How did Phyllisia handle her grief over the death of her mother?

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Phyllisia knew her mother was sick, but did not realize just how sick she was. Her horrible secret had been exposed--her breast had been removed--and Phyllisia saw that her mother had given up. When Ramona Cathy died, Phyllisia did not cry. Instead, "my tears balled into one huge fist that...

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Phyllisia knew her mother was sick, but did not realize just how sick she was. Her horrible secret had been exposed--her breast had been removed--and Phyllisia saw that her mother had given up. When Ramona Cathy died, Phyllisia did not cry. Instead, "my tears balled into one huge fist that settled paiinfully in my throat." The dreams--nightmares--began shortly thereafter. But Phyllisia's biggest problem arose when she refused to eat. Calvin threatened her, and "Operation Foodstrap" was initiated. Her father placed food in front of her and, with belt in hand, ordered her to eat--or be beaten with the belt.

    My strength came back quickly after I had begun to eat. By th end of the second week, I was well enough to go back to school.

After that, most of her grief over the death of her mother was refocused into hate for her father instead.

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