Some Backstory on Why the Monster Calls
To set the record straight I read this story two years ago and it is a beautiful book. It won awards for best book and best illustration in 2011. I read it because it was suggested as a fantasy grief story and I’m interested in bereavement, ‘which is the state of being deprived of something.’ The author Siobhan Dowd wrote the book and names one of the characters from the: ‘Dowd.’ Dowd passed away from advanced breast cancer in 2007 at age 47 and her legacy lives in books like this. Since, she died in the middle of writing ‘A Monster Calls’ she had Patrick Ness finish publishing it. And make it into a feature film.
A Young Boy and His Love of Mom
Conor is a young boy raised in England where he lives with his mother. Soon it is discovered she has terminal cancer and is on chemotherapy. Children having to come to terms with life being cut short is an interesting plot. He copes with the loss of his mom through dream walking and talking to a yew tree (monster). The tree is Conor’s confient in away but also is the monster calling to him, which is the loss of his mom.
Pain in a Nutshell
Now you’re probably wondering why anyone in their right mind would want to read about agony? Right … I wonder too. But I think it has to do with how our society is closed off on handling painful moments like sudden loss or terminal cancer. We don’t know how Conor will get through such an unforuante blow. The monster in this book is a metaphor for grief, loss and maybe even cancer. It is beautiful being able to get to the places that scare us and meeting with them open arms. Showing those feelings that we acceppt the hand we were dealt and use it as a channel to help others.
Last But Never Least
Recently, my manager Kim passed away from cancer three days ago. I believe she was 29 years old and had two small children. I orginally read ‘A Monster Calls’ and thought of my mom who passed away in 2009 from cardiac arrest, but now I am coming back to it for Kim may she rest in peace. She should know along with: Dowd, my mom and the many others who left us way too soon are in our thoughts and prayers and their legacies live on. I am so grateful for having been able to be apart of their lives and spirits. Goddess bless all and I wish for you to read this if you have not yet. Please comment your story if you’ve gone through loss. It is helpful to write and share your feelings.