Last week I broke down in my therapist’s office, overwhelmed with missing my mom. I’d been feeling out of sorts since I’d hit that wall I talked about last week—apathetic, even as I forged onward, going through the motions of my tasks each day, both personal and professional. A few days prior, Saturday, Nov 7, was the sixth month anniversary of my mom’s death. I’d spent that day in a gym near Glenwood Springs, watching our youngest, Rayanne, play her last high school volleyball games in the regional tournament.

I’ve been having a lot of moments about Ray leaving for college next fall so that sadness and sense of loss was circling under the surface and then wham! Missing my mom hit me like a tsunami.

I have to confess that it took me by surprise. Even though I know intellectually (and have told others many times) that grieving takes as long as it takes and you never really get over the person being gone, I thought I’d done most of my grieving. I know it sounds crazy, but I really did.

2010CAL

2009 CAL Book Awards

And my mom and I were only as close as she’d let us be. She didn’t like to talk about “emotional stuff” as she called it. 🙂 So we had pleasant, surface conversations that we both enjoyed, but we didn’t confide in each other. That just wasn’t us.

But grief comes anyway because that’s it’s job. It’s reminding me of all the things I loved about her, how much I loved her and how much she loved me.

And the role that grief plays in my novel…well, that’s why I avoided working on it for awhile when my mom was sick and then passed on. Because the church for her service was the church I see when I’m writing the funeral service scene in my book. And the pain my character feels is the same pain I feel.

And I didn’t want to feel it.

But I think I need to.

I love you, Mom. It’s clear I have some grieving to do and probably always will. I know you’ll be with me through this. And I’ll do what I can to pour my heart into my life and turn around and pour my life into my stories, my heart into my books.

 

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