A Year Has Passed (IWSG)
Posted on November 4, 2019
It's been a year since my brother passed away. Just saying that gives me a heavy heart.

Losing my brother has greatly affected many aspects of my life, including my writing. The last day I worked on the third book in my Family Relics series was the day before my brother passed away. The last time I pushed promos for the second book that was released two months prior was, also, the day before. The last time I ran a normal 5k, aiming for my 8-minute-mile, was the day before as well.

Everything was normal the day before. Everything was normal that afternoon. That evening, everything changed.

My brother took this photo while deployed in Kosovo 2001

As a writer, you have to put yourself in your characters shoes and try to imagine how they would behave/react in certain situations. There is a lot of soul searching, internal acting, role playing, imagining the possibilities, lots and lots of thinking. That's where my mind wanders off towards that horrid day, and I relive it all over again. I relive those first few weeks, that emptiness, my parent's anguish, all of it.

In the Family Relics series, the protagonist loses her siblings, it was completely unexpected, the family is broken, and she tries to keep it all together. This is all too real for me now. Each time I attempt to write, I relive it all. Of course, as the months go by, it's less and less, but the too-close-to-home feeling is still there. I never realized how ingrained my brother was in my writing until now. I even mention him in my acknowledgements, and in my bio on my blog.

So working on the third book this past year has been nearly impossible, and my one-book-per-year release schedule has practically disintegrated. I've written tons of poetry pieces in my PetalsOnTheWind blog, which I created just to relieve some of these roller-coaster emotions whirling inside of me. It's become part of my healing process - it's helped me cope. Also, not to sound all cliché but, pain and agony produces some crazy poetry.

Now that the anniversary of his passing has come and gone, I feel like I've reached an emotional summit. I've made a promise to my brother (an avid fantasy/sci-fi nut who loved the series) that I would finish the book soon. He won't be able to critique it as he had done before, and love/hate me for what I do to his favorite characters, but I have to keep my promise. He would have wanted me to finish it. He would have wanted to know how the story ends.

And so, I must continue to write. I have to finish the third book for him. And, for myself.

It's all a part of my healing process.

~ * ~

This post is part of Insecure Writer's Support Group blog hop.


  1. Hi,
    my husband died 5. February of this year. I had the privilege of being right beside him when he breathed his last breath and left his earthly body. One of the things that I promised him was that I would keep on writing. That I wouldn't give up, and that he could leave and not worry about me. He did that.
    That promise to him, unknowing to me, was a bridge to my writing. Yes, tears flowed as I started writing but something also began to settle in me and day by day I found a peacefulness in writing that was even stronger than I had before.
    So, even though it seems impossible, keep that promise to your brother. He's waiting on you to move into your purpose, and i believe he will smile and be at peace as you too will find peace.
    All the best and I'm thinking of you.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

  2. Losing someone you love deeply is the most challenging life experience we can have. Even after losing several people that I held near to me, I know it doesn't become easier. However, keeping them in your thoughts--keeping promises to them--is one way to have them with you.

  3. I'm so very sorry for your loss. I lost my father at a young age and know all too well what that first year feels like - albeit unique and different for everyone, it's a universal fact that the first year is the hardest.
    They say to write what you know. It's unfair that loss now becomes something you know, but you can find some small consolation in knowing that when you do write about it, it'll be genuine; real; believable.
    Above all, remember to take care of yourself. Be kind to yourself, now more than ever. Get some fresh air, eat well, stretch and exercise when you can. A healthy mind and body and heart will ensure you're giving yourself your best shot at success.
    For writing, try to set yourself some realistic, attainable goals that will help ease you back into it. Start with something like 500 words each day, for example. Setting and scheduling a writing routine will help.
    Best of luck.

  4. So sorry. It sounds like it's time to pick the story up again. Let your brother's spirit motivate you.

  5. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. The first death anniversary is as hard as the first birthday without - I lost my brother too - five years ago. Your promise to him to keep writing must be upheld and I'm sure you'll feel better for doing so.

  6. I'm so sorry. We are approaching the sixth anniversary of my stepson's passing, which is this weekend. Although I wouldn't say it gets easier or better, in a lot of ways we feel he is still here and watching over us all. I could not write anything for about the first year either, but what we all learned from Andrew is that life is precious and we have to go after our dreams. Good luck getting that book done - your brother will be proud of you for it.

  7. I'm so sorry. I lost my mother at the end of September and my closest friend almost 2 years ago. I continue to find comfort in writing. I'm able to lose myself in my work for at least a few minutes, and it helps. Best of luck with your writing journey and with your healing.

  8. I'm so very sorry for your loss. With that said, I have no idea what it's like to have a relationship that close with a sibling that it disrupts your life upon their passing away. That type of closeness is special and so very precious. You must miss your brother immensely. It's an emptiness that cannot be eased by anything but by the written words that come from your heart. Best of luck always in finding those words.

  9. I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my brother more than 10 years ago and there are still days when it feels like yesterday. But that's okay. He was a great guy and should be missed now and again. I will never forget the pain on my mom and dad's faces. I feel for you. That's rough. Both of my parents have since passed on also. They both were huge readers and were my biggest fans and cheerleaders. My mom especially. I took a year and didn't feel much like writing or editing. It all seemed sad without her. But then I imagined her saying, "Don't use me as an excuse." So now, she is my muse. The pointers she gave me. The advice. The criticism. I still have that with me, so when I write, she is with me in spirit. And one day, when I meet her at the Pearly Gates, she will offer me a high five instead of a kick in the pants.
    Hugs. Lots of them.


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