Deep Thoughts / Family / Grief / Life / Loss

When Being Easily Distracted Is A Good Thing

It’s a more or less accepted fact—by writers themselves, if not their loved ones—that writers are a little off their rockers. They have to be, especially to write some of the stuff that ends up in novels. The twisted, depraved stuff we writers cook up has long made readers scratch their heads and worry, while meanwhile the other writers go “Dammit, why didn’t I think of that?”

So, how does a writer know they’re crazy? Simple. When you tell other writers what you’re up to and even their eyes widen and they concede defeat, you be crazy. Which means I qualify.

Anyone who follows me on Twitter or keeps up with Murphy’s Pub knows that I’ve had a lot going on this month. I wrote a guest post for wifey and fellow writer Lor Rose in honour of her October Poly Month event. I hosted Characters On Couches, my very first blog hop. I got waylaid by a trip to the emergency room and took over a week recovering. (Still on the damn meds… grumble, grumble.) I took part in Sarah’s What Writing Looks Like hop. And now I’m smack dab in the middle of planning events for NaNoWriMo, all while trying to complete two other novels, and participating in Coffin Hop!

Right now, though, the amount of stuff my writer self has going on is just fine by me. Sometimes, having so much to do that you can’t think is a good thing, and this is definitely one of those times.

Nine years ago today—well, yesterday I suppose— my grandmother died, and I’ve been trying not to dwell on it. I still miss her; always will. But the grief dulled a little, over time, became a bit more manageable and less likely to blindside me. Now, let’s face it: eventually, the dead drift out of our every thought. Every now and then, maybe you see something, or smell the perfume or cologne they wore, and you remember—but they’re not as embedded in your thoughts until days like this, when we can’t help but sit down and think about how long it’s been.

I don’t want to remember my grandmother as she was near the end, a frail woman in a hospital bed who needed help to eat and who, I admit, made my thirteen-year-old self uncomfortable as all get out with her rattling cough and painfully obvious proximity to death. I prefer to remember her as she was, greeting us with hugs every time we visited and slipping us a dollar with a sly wink when Dad wasn’t looking.

So with that in mind, now that I’ve got these words down, I’m going to set down—at least temporarily—the guilt I still carry with me for escaping at the first chance I got when we visited for the last time and dive headfirst into all my distractions. Rather than mourn and pout and dwell over loss, I’m going to keep living, because hell, life’s going to march on regardless of whether I follow, isn’t it?

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