they were the same age.
We spent the rest of the day in sorrow; saddness for his young widow and their three remaining daughters at times overwhelmed. The one thing that helps me with grief, in particular this form of it is to journal my feelings.
I write down everything I feel; I scream onto the page, at times the nib of my pen tears through to the page underneath. I rant; my rage palatable as it spills from me, heart and soul.
At the end of it, I feel spent, mentally and physically exhausted, but better. When I am able to cope with my feelings, and speak about them without having a complete melt down, I turn back to the journal, not to write but to read.
These are raw feelings that can help when you create them in your characters. It will add depth to their emotions and will draw the empathy from your readers which is something you want to do. You want the reader to care about your character, what happens to them, feel what they feel.
I was struck hard by this tragedy because I watched Kobe grow as I did my boys; watched how he changed his life to become one of the heroes who inspired fans around the world to be better, to do good things.
I feel for Vanessa, I know her pain. I was widowed at twenty-six and had two young children aged three and seven. It was difficult to explain to them why “daddy wasn’t coming home; his death a tragic car crash.
Any emotion that you are overwhelmed by deserves a page in your journal; use them to write better emotions in your characters.
Rest in Power, Kobe and Gianna.