Five months ago, less than a week after her 24th birthday, my fiancée, Shanna, collapsed. No one knew it at the time, but a blood clot had broken loose from her leg and made its way into her lung. Once it was there, it did a number of things: It put pressure on her heart, dropping her blood pressure…
This is such a great piece. It’s harrowing, as the author deals with the grief of his recent death of his fiancee, but it’s also one hundred percent correct in how it criticizes the way certain books, films, and television treat death.
The author ultimately leaves it up in the air as to whether it’s a legitimate gripe or just a symptom of his own grief. It’s both: he noticed it because of his grief, but that doesn’t mean it’s not warranted.
Death in a work should have a major impact. It should linger, and it should matter. It doesn’t have to be the climax, and it CAN be a plot device, but if so, it better have some fucking weight to it. If you don’t give it the proper respect and weight it deserves, then you remove the danger and peril from your work. You also, IMO, contribute to the greater trend of artless hackery in film and literature, where the stakes have to become greater and greater until they breach the realm of the absurd, all because you couldn’t be bothered to make a death matter.
Let’s not get started on comics. I mean, my God.
Anyway, go read this.