Copyright-Renee Homan Heath

‘For seven years, her face haunted me.  Her eyes wide in terror as the wave snatched her away from my arms.  She didn’t cry, just whimpered, like she knew.  I never said a word to her.  No “It’s going to be alright,” or anything. Because there was no time for goodbyes.  One second she was there, her small hands clutched around my neck, the next second she wasn’t.

‘But now standing on this beach again; sunny, peaceful like no disaster – no tsunami – had ever happened, I think it’s a better place than most to lie and rest. ‘


Click on Friday Fictioneers to read other entries for this week’s prompt.  It took me an instant to associate the picture with an idea but half a day to write it.   And somehow, I still don’t feel like I’m doing it justice!

The horror that we saw on TV during that Christmas of 2004 is something that still weighs on me sometimes.  Maybe that is why I connected this picture so quickly with that ‘event’ and with this, I think, I am willing into being my wish that all those families who were affected achieved some closure, some healing, somehow.

56 comments on “Closure

  1. I would take out the “‘cos” and just start a new sentence. (There was no time for goodbyes.) Also, you have some unnecessary quotes at the beginning of your paragraphs. The story itself – and the way you have worded it – is pleasant as a sigh at crying’s end. Nice work.

    • Sandra says:

      That was actually how it was originally, and I then joined the sentence because starting the sentence with ‘Cos looked funny to me. But I will work on it again, thank you.

      • Sandra says:

        I maintained the ‘Because’ as I think it’s more flowy like this, and gives more reality to the fact that the woman is actually speaking. If I am wrong please tell me.

      • I happen to like the ‘cos, Sandra. It adds a deeply personal feel to it somehow. brings it closer to the soul…oh, words just fail past the tears of the memories this brings to my mind. Lost six friends in less than two minutes in a storm surge…

      • Sandra says:

        I am very sorry to hear that! About fifteen years back we lost a family member in a flash flood so I can imagine what you went through; worst imaginable phone call to receive in the middle of the night!

  2. wmqcolby says:

    Ah! Bittersweet ending. Sandra your stories don’t read … they SING! Wonderful job!

  3. That utterly wrenched at my heart. I think I agree with waitingforaname about removing the ‘cos. It sounds so much more casual than the rest of your story and lowers the drama level.

  4. I KNEW it was the tsunami! So sad but a wonderful 100 word story.
    However I’m going to agree with the deletion of “cos” also.

  5. rich says:

    any place is a good place to lie and rest – provided you know for sure that you’ll be able to get up again when the rest is over. well done.

  6. People seem to be fixated on sadness with this one. Yours showed very well.
    Good job.

  7. Sandra says:

    Nicely done, I wondered whether anyone would do the ‘tsunami’ take. And you did it well.

  8. muZer says:

    Heart-breaking but a closure indeed. Great take on the prompt.

  9. It does look like a better place than most to rest. It would be sad, even after 7 years to heal some of the wounds. Very well written story.

  10. Ah the Tsunami. It has taken up a lot of Swede’s life since it happened. So many stories from friends and friends of friends. So sad and well told.

    • Sandra says:

      I saw a documentary recently on the aftermath of the Tsunami and it literally broke my heart! So I can only imagine what people who have actually been there must have felt and gone through.

  11. Wow, Sandra! Awesome! I’ve been through disasters- specifically hurricanes… This is just too poignant! Right spot on the point, capturing that moment so well.

  12. I can’t imagine a scene like that one. So sad. Stupid mother nature with her crazy tantrums 😦

  13. Another sad story. Maybe it’s the winter months and longing for warmth that draws such a sad response to this prompt. I’m ready for SUMMER!!

  14. tedstrutz says:

    Oh, Sandra… Your story is so touching. Too real to enjoy. Well written.

  15. Your description of this loss was just heart-rending. Connecting the photo to the tsunami disaster was a great premise. Ron

    • Sandra says:

      The event had affected me deeply – emotionally – and maybe that is why the second I saw the picture my mind ran back to this tragedy. Thank you for reading Ron.

  16. Dear Sandra,
    what a touchingly gut wrenching story. Hard to say I enjoyed it, but you did a wonderful job with it.

  17. Joe Owens says:

    If all we write are happy stories we ignore half of life. I prefer uplifting stories, but know life presents good and bad to everyone at laternating times. You did a wonderful job putting ahuman face on such a monstrous and life-chaning atmosphric event. May we never witness such again.

  18. Tom Poet says:

    A touching story, well told…I like cos better to tell you the truth..It’s the way most people say it in New York so for me it feels natural and has a more personal feel to it. You could also just remove the whole word if you wanted to. Either way good job!


  19. elmowrites says:

    A great story of love and loss, Sandra. I’m glad the narrator found closure at the end. If I could critique one thing, it would be the fact that the narrator didn’t have time to give comfort but did have time to hear a whimper. I like the whimper – it feels like a heartbreaking detail – but I wonder whether you’d be better to suggest that the narrator said something but the girl didn’t hear it. Just a suggestion.

    • Sandra says:

      But then I think I would be piling on the drama. Plus, the fact that she did not have time to say anything shows how fast it all happened, because if there was time to say something there would have been time to reach out and try to save the child…That’s what I think at least.

  20. rgayer55 says:

    Very well written. Closure can often be elusive.

  21. tragic story and well-told. Going back had to be difficult. See, I’m identifying with your character. You did your job here well.

  22. Who would ever think a beautiful place could be the site of such tragedy? Thank you for sharing

  23. deanabo says:

    Absolutly beautiful. You have a wonderful way with words.

  24. Sandra, I loved the way you ended this. How frightening a tsunami must be, and to have lost someone to that. You’ve captured it beautifully here, the tragedy, sadness, and grief, and then acceptance of it. Well done.

  25. Sunshine says:

    going through a painful event then having to return to a place with a peaceful heart truly shows how powerful healing can be when we work on it. little stories like yours are good reminders… ❤

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