Grief is not linear. It does not come in stages. It loops back, squiggles forward, circles and dips. Like everyone says (everyone who’s been there, I mean), it comes in waves.

Buried in novel revisions, focused on creating, I’ve been doing okay. But then I hit send to deliver my manuscript to my agent, looked up into reality, and started bawling.

What’s helped is that I’ve been hanging out on the private Sibling Survivors of Suicide Group on Facebook, and I feel like I’ve found my people. I mean, these folks have been through hell.

Another group member says it best in an address: “Your losses break my heart, and are sometimes almost too much to bare, but in the end sharing this thing we share, this awful thing that none of us want, would be too much to bare alone.”


‘Chatting’ with them, relating with them, has started helping me feel, just, well, more.

I’ve started remembering funny stories about Tim (although most of them make me cry) and using his name more and looking at pictures (there’s one at the bottom of this post).

I’ve started thinking about how to celebrate his life, how to write about him/to him, how to ‘spend time’ with him.

The timing for this is good, since it’s his birthday next week.

I want to do something special but I’m not sure what.

Skype with my mom and my sister, for sure, burn a candle, talk to him, bake him a cake (although he wasn’t a fan of sugar), write a letter, raise a toast.

Really, I wish I could have a party for him, and invite all the people he didn’t realize cared about him as much as they did, and hang out with them and tell funny stories, help him live awhile amongst us.

But I can’t, so I’ll do what I can.

I’ll remember that he lived for half a century, that he touched people’s lives, that I wouldn’t be who I am without him (even though, God, I miss him).

And I guess I’ll do just that: I’ll miss him, a bit more on that day, before setting course on other circles, loops and paths.

P.S. In case you missed it, I wrote about how to figure out why you think you might have writer’s block and what you can do about it on the River Street Writing blog a wee while back – and will be writing more creativity coaching posts.

Photo by S. Lilova