Gracetown MemorialAs a writer I try to convey emotion – anger, happiness, fear, joy, grief. It’s impossible to have experienced the full gambit of emotions my characters need so I draw on people around me, on stories I read in newspapers, on TV interviews. Sometimes I stumble across something unexpected that slams into me, knocks me down.

Visiting Gracetown was one of those moments. The tiny community is north from where we are staying in the Margaret River, a small hamlet nestled into a curving bay. We drove into the carpark at the top of the cliff. The sky was overcast, the ocean a seething angry navy-blue. I took the camera and walked along the cliffs.

The memorial stopped me dead. The curving waves each had a name inscribed into them, the bench perfectly placed to sit and contemplate the view. Then I read the plaque.

I don’t know how a small community recovers from something so devastating. How do people pick up the pieces and carry on when they must face reminders every day? How do you cope when your world has literally crashed down on you? It humbled me. The optimism in the memorial, in the dedication, are proof of the resilience of communities, proof that people endure and survive, proof that grace can still be found even in the face of overwhelming grief.Gracetown-the story


4 thoughts on “Grace

  1. Oh teary teary teary… I think there are times in our life that (fortunately) we are reminded of how precious and fragile the human condition is… I find myself frustrated (at myself) when I have forgotten the lesson (such as someone my age losing their life suddenly – hence I should LIVE my life) or when I allow the mundane and trivial (really) points take over my sphere of concern…

    This is a reminder I needed today to get on with it, and don’t sweat the small stuff…

    Thanks Helene… as always!

    Amanda x

  2. Hi Sandy, sorry for the tears. I was glad I was the only one on the cliff top as I was reading it…

    Something whimsical planned for tomorrow!

  3. Hey Helene, Humans can be the most dreadful creatures – and they can be the most sublime, can’t they? To survive, we do what we have to do. This town appears to be well named.
    Now, my dear, you’ve brought me tears first thing in the morning, just as well my coffee cup is at hand. At least under the tears is a feeling of, as you say, evidence of Grace.
    I’m hoping for a laugh or at least a warm fuzzy for the next post. Hi to G.

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