Going on Hiatus, Mourning Period

Nov 30, 2020 8:50 pm


Hi, gang.

I don’t really know how to start, except to be upfront. My mother died on Sunday November 22nd. She had been fighting multiple myeloma since shortly before our big move in 2016. Her death was both anticipated and shockingly sudden. My dad and I are devastated and heartbroken. So is everyone who knew her. She was an extraordinary person, and she leaves a humongous hole in the world.

We have been inundated with sympathy, condolences, and offers of help and support. I am delegating what I can, like meals. I know that help is only a call or text away. I have never doubted that my mother was loved, but seeing it all at once is humbling. 

My mother was my brainstorming partner, alpha reader, proofreader, and a staunch supporter of my writing. I would often start a conversation with “Soooo” to get her attention and then launch into whatever I’d been working on recently. She was never disinterested in my projects. She read everything first--as long as it was complete, she hated being left hanging. No typo or extra space could escape her eagle eye. She always believed I had the talent to be a writer, and the dedication to make it happen. 

And yes, she subscribed to and read this newsletter.

Recently I got really good feedback from a pro, and Mom told me something I hadn’t heard before--that from a young age I had shown a distinctive and recognizable voice. Voice is elusive, hard to define, hard to deliberately develop. Hearing that meant a lot to me. We had that conversation over the phone while she was in hospital, and I am so grateful we got to have that talk. That I was able to celebrate that good feedback with her. I know she felt that I was on the right track.

Right now it feels like the rails have vanished altogether, leaving me floating in a void. Or maybe it’s fog. I know there are things to anchor myself to in the fog, but they’re out of sight and I’m not up to seeking them out yet. 

To that end, I’m not sure what the immediate future of this newsletter is. I have never experienced such a deep loss before, and neither has my dad. Their 44th wedding anniversary is this December, and they had an amazing relationship. We are going to lean on each other, take care of each other, and ask for help as we need it. I don’t know how long it will take us to find a new normal. I know it’s going to take a long time. 

I do not expect myself to be able to keep up the every-other-week newsletter. I’m going to take a hiatus in December while we’re busy arranging the memorial and sorting things out. I hope I’ll be up to restarting in January sometime, but maybe not. I’ll let you know if I need more time. 

So that’s where I am right now. Priorities have shifted drastically, and I need to put my focus elsewhere for a while. I am not giving up, or going away. I want to do all the things my mom knew I could. 

Thank you for giving me a place to grieve in your inbox. We’ll get back to our regularly scheduled writing content sometime in 2021. For now, take care of yourself, tell people how much you love them, and have a cup of tea in honor of the best mom I could ever have had.