On 12 February at around 9:30am, my best friend took her final breath.
We’d known it was coming for a long time. Diabetes, COPD, cancer, pneumonia…they were just a few of the things that she suffered from.
That didn’t make her passing any easier, though.
It was like a part of me had died along with her; a part I’ll never get back.
But she was a stubborn one, my nan.
She refused to let life get her down.
And so I’ve been following her example.
Losing her hurts like hell, but it’s also made me more determined than ever to make the most of my limited time.
And, since I’m a writer, I’ve done what I do best over the last few weeks: write.
My most recent book, What Happens in Barcelona, was close to publication when she passed away. I’d always planned to release it last quarter, so, while I had to push the release back to the very end of the quarter, I still managed to release it before the deadline.
Having something productive to do – editing, proofreading, formatting, publicising, and everything else that comes along with self-publishing – kept me focused. It stopped me from feeling as lost as I’d expected to.
I’m now editing a book that I hope to release at the end of this quarter.
It’s much lighter than What Happens in Barcelona, it makes fun of boy bands, and it’s a standalone novella. It’s totally different to what I usually write. Spending time on it has made me feel much better over the last few weeks.
Writing is therapy, after all.
A few years ago I ran away from writing when I was in pain.
Now, I run towards it.
It’s the only thing that I want to do when I’m feeling low and can’t handle the rest of the world. It’s a comfort blanket; one that’s always been there for me and always will be.
Many of the emotions I’ve been going through over the last few weeks will find their way into future projects – Nan’s death did, in fact, inspire the ending of a fantasy series I recently started. And I’m OK with that.
Writing is how I process my emotions, and I hope that in owning my emotions, it inspires you to do the same.
We should never run from our emotions.
When we do, they chase after us, latch on, and hold us back.
But if we acknowledge their existence, they’ll cocoon us for a while before finally letting go and allowing us to move forwards.