After reading the short stories about different ways of feeling as well as dealing with pain, it was interesting how each one differed. The Beard reading was about a woman who was saddened by the suffering of her dog, along with the departure of her husband. Midway through the reading, the audience discovers that it is truly about a school shooting in which one of her favorite colleagues is shot. Its a very tragic story. Although it is interesting that the writer chose to incorporate the story of her dog and husband along with the shooting, together, I didn't find it effective. The reader was led to believe the story to be about one thing, and completely shifted to another topic. She was very detailed within her writing which I liked.
The Richards story was not my favorite. Although she wrote very eloquently, I thought she could have created a more emotional response to what she was going through. I really liked how she talked about the fishing story. That felt more genuine than words could ever show. It showed the agony of the death her grandmother was forced to accept. I like stories that show deeper meaning and stand back and look at the larger picture about why they feel a certain way. I think she could have done this more within the story. I didn't feel connected to the writer, especially since I have never had to deal with such a thing.
The Strayed story was by far my favorite. Her intense honesty is intriguing. It's compelling that she brings up the idea that in America we go through certain stages of grieving and are only allowed an allotted amount of time to grieve before its considered a disease and we need help. I think she is pretty right about that. When it comes to a loss, it never gets easier to deal with, but you learn to move on. Its unfortunate that such an event has had such a huge impact on her to transform her life from that of a happily married young women pursuing a college degree, to a promiscuous, drug craving woman. Its amazing to examine how different people cope with life experiences quite differently. Why is it that we do that? What makes one method easier to cope with than another? Why is is that some people divulge into sex as a way of filling the void, while others prefer connecting with individuals sharing their pain? These are all interesting questions that we can ask ourselves. And there is no exact answer unfortunately.