2022 was not a good year for me, personally and creatively. I lost my mother in February. Her passing was sudden, and although I thought I was prepared for it, I really wasn’t.
There was, however, a blessing to be found. She had recently been diagnosed with cancer and her only option was palliative care. My vibrant mother would have hated that, and in her dementia she would not have understood the transition. She would have been terrified and disoriented. Instead, she passed peacefully in her sleep, in her own bed and without pain. I will always be grateful that she left this world in the manner she always wanted.
I never had a chance to properly grieve. I spent more time helping other members of the family deal with their loss, and take care of all the minutiae required when someone passes, that I forgot that I needed time to grieve as well. It was easy to convince myself that I was fine. Grief manifests itself in so many insidious ways that it doesn’t always appear to be what it is. Looking back on things now, I can see the signs. Lethargy weighted me down, which I attributed to my busy day job. I’m no stranger to being busy before and as long as I enjoy the work and the challenge (which I do), I am normally energized and never drained. I found myself spending free time watching Netflix and playing mindless games of solitaire on my phone. Reading, normally an old friend, held little joy for me. I couldn’t settle into most novels I picked up and found my attention kept wandering. The worst thing for me is that my desire to write suffered too, even with the prospect of getting on with a story I have been looking forward to exploring for years. My creative well was bone dry.
There were a few brighter moments. A friend gave me a collection of short stories written by Lucy Maud Montgomery and while not all of them were examples of her best writing, I greeted each one as a welcome visitor. They provided the comfort of a warm blanket, even if that blanket was pulled over my head. The beauty of these short stories was their ability to take me away to a simpler and more wholesome time. When I needed self-care, I found myself reaching for that collection and losing myself in the next story.
A year has gone by and we just celebrated her year with a memorial. She is never far from my thoughts and I’m finding that grief is starting to crack, like ice against the first warm breath of spring. I’ve started writing again, and I can’t fully explain the joy of hearing my characters whisper their thoughts in my ear. Other writers will surely understand. I am waking up in the morning thinking of the scene that I just wrote and how I should tweak it. I’m scooping up the free moments to work on a paragraph, that leads to a page instead of being a lump attached to the games on my phone. It feels really good and a relief.
I don’t fool myself that I’ve left grief behind. I expect the bastard will dog my steps for some time. Maybe he’ll never withdraw entirely, but for now, the well is starting to refill.
Hugs, Cryssa. Take care of yourself; you have turned the corner — and your mother will feel no further fear. I’m delighted to hear the spirits are talking to you again. Things will be different, but you will soar again. Spring is here. Breathe deeply.
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Thank you! I think it has. I’m hoping so. 🙂
So sorry to hear of the loss of your mom, Cryssa…
Grief is tough and it sounds as if you’ve found your road through it and can now deal with it.
Take care and enjoy what you do so well ❤️
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Thank you, Lynn. 🙂
I feel very sad for you Cryssa.