Monthly Archives: December 2013

How writing helped after losing my mother

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Writing helped save me.
My mom died at the end of July at the age of 88. She was strong and funny, and lived for her family. She took care of everybody, even volunteering to help low-income people for more than a decade after her retirement and her own personal losses. I not only loved her, but admired her very much.
After she passed, I felt like I was walking through a bad dream from which I could not wake. Food tasted like ash. I wanted to sleep all the time. But I made myself get up and make the bed and clean house.
My family was supportive but they were also dealing with the loss of my mom, who they all loved.
What helped me during those terrible days and months after her death was my writing. I could lose myself in the words and thoughts I was typing, in the stories I was telling. I focused on something else but my own pain.
When I lost my dad years before, writing helped me in a different way.
Flying in from another state, I missed saying good bye to my dad before he died. He passed only minutes before I arrived to the hospital and that tore me up to no end.
I not only had to deal with losing him but not being able to tell him how much I loved him and say good bye. I came home, still crazy with grief, and began a novel. In my story, a young woman gets to say good bye to her father before he died. The moment I wrote that scene was cathartic. It was as if I did tell Dad good bye.
Before my mom passed, I was there with her and got to tell her how much she meant to me.
My sister later wrote me a note to say how proud my mom and dad were of my writing.
My writing.
It saved me.

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