Friday, January 5, 2018

Storyteller's Journey

Life Goes On

The grief and pain I felt when my sister passed away a year ago, was a sadness I'd not felt for a long, long time. Unfortunately, last month I experienced that same pain when my father passed away the day before my birthday. What I've come to realize is that it's important to embrace that intense pain as a part of life. For a person of faith, believing you'll see your loved one again does bring a bit of solace. Because whether I'm ready to proceed or not, life goes on.

Recently, I had the epiphany that grief can be a gift. Yes, a gift. Never before in my life have I valued each new day the way I do now. Or valued my family and friends in the way I do now. I acted like there would always be a tomorrow; like my loved ones would always be there; that life as I know it would endure. It's an easy trap to fall into, and one that each of us must battle.

This insight naturally pertains to my life as a writer, as well. Last week, while on a working vacation in the Columbia River Gorge, I was barely able to type as fast as my story's scenes appeared in my mind. (No wonder: A father and his young daughter are the main characters in my work in progress.) I am so thankful that the very last time I spoke with my father, on 12/7/17, I was able to tell him a bit about my book. I also informed him that it would be dedicated to him, and my mother. It was the last time I would ever see my father smile.

While I only recently realized that grief can be a gift, other authors - more enlightened than myself - have known it, and embraced it for a long time:

So, while I've never been a proponent of making New Year's resolutions, I have added an item to my list of goals for 2018:

Live each day, and love each, like it will be my last.

Happy New Year!

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