Good Grief

Sharon Workman is a network producer at CBC radio here in Ottawa. We met last year when I called to confess that I’d kept a CBC digital recorder another producer had let me borrow a year earlier to record sounds of the mines and miner’s bands in Wales (the piece was never produced because I was lazy and distracted). Sharon asked me to tell her about my story idea. Then we met to discuss it. And now she’s encouraging me to pitch it to Ideas. She’d be the producer. It’s a big leap for me. Ideas is an awesome hour-long documentary show. And I’m still constantly distracted. I don’t want to let Sharon down.

Here’s the nut of the story. I want to explore the idea that grief can be inherited — that the effect of something traumatic that happened generations before can be passed on. I’m not talking about the big stuff, like war or concentration camp experiences — things remembered. My idea is that traumatic events that are forgotten can still reverberate generations later if they are not properly dealt with at the time.

I can be deep down sad today because of something that happened 100 years ago.

Tell me if you think I’m nuts. The pitch is a long shot (no guarantee of being accepted), but it’s fun to think about. And if it’s accepted, I will finally be able to use my Welsh mine sounds.

Photo by Jasper at Walden Cabin – December 4, 2006

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