There is not a single person I know who has not lost someone. Death often rears its ugly head when we least expect it.
I lost my first loved one when I was about ten or eleven. It was the one grandparent I resonated with the most. I lost my most recent “someone” just last month. In between there have been numerous friends and family who have gone on to meet their maker, but it took me until I was in my 40s before I truly allowed myself to just stop and grieve.
Letters to the Dead Men is the story of Lydia and the loss of six special men in her life who all left this earth much sooner than she would have liked.
Each one taught her a very different lesson while they were here.
Each one died at a different time in her own personal journey and yet her personality and own insecurities made her feel weak if she dared pause to grieve.
She used obligations to school, work and family as excuses to step right back into routine with very little time to process loss.
As you can imagine, years later Lydia continued to feel such things as guilt, shame, sadness and missed opportunities when thinking about these six lovely men who she knew God put into her life for a reason.
The character of Lydia is based on my life experience with death. She decides to write letters to these men long after they passed. Some were sort of thank you letters for a principal life lesson learned. Some were more of an apology for her behavior when they were alive.
The letters allowed her the healing and closure she needed to move forward.
The book came about one day when I was taking too long to tell a story to my husband. He urged me to get to the point and I just blew up at him.
“Don’t you get it! You are it! You are the only man I have left in my life to tell my long stories to. I lost my Grandpa, my brother, two of my best friends in high school, my other brother and now my dad.”
He looked at me incredulously and then softened. “Maybe that is your next book” he said to me.
The rest is history.
The book was written and is a lovely journey through grief.
To say it was cathartic is cliché.
It was so much more for me.
The lessons I learned when crafting the six letters have made me appreciate everyone more while they are still here.
I would love to say that I am a perfect friend with no judgement and always there for people but I know that we all fall short of perfection. Still, each day I try to be a better friend, sister, mother and wife than I was the day before.
I know that God has a plan and purpose for us weather our lives are good and long or decidedly cut short.
If you are struggling with grief I would love to share my journaling through grief tips and be that extra shoulder you may need to cry on.
Please contact me.