The Letter to Gunny
Published on September 14, 2015 in Writing
The book opens with a letter that I wrote to Ganimedes shortly after he died. The last few weeks of his life, I found myself writing him letters every few days – even though I was living in the same house with him and was with him 24 hours a day.
I’m not sure why I did it. I suppose over time I have found that I can express myself better in writing than I can orally. And at the time, I had so many emotions and so much anticipatory grief of his death, that writing allowed me to clarify my own thoughts and feelings.
I knew when I wrote the letter that I would probably include it in the book –although at the time I hadn’t started writing it. But I always thought the letter would be at the end of the book, not the beginning. I decided to put it at the beginning of the book to set the tone, and to provide a little old-fashioned foreshadowing of what was to come. After all, nobody buys the book assuming that Gunny is still alive, so it is not a plot spoiler!
As I went through the editing process, the people who helped me edit the book often made small editorial suggestions to the letter. It was written in a moment when my emotions were very raw, so it is undoubtedly not the finest example of my writing. Nonetheless, I rejected most of suggested edits because I wanted the letter to reflect what existed at that moment in time on that day. I changed a handful of words over the two years that I worked on the book, but other than that, the letter that appears in the book is exactly as I wrote it on April 19, 2012.