I gave a lot of thought to the words hurt and comfort as I prepared to wrote this blog. They can mean so many different tings to so many people. Hurt can be emotional, or physical, or even mental. And comfort, well, comfort comes in many forms.
I decided to dig into a very painful moment in my life and tell you what kind of comfort continues to help me get through it.
Four years ago (nearly five) my beloved husband passed away. People talk about meeting soul mates. He was truly mine, and my hero, in every sense of the words. Although he had been ill for some time and I had tried to prepare for it, when it actually happens the pain is so intense that it can stop your heart. I wanted him back, wanted him in my arms, whole again. The man I had loved for so long without restraint, and who had loved me the same way.
My children were great support for me, determined that I not fall apart. For one thing, when people asked if I was planning to sell our big house and move, they convinced me not to. And why should I? We had spent two years planning this before the foundation was even poured. It is filed with memorabilia from all the places and events we shared. It is, in fact, like a warm quilt that I can pull around me at any moment of the day or night.
So there’s one kind of comfort.
Then there is my writing. He was such an alpha male, but so comfortable in hiss own skin that he could encourage me to spread my wings and succeed. He was the one who encouraged me, supported me. Helped me with character names and with male POV. So again my children stepped in and said I should put a little of him in every one of my stories.
And I thought, what a great idea!
As I sit at my desk I am surrounded by pictures of him, and the pain of his absence will never leave me. But as I write each story, I put parts of him into the hero. I use his strength and love and compassion, washing over me like warm molasses to blunt the pain his absence causes. And so, of course, I fall in love with each hero.
As I flesh each story out I can almost hear his voice in my head, encouraging me, coaxing me, pushing me when I slack off. The pain of his absence is sometimes like a poke with a very sharp stick, but the memories that I use to craft my stories are the greatest comfort I can have.
So here I sit, in the house of love we built, missing him badly but comforted by the thought that I am doing something he wanted for me, and that in many ways, through that writing, he will always be with me. Giving comfort.