Written by Ruth McLeod-Kearns and based on the death of her own sister, ‘Carnations Never Wilt’ proves that losing a loved one doesn’t put an end to their daily involvement in life. Showcasing the post-loss rituals that millions develop but won’t admit to, the novelette is poised to resonate with readers around the world.
Turlock, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/17/2013 -- To many, death is the end and to others it’s a new beginning. When California’s Ruth McLeod-Kearns lost her own sister, her grief turned into ritual that became as important as the death itself. While this concept may appear foreign to some, its prevalence and poignant impact on the life of millions served as bold inspiration for McLeod-Kearns’ new novelette. ‘Carnations Never Wilt’ has also recently been licensed to a production company for media outlet.
Raw, emotive and an impactful read that can be completed in less than thirty minutes, ‘Carnations Never Wilt’ is a powerful reminder that letting go is never easy.
‘Carnations Never Wilt’ is a short story of a woman’s struggle to cope with the loss of her sister.
The main character hides the depth of her depression by spending endless days at the cemetery, disconnecting herself from the ones who care about her and from who she used to be. Being at the cemetery so often, she begins to realize that each individual mourning the loss of a loved one has a ritual - some pray, some kiss the headstone, some do as she does and spend their entire existence six feet above someone whom they can never talk to or see again.
She becomes entranced with the ritual of a mother mourning the loss of her daughter. Her appearance looks as though she has lost all color and happiness in her life and her body is merely an image of what she used to be. They never speak, for what is there to say? All they do is acknowledge each other’s presence with a nod or a broken smile.
As the seasons pass, the main character sees the mourning mother less and less. The duration of the mother’s appearances begin to shorten with each visit, as she begins only to come around on her daughter’s birthday and important holidays. Did she make it out? Is she back amongst the living?
One day, a bright red Lexus pulls up - a car the main character doesn’t recognize. A newcomer? No, it’s the mother and she looks great. Her hair is stylishly different and her walk is lively. The mother sets a flower on her daughter’s grave and places a gentle kiss on the bronze stone. She then turns and heads toward the main character with a beautiful white flower in hand. When the mother approaches the main character, she speaks the only dialogue in the story, “You’re not the one buried”. The mother smiles with a look in her eyes that not many could understand, and returns to her car.
This act of kindness from a stranger helps the character realize that she needs to start living her life again. She needs to be there for her family, not only because they need her, but because it’s what her sister would have wanted. She still brings carnations every now and again but strictly as a visitor- she’s finally made it out. Why carnations? Carnations Never Wilt.
As the author explains, her narrative was driven and inspired by her own grieving.
“This story is loosely based on the impact that the death of my sister, Bonnie, had on my life. It broke me into a million tiny pieces that showed no hope for repair. As the days turned into weeks and months, I began to form a ritual. From pouring her coffee exactly as she liked it on her grave every morning, to writing messages keeping her informed on how we all were doing, I performed the ritual in a systematic, reverent way,” says McLeod-Kearns.
Continuing, “I finally did make it outside the gates that hold the dead and some living captive. It wasn’t easy, and I still am haunted. I have come to realize that I am not the only one who has suffered the death of a loved one. We are all bonded by loss: it is something that makes everyone equal.”
With the book’s popularity expected to increase, interested readers are urged to purchase their copies as soon as possible.
‘Carnations Never Wilt’ is available now: http://amzn.to/12GkFaa
About Ruth McLeod-Kearns
Ruth McLeod-Kearns was born in Colorado, but spent most of her life in California. She is a Registered Nurse with a specialty in Trauma. It was always her dream to become a writer, and in 2012, she pursued that dream following a work-related foot injury that ended her nursing career.
Ruth currently lives in Central California with her wife, Kate, and her three sons living close by. She studied at the UCLA School of Writing and is currently a full-time author.