One of the first blogs I wrote last year was called The strange thing about grief, and here I find myself talking about it again in a much more raw and intense way. So, in case you couldn’t tell from my last two blogs, my brother died this weekend. It was a tragic car accident. It’s…been a lot. I don’t know how long I’ll continue to write him letters on this blog, but I just…needed to do something.
That’s what I do to process things. I talk about it and I write. Which is fine, I can write about my pain, but I’m struggling hard with this. As I mentioned in my last blog, I finished writing Harrison’s Wedding two weeks ago today. That book was full of heartache and pain. The way I feel right now is very much a Harrison’s Wedding kind of feeling.
I had been making great progress on The Stalker. One week ago, it sat at 26,789 words. Today, it’s sitting at 56,163 words which means I wrote 29,374 words this week and more than doubled the current word count. However, my brother died on Saturday. Yesterday, I tried to write and for most of the day I had one paragraph written. I ended up writing a total of 846 words by the end of the day. Today, I have written 7 (but I do intend to write something after I post this blog).
Most people who know me know how completely steadfast I’ve been on the Cruise Control publishing dates, refusing to even entertain changing them. The books get published on the band member’s birthday. I would move heaven and earth to meet those dates. I’m finally giving myself permission to not hit them if need be.
Harrison’s Wedding (🤮) is ready for its June 6th release, but I feel like the pressure to finish The Stalker and Sebastian’s Baby by their due dates might be too much for me right now. I need to give myself permission to not finish it in time. Maybe, I will. But I have to allow myself to not do it.
Nothing will bring Jared back, and it feels wrong writing fun flirty shity (because so far The Stalker is hilarious and hot), but it is also a nice distraction from how I’m feeling. My friend B often hangs out in the Google Doc with me while I’m writing, and I made her promise to tell me if the book started feeling dark and depressing. That’s my concern. That some of my grief will leak into the book.
I don’t think it will because when I’m writing and I get into it, it comes as normal, and a part of me feels guilty about that. Allowing myself to escape into Hayden and Tatiana’s world is something of a relief. But other times, I haven’t been able to do that.
Tomorrow, I have to go to work. I have to try and function as a normal human being. As though I didn’t spend any time today talking about whether we should bury or cremate one of my favourite people in the world. It still doesn’t feel real, but it also feels far too real.
Anyway, I guess I should stop writing this and start writing The Stalker. I’d literally just finished an amazing chapter when I got the news about Jared’s crash. It’s bizarre how much can change in such a short space of time. I was supposed to spend yesterday excitedly writing Hayden and Tatiana’s first kiss, instead, I barely managed those 846 words because I was so busy crying and grieving and not believing what the fuck had happened.
I know I can’t plague myself with ‘what ifs’, but I can’t help it. I know that Jared loved my books and I know that he would expect me to keep writing. Still, it’s hard because everything seems trivial now. How do I write anything? I vacillate between feeling numb and feeling a pain so intense that I would do anything to ease it.
I think if I’ve learned any lesson from this, it’s to not leave things unsaid. Appreciate the people around you and cherish them, because you never know if today will be the day that they will be stolen from you in an instant.
It feels weird to sign this blog off the way I usually do, but happy reading!