Approaching middle age, Deedra Climer experienced an unimaginable tragedy―the death of her only son, Joshua, in a motorcycle accident. The spiral of grief that followed reopened ugly wounds that had never fully healed: being raised by a mentally ill and drug-addicted mother, the struggles she faced as a young single mother, and the guilt from exposing her children to one toxic boyfriend after another. Stripped bare emotionally, Deedra is forced to face who she is and where she came from. In sifting through the stark pain of the past, she is finally able to piece together her own sense of self and begin to imagine an unburdened future. Told with crushing honesty and an unflinching eye, Wailing Wall shares one woman’s struggle to make sense of her shattered life in the year following her son’s motorcycle death, weaving social media, poetry and fiction to expose her tragic past and the contours of the new American South. Framed by the devastation of loss, Deedra’s story reaches beyond heartbreak to show the strength of her spirit, illuminated by the persevering hope of redemption.
I didn’t mean to write a memoir.
When I started writing Wailing Wall on the back of an envelope on the way to bury my son, Joshua, all I knew was that I had to write.
My life depended on it. Transforming what was in my mind into words on the page was a confession of sorts, and I trusted those words to bring me through the darkness that slithered around me and wrapped my body so tightly I forgot to breathe.
Memoir saved my life.