It has been one year today since we lost my Grandma.
I don’t know why people say that. “We lost her…”
What does that mean? Did we lose her?
Sure, she’s not here in body anymore. I can no longer hug her and smell her ‘grandma’ smell that was always a little like baby powder, and a little like Chantilly lace perfume. I can no longer joke with her, or tell her stories. And no, I can no longer hear her laugh.
But I didn’t lose her.
Even without her physically with me, my Grandma is here with me everyday. Maybe more so in the last year then I ever realized she would be.
Usually when I write a book, something clicks with me emotionally, and when I started writing Composing Myself, I knew that like every other book I’d written, something about it would connect and strike an emotional chord.
What I didn’t count on was that writing this book would take me on such an emotional journey.
But it did.
When I set out to tell Whitney’s story in Composing Myself, I didn’t even plan on having a grandmother character. But soon, it became clear that Whitney needed Grams. She had a mother, she had a best friend, she had a boyfriend and she even had a new man in her life…but she needed someone she could share a relationship with in a way that was separate, unique and special in a way that only a grandparent and grandchild could experience.
As I wrote, the character of Grams was born, and soon she took on a lot of similarities to my own grandmother and the relationship we shared through the years. Throughout the process I would peak up to the pictures I have pinned on my cork board of my grandmother and I shortly before she passed, and they gave me strength. Those pictures also fueled my emotion and there were times I typed through a veil of tears that refused to stop. And there were some very hard scenes to write.
I didn’t know it at the time, but looking back now, I think a great deal of writing Composing Myself was about working through some of the feelings I had of ‘losing’ my grandma and saying goodbye in my own way.
The character of Grams is not my grandmother, but she does have some similarities. I know my grandma would be proud of me and this book.
Most importantly, I know she is most definitely not ‘lost’. Through the writing, I found Grandma again in a way I never expected. She’s with me everyday.
What do you think? How have the loved ones you’ve ‘lost’ stayed with you?