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On Dealing With Loss

I used to write all these long, hopefully insightful posts on my blog, then sort of stopped when I got an agent and started submitting books. I was always worried about over sharing. But sometimes writing feelings out then sharing them helps. These things can maybe help someone else. If a writer has anything to offer, it’s a way to put into words the feelings and experiences that affect our lives.

So I may start doing this again a little more often. Going to do it today. 🙂

This has nothing to do with my last little FB status, by the way. Yeah, my kids are growing up, but I’m certainly not losing them. One already moved out and I haven’t lost her in the least. We swung by and took her out for a family lunch just this past Sunday and she texts me pretty much daily. Oh look, there’s a text from her now. LOL

But I’ve been thinking a lot about why I still cry a lot over the loss of my cousin. I don’t talk about this very much because his mother follows me on FB and I worry to death about her catching a post about him and you know, maybe it’s a good day for her and I could hurt that. But losing him taught me something important about myself.

I don’t deal well with loss. I kind of figured this out a few years ago when a friend passed away. I hadn’t spent a lot of time with her because I’d been going through a rough time, yet her death hit me hard. So hard, I started becoming more of a hermit. As a writer, that tendency is already pretty strong, but I took it to new levels. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I’d convinced myself that if I wasn’t around so many people, I wouldn’t care so much about them and then losing them wouldn’t hurt so much.

Then my cousin passed away last December on my anniversary. I hadn’t spent any recent time with him either, yet this one hit hard. It hit my husband just as hard. Thing is, it is still hitting hard. I think about him most days and it feels like this knot in my chest is never going to leave. I will just randomly start crying over something silly. The other day, I stretched out on the couch with my Kindle, propped my feet on my husband’s lap and remembered how my cousin and I read like that. We both read all the time and if one was on the couch, the other would just stretch out and stick their feet on the other. Okay, there was usually some kicking first.

He lived with my husband and me when we were first married. He was a second cousin and three days separated our birthdays. My mother told me she was racing with his mom to have the baby first. They gave us similar middle names. His is Daniel, mine is Danielle. We couldn’t stand each other as kids but grew incredibly close when we were older. But reading was our thing. I can’t tell you how many times we’d be traveling somewhere and my husband would be driving while Guy and I had our heads stuck in books.

But I noticed something changing a little. Just last night, I picked up my Kindle and found myself wondering if he’d had a reading device, or what he’d thought of them. Knowing him, he would have preferred paper books, but he also would have loved how many books he could have fit on that device, all that at his fingertips at all times. I actually smiled when I let myself think about all the different kinds of books he would have on a Kindle.

Funny enough, popular fiction was never my cousin’s first choice, and while he did occasionally make fun of some of my reading choices–I loved contemporary series and historical romances back then and the covers were tease worthy–he always respected them. But… if he was still around and he had a Kindle… I’d try to sneak some romances onto his reading device. 😉

Loss is a part of our lives. There is no avoiding it.  Maybe the best way to deal with it is to think of the good things, to celebrate the fact that this wonderful person was a part of your life and for that time, you were pretty damned lucky.


  1. August 6, 2013    

    Thanks for sharing, I think we deal with sorrow in our own way. You keep going through the days and one day, it’s not so tough. It lessons a little every day. I wish you all the best in your personal struggle.
    As for children (your FB post) my son graduated this last year and is VERY independant. In the spring I sent him to look at a college by himself, timing wasn’t good for the rest of us, and he did great. My daughter (two years older) still has me take her everywhere. I don’t know if it is a boy thing or just an individual child thing, but they both have their moments.

  2. August 6, 2013    

    They do, don’t they? My daughter and son are both pretty independent, but they both seem to like spending time with me. 🙂

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