Whew! What a week. I'm still a bit disoriented, so if this post seems to ramble a bit more than my usual ones, bear with me. My head isn't quite screwed on right just yet.
On Tuesday, my mother called to say that one of my uncles had passed away from brain cancer. Haven't yet figured out how to feel about it. I didn't see him very often, but he was more or less a constant fixture in my extended family life. He came from Arkansas to Texas for my high school graduation. He played with my son the last time our family got together for Thanksgiving, and we saw him again last summer at the family reunion. He wasn't a talkative man, but nevertheless, he was there... And now he isn't.
Mainly, I'm shocked at how quickly it all happened. He was just diagnosed in November, and now he's gone. Bam. Just like that. How very fragile and short this life of ours is.
These are the moments when I'm most grateful for my faith. I'm not ashamed to call myself a Christian, but I don't shout it from the rooftops, either. I also don't knock anyone else for believing differently from me. But I'll tell you one thing: I don't think I could function in times like this if I didn't believe people have a place to go when they die. This life is far too brief; it can't be all there is. That's my thinking anyway.
What frustrated me most this week was the fact that I couldn't seem to write anything. Not. One. Word. I, a writer, one who plays with words for a living, could not pour out the words to say what I feel. I didn't want to grieve; I wanted to write, and I couldn't. Even writing this post is hard. My mind feels tired.
I know what you want to say. You have to grieve. Grieving is healthy. It will help you move on. It will help you cope with what's happened.
Um, 'fraid not. Writing helps me cope. It is how I move on. It's what keeps me sane. Writing and faith. I have the faith part down, but the writing is slow in coming. So I'm waiting for it to come back. Just waiting.
Everyone faces the unexpected, both good and bad. It's part of life. The question is, how do you take your personal tragedies and transfer them into your writing life? How do you turn life's lemons into writing lemonade? I'm still working on that. I'll let you know how it goes.
What about you all? How do you write when life deals you a crappy hand? How do you write through illness? Financial disaster? The loss of a loved one? What keeps you coming back to telling stories?
P.S. Sorry for the depressing post today, folks. I like to uplift people, not bring them down, so hopefully this stuff will be few and far between for me.