2014 Get Started Write Challenge: Day 17

For today’s task, write about your saddest memory. Of course, it could be the death of a loved one, a break-up (or divorce), leaving home, or any number of other sad occasions. I don’t want to bring people down before President’s Day, but this is a good exercise for analyzing our own moments to see how they might fit into our writing.

Here’s my saddest memory:

I remember on the night my first son was born waking from my sleep to the hysterical cries of my first wife. “They came in and took him,” she said, “and they’re not bringing him back.”

It took me a while to piece together just what was happening, but the nurses tried feeding my son and he quit breathing. So they moved him to NICU, since he seemed incapable of feeding and breathing at the same time.

I spent the next few days visiting my son in the NICU when we were able and with my wife. After she was discharged and I had to return to work, it became a weird blur of a situation in which I would go into work, visit my son (who was eventually moved from one hospital to another), and deal with my wife.

It got to the point where I thought I was about to crack. It’s hard losing a loved one, but it’s infinitely harder to lose your own child. After a few weeks, the doctors figured out the problem with my son and performed throat surgery to correct it.

And that’s my saddest memory (up until they sent us home, which then became my most anxious memory). I realize now looking over it that I’ve treated it in a more general way than other moments–so maybe I should figure out how to get even more specific. But that’s my own personal task to accomplish.


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robert_lee_brewer_1Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and a happy father of five great kids (four boys and one princess). When he’s not editing or writing, he volunteers as a den leader and room “mom” for his children. Or he’s trying to talk them into cleaning their rooms (so far, nothing works). He’s the author of Solving the World’s Problems. Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


Here are some recent tasks in this challenge: