Saturday, September 27, 2008

Autumn Makes Me Reflect

The leaves die and fall. Someone you love dies. I'd like to tie this together with the writing life.

When my son passed away four years ago, it devastated me. Thank goodness, I was in the middle of two writing projects. I had just begun an online editing course through the local college and was working on a monthly column for Listen Magazine.

My son died on a Tuesday and by Monday the next week, I made myself sit down at 5:00 a.m. and begin my editing course. My attention span was ten minutes long, but I prayed for strenght and studied while the household slept. I'm not one to give up easily. I'm a fighter, and I instinctively knew I had to go on. The good news is my attention span grew longer over time.

About a week later, when I could think a little clearer, I wrote my editor and told her about my son. I asked her not to bail me out. I wanted the work and would only ask that she would alert me if she found I was slipping in my writing abilities. I churned out nine more monthly articles, which required indepth research.

It was good for me to work.

I did find that I couldn't start anything new for two years. I finished out my column and kept working on my novel-in-progress. It just so happened that the subject matter fit my mood. What a blessing!

Take heart! Even in the valley of the shadows, we can write.

Until next time . . .


  1. When my niece died, four and a half years ago, I thought my reason for existing was gone. Losing a child is so devastating and so hard for anyone to understand if they have not experienced it. And I was still at one remove from her parent's experience.

    It was hard to put one foot in front of the other. I remember the first time I laughed and immediately felt guilty for enjoying something about life.

    After awhile, I started to live again and not merely exist. Then I wrote a book and dedicated it to her. That book took me a few years and a lot of tears. It was the catharsis I needed to start healing.

    The hole in my heart will never go away, but I am living my life, laughing and writing. I am reminded of her regularly, but it no longer stops me in my tracks and leaves me unable to function.

    I hope your story is able to reach out and touch those dealing with this incomprehensible loss.

  2. Jean,

    You're blog is beautiful and it is so nice to be able to hear how you are doing even though you have moved away.

    You've been through a lot but I'm glad you keep writing.

    Take care and stay strong,


  3. What a beautiful and inspirational site, Jean. Thank you so much for reminding us of the really important things--home and family.

    Sue McGinty

  4. Sarah,

    Thank you for contributing a comment. I understand your loss, although don't know how you truly feel, because we are all unique in our grieving and situations.

    The tip on spacing is great. That did bug me and now I've given spacing at the end of each post.


  5. Thanks, Cathe, for the encouragement. I'll miss you very much!


  6. Sue,

    I was worried that my site would be lame, but you've been an encouragement to me that I'm on the right theme for my situation.

    Thank you,