Well my book is finished. Signed off, ready for production. It feels really strange. As with most big deadlines, one builds up to it, and fantasises about feelings and reactions…and of course nine times out of ten, the reality is always significantly different. But I could never have predicted how bereft I would feel. Ironic isn’t it, considering the book is about dealing with the bereaved. I’ve adjusted now, but for a couple of weeks I felt like I didn’t know who I was anymore. And it is only now, not having a book to write, that I can really see how much the experience has been just as much about coping, as it has been about communicating a message to people. In writing about my grief, I was making meaning out of the pain of losing Mum, I was doing something with the pain, using it. The pain has lessened, enormously, but it hasn’t disappeared. It will never disappear. And so I am now faced with having to choose how to bear this pain without my previously effective coping tool. I have this blog for one, but actually I’ve realised I must now let there be space for this wounding to just be there.
And of course the meaning I’ve carved out of my experience continues in my work with Mary, who is still going, just about. She is now in the hospice more than she’s at home, and has finally surrendered to her helplessness. She admits that things are ‘not good’ and is totally shameless with her anxiety of being alone. In many ways it is a relief, but I have surprised myself by how much I miss the feisty Mary in denial. Gone are the days of wishing she would face up to reality. Now I am once again playing the waiting game, with her. It’s sad, especially as she is so isolated. It will be even sadder when the time comes. But mostly, it’s a privilege to be there with her and accompany her on this final phase of her journey.
4 thoughts on “One book down…”
Lovely post Annie, Thank you…and you are so right the pain never goes away we just get used to our loss and somehow it makes us stronger to live each day…..Well done of course for the book finishing…can’t wait for publication now!
…You are so clever and brave XXXX
very beautiful post.
really feel so emotional that you have finished your book – so proud and inspired by everything you’ve done over the last year. I know it must be sad and strange for you in many ways, and im sorry i haven’t been around much to share that with you – but you i hope you know i still feel a deep connection to it all and to your book and it means a huge amount me.
And remember it’s the end of your book but the beginning of so much more…
love you lots xxx
*—————————– Bea Addis* *07886 948 589*
This is a good post to read and I empathise with your feelings, albeit I am coming from a different direction. I have also written a book that has recently been published. The feeling of letting my words fly free ‘out there’ gives rise to curiously mixed emotions. My experiences do not relate to the loss of my mother, but to the loss of my 19 year old son. James lost his life to accidental drowning after a night out with friends in July 2005. Over a period of time, I wrote down my feelings, kept journals, put together articles for bereavement sites and eventually …. I had sufficient material, and importantly, enough time had passed, for me to be able to write my book, which I have called “into the Mourning Light.” The book is not a misery memoir. It seeks to inform and uplift the reader and ultimately to give people hope that it is possible to return to a meaningful way of living after traumatic loss. Grief is grief, and it has to be worked through over a period of time, although of course there are huge differences between the loss of a parent and the loss of a child. I won’t write an essay here, but perhaps we could exchange thoughts some time…. With best regards. Andrea
I apologise if this appears twice, my pc seemed to eat my words but I am not entirely sure! I said something along the lines that this is a good post and I understand your feelings – though I am coming from a different direction. I too have written a book and it has recently been published. My book deals with the loss of my son rather than the loss of my mother. James was 19 and he lost his life to accidental drowning after a night out with his friends in July 2005. I wrote down my feelings, put together articles for bereavement websites, kept journals … and eventually I had sufficient material, and importantly, enough time had elapsed, for me to put together a book, which I called “into the Mourning Light.”. the message of my book is one of hope, that it is is possible to return to a meaningful way of living after traumatic loss. Grief is grief, and it has to be worked through, but there is an enormous difference between the loss of a parent and the loss of a child. I could write a long essay! – but perhaps it would be better to share thoughts some time. With best regards. Andrea