Death is a terrifying thing because it may come unexpected at any age. As a kid you don’t understand the serious dangers in life, such as death, because life is wonderful and full of joy.
Parents want to project their children from feeling distress as much as they can, but no one can stop the inevitable part of life.
In the short story “Divorced, Beheaded, Survived” from 2010 by Robin Black represents Sarah, who loses her childish innocence because her big brother Terrance(Terry) gets very sick and die because of a disease in 1974.
The short story starts in medias res because it starts in the middle of the children’s play “without questions, Anne Boleyn was the plum role”.
It’s structured in chronological flashbacks between her past and the present. It’s a first-person narrator because we hear it from Sarah’s point of view, and it is reliable information that may be trusted on.
Sarah, the protagonist of the short story is a woman in her forties that lost her brother Terry to a disease when she was 10 years old.
In the past Sarah talks about how they play with Molly Denham and Johnny Sanderson, some kids at their neighborhood in a yard behind Sarah and Terry’s childhood home at spring.
They play King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Lady Anne, King Henry VIII’s second wife, is the plum role that everyone loves to act as and Sarah is willing to give up the role
just for her brother because he was the most convincing “it was almost worth giving up the role yourself just to watch Terry give it his all, and it might have been, if it weren’t for the execution scene.
But the beheading was just too good not to fight over” the scene is exciting for the children because none of them have experienced losing someone to death in real life, which makes the scene of beheading right to fight for.
This suddenly changes when Terry gets a disease and dies, that’s when Molly and Johnny stop dropping by to play. It lefts Sarah in more grief and alone with her sorrow and thoughts.
In the present 30 years later, Sarah is married to Lyle, and they have two children together, Mark and Coco, sixteen and twelve years old.
She concerns about how to protect her children from feeling distress because she knows how much it can affect a child, because of her own traumatizing experiences.