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How to Write about an Irreplaceable Loss

I suffered an irreplaceable loss yesterday. Not something life-changing or all that significant in the great scheme of themes, but emotional nonetheless. After it happened, one of my first thoughts was that I needed to take a moment to write about it.


So that’s what I am doing.


To understand the loss, you need the backstory. My wife and I visit a small town in East Texas which has become a haven for artists of all stripes: painters, musicians, metal workers, and potters.


A local potter and his wife have anchored that community for many years and we always spend some time in their shop. We went to the store first thing on arriving in town and discovered a handwritten sign posted on the door. The shop was closed because the potter had recently passed away. We grieved his passing and asked the proprietor of a shop next door what had happened to potter Brown.


“He had heart trouble, and later had a massive stroke which finished him off about a month ago,” he told us.


I had a coffee cup potter Brown had made, and in the days since our visit, I had used it each day and thought about the man who made it.


Until yesterday when I dropped it and it shattered to pieces on the kitchen floor.

It was irreplaceable, I knew. Gone were the vestiges of potter Brown’s spirit that inhabited it, and the oneness I had felt with him when I held a piece of his artisanship in my hands.


What to do? All I knew to do was scribble these few unfiltered words as a reminder to me of one artist’s life’s work and of what he had been, and of what part of him remains inextinguishable.

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