In the comic book I am writing with Meghan Kinder, there is a definite villain. There is a terrible witch who preys on children to contrive her immortality. There are more ambiguous conflicts : a mother left to raise a child on her own, a child without friends, a man without a home.
These problems, however, pale beneath the great evil that is the child-murdering witch. In fact, they seem to guide the characters towards heroism, and help them come together to fight evil. And, spoiler alert, they win. Good beats evil, evil is vanquished, and everything seems to have a purpose.
What happens when there is no witch, no clear villain to battle? What happens when that which preys on our children has no wicked plan to thwart, no jaw to punch, no wand to break?
Tomorrow I am attending the funeral for an infant. My friend's newborn got sick, and it was found that she had brain cancer. She was born on her mother's birthday, and passed away after less than a month here among the living.
There is no one to fight, but so many are left wounded.
It is very hard to understand. I don't know if it is even understandable. I want to fight, but it seems that in this war, the only warriors are those with hands that seek to comfort rather than crush. The only heroic feats are to mourn, and to heal. And to hope the things that mattered to us have a purpose. That we will find what was lost, and will be found in return.
The First Mourning, by William-Adolphe Bouguereau