Rochelle set us a one hundred word flash fiction theme, prompted by a photo, each week.  Why not give it a try?


Jenny Murray spotted the stranger sitting on the gravestone, sobbing. Jenny and Martha went over to find out what was awry. He could hardly speak between the sobs: his heart was breaking.
“My daughter, Anna, I can’t find her anywhere.”
Soon there was a small crowd of churchgoers gathered around him, trying to offer solace, clucking and cooing; whilst another group wandered up and down the lane, searching and calling out to Anna.
Jenny asked “When did you last see her?”.
Still weeping, he answered “Nineteenth of August, 1972”. (89)

get the InLinkz code


About micklively

Fifty-something, pacifist, six sigma black belt, lean implementer, brewer, vintner, guitarist, wood-turner, and slave to collies.
This entry was posted in bereavement, death, grief, loss, sorrow, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Searching

  1. Heartbreak and sadness. You captured that poor man’s suffering for so many years. Great ending.

  2. subroto says:

    And now watch Jenny and Martha back away ever so slightly….

  3. ottilliah says:

    A very touching story.

  4. The comments are so interesting and show us how different our individual minds work. I don’t think it’s possible to get over the loss of a child and I don’t think you have to be demented to re-live that grief three decades later. Good story Mick.

  5. You’ve touched upon a parents greatest fear … burying a child. The impact of the last line brings us to wonder if the father was experiencing dementia. The cruel and debilitating illness that robs one of memories that help heal a devastating loss. Loved this very much, Mick. I’ve just about stopped producing tears from this weeks sad FF stories. Perhaps, a nice happy prompt next week would be great. Don’t you think?
    Have a great weekend …
    Isadora 😎

  6. What a great though eerie picture. Love the time travel. You can see how that could be. I don’t think any parent gives up when it comes to a child.

  7. gahlearner says:

    There is so much story and pain in the few words of the father. Great, powerful story.

  8. It must be so sad if someone who has long gone then departs our mind.

    Visit Keith’s Ramblings!

  9. A wonderful take on the prompt.

  10. Ellespeth says:

    It seems somehow meaningful that strangers and church members came to comfort and help him keep up his search.

    • micklively says:

      I suppose I imagined that a group of people emerging from a church service might be more likely to get involved than mere passers-by on a street? I don’t know if that’s true.
      Many thanks Ellespeth.

  11. rgayer55 says:

    I would think the pain of losing a child is a horse that cannot be tamed.

    • But then how happy could a graveyard story be really?

      • micklively says:

        Interesting question. I agree but I can’t fathom the logic. None of us are immortal. Yet we react with shock and dismay when someone dies. It’s the natural cycle of life. Where’s the sense?

        • There is a sorrow in the parting even for those of us who believe strongly in the after life.

          • micklively says:

            Maybe you don’t really believe at all.

            • Nope pretty sure I do. Still I can miss someone who has gone on a long journey.

              • micklively says:

                OK. On a similar subject, why would a believer in eternity use a death sentence?

                • I guess I don’t really understand the question. For me death is an experience common to all men. That said as a believer I don’t think of it as an ending but as a transition. Maybe that is where the sadness comes in. Transitions involve change, letting go of one thing to take hold of another. Even when the parting is temporary it is still a change. I don’t feel like I answered your question at all but there you go.

                  • micklively says:

                    Sorry Joseph, I was not trying to give you a hard time. I have wrestled with a number of paradoxical questions over the years. The one I was trying (albeit badly) to pose you with was the apparent inconsistency of Christians (and others), who claim to believe in paradise and eternity, using death as a punishment. Surely, sending someone to paradise is a blessing, and so, no punishment at all? “I go from a corruptible to an incorruptible world”.

                    • Ah now I understand. In orthodox Christian theology Heaven is not the only possible destination after death. The Bible teaches an eternal Heaven and an eternal Hell. The end of all death is not Heaven. Further the destination is not determined by good works or evil works as though God is keeping a tally but according to faith in the power of God to forgive and expunge our evil works as we admit them and turn our hearts from them towards him. The point of Jesus’ death in Christian theology is that He took our punishment on the cross. He was the fulfillment of Isaiah 53.
                      I didn’t feel like you were giving me a hard time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me.

                    • But it strikes me as I am praying about it that you are speaking even more deeply about death as punishment.
                      You have my theological juices running. I am going to put my thoughts in a post tomorrow and you can read and think on them if you so desire and we can continue the conversation there.

                    • micklively says:

                      OK: sounds good, thanks.

  12. So sad. This sounds like dementia. My mother had forgotten in her last years that my dad had died in 1980, and wondered why he didn’t come to the nursing home to visit her. We told here he was on a fishing trip. She had Alzheimer’s. Well written, Mick. —- Suzanne J.

    • micklively says:

      I hadn’t considered dementia when I wrote it, (though I find it an interesting possibility) just someone without closure who couldn’t let go.
      Many thanks Patricia.

  13. Liz Young says:

    Some grief never dies.

  14. draliman says:

    Poor chap. Very moving and sad.

  15. jellico84 says:

    Sadly so beautiful!

I will be pleased to read your thoughts, even if you don't agree.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s