What Grief Does to Writing (Sometimes)

“Life Happens” as an excuse for why you haven’t done a thing is so cliche… until it happens to you.

Last week, I attended my uncle’s funeral. Although my delightfully light and portable MacBook Air accompanied me to Atlanta, I found that it wasn’t the hardware that was the problem. It was the software. It was my brain.

Grief is a terrorist that hijacks your brain and flies it directly into the ground. It’s not that it necessarily hurts other people, it’s that they’re forced to stare at you while you can’t seem to do anything but crash and burn. It’s so deeply and intensely personal that sometimes, nobody else can see you in that “mayday! mayday!” position. To them, it looks like you’re just stagnant. Well, those are the good days, anyway, the stagnant days. The bad days often look like hysterical crying or unhealthy levels of some sort of distraction like booze or video games.

This isn’t my first rodeo with grief. I lost my dad in 2013, and although I feel like I’ve picked up the pieces and continued on with my life in a healthy and productive way, the scars run deep. I lost a best friend due to my inability to “person” at that time. How I see the world changed, too. I have a thicker skin than I did before, but I’m also acutely aware of that pain and have an intense need for it to not return. It makes things complicated when it comes to personal relationships, my remaining family members, and Lifetime Movies.

The only predictable thing about grief is its unpredictability. There were times in my life when I clung to my keyboard, writing hours worth of nonsense prose that I deleted as soon as I finished, just to get something out of my head. This time, grief dictated that I play several straight hours of Candy Crush and binge-listen to podcasts about serial killers.

I admit, that was weird.

Long story short, that’s why I haven’t taken my place at the keyboard in some time. I can almost see my beloved characters observing me, confused looks on their teenage faces, as I waste time on the couch.

Don’t worry, Kayce, Cara, and Danielle. I’ll be back soon. Now that it’s cooler, I’ll be resuming my morning writing and editing sessions and switch my dog walks to the evenings. And don’t worry readers, there will be more blogs in the future.

Write on!

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