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Struck by Rosalie Lightning

As my faithful and faithless followers know, on the Wednesdays that I actually write I most often hold up the Good Words and/or Good Works of creative types. I often offer my own thoughts on the work and once in a blue moon I might be a bit critical. But my primary goal is to get you to look at work worthy of your attention.

Today, I offer up the work of Tom Hart without too much in the way of commentary. I will write just enough framing to get you going. Tom Hart is a comic artist and instructor. His graphic novels have garnered lots of acclaim, and he recently co-founded Sequential Artists Workshop, a comix school, here in Gainesville, FL.

The work I want to highlight is his ongoing graphic memoir of the life and death of his child Rosalie.

My sweet hilarious darling beautiful daughter who left us before two years. I have written one book about her birth, Daddy Lightning, and continue to write a long-form graphic memoir about losing her, called Rosalie Lightning. From the Rosalie webpage on Tom Hart’s website

I have to admit that I cannot read very far before weeping because the parts I have read are so full of wonder and woe that it breaks my heart. I weep as I type these words that is how profoundly moving I find Daddy Lightning and Rosalie Lightning. I will have to buy them in print form, so I can read a small section, mark my place and come back when I am ready to sit with the intense joy and pain woven through this work.

Reading a work like this makes me wish that it didn’t need to be written. We would all be happier if Tom Hart did not need to write and draw these panels. But the need exists, and we can give witness to the joys and pains of his love and his loss. We can give thanks that he shares that loss, that he shares that love. These are Good (and Not So Good) Words that we need to help us keep on keeping on when death takes our own loves, when we contemplate our own grievous losses.

Image from Tom Hart's work

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