These past few months, I’ve been working on my first romantic fiction novel titled, False Hope.© It’s been a long haul and I’m still writing and I hope to be finished soon. I’m to the point now where I’m cluing up the last few chapters. Below is the final passage that is written from my protagonist’s point of view regarding death and loss. I thought it was especially true and wanted to share it. Here it is….
I came to view the emotional tumult of death similar to that of travelling through a tunnel. My life prior to entering the tunnel as opposed to my life after having walked through it. My life before the tunnel was full of youthful energy and hope for the future. I had a new job, good friends and much to look forward to; then without warning I lost her. Midway through the tunnel, I didn’t think I would ever recover from the devastation and despair. I crawled my way grasping to anything that remotely made sense to me. It was dark and rank and I knew I had to keep going, but the struggle was so mired in confusion and pain, it was exhausting. And then I woke up. After walking through all of the sorrow and grief and loss, I felt a change within me. I emerged from the tunnel different than when I had entered. Things appeared clearer, my understanding of the world around me was renewed and I felt empowered. I had conquered the most overwhelming loss and yet, I was still standing. I was still breathing. It was miraculous to me that after having my guts kicked in by her death, I ceased being doubled over in agony. It had passed. It had evolved into an everlasting ache, more than a sharp acute stab. I could live with that. The choice to move forward was as much in my power as I willed it to be. I could have chosen to wither and wallow in self-pity and hide myself from the world, but that would not have been living. That would have merely been existing and was that any way to honour someone who had died? By simply throwing myself on the mercy of the earth and grovel away my life, instead of making it count for something? My choice to stand and move forward was as much for selfish reasons as opposed to anything close to altruistic. I refused to concern myself with how others viewed my departure from grief and instead focused on how to live with the loss. It wasn’t going away, there was nowhere for the empty space that was once occupied by a living breathing person to go. It simply did not get refilled with something or someone else. It continued to be empty. It followed me around and became a part of me. This empty space attached to my leg or my arm or my heart continues be a part of who I am. Yes, death changed me. But so did hope. Hope in its finest form gave me the chance to move forward. The hope for a better tomorrow, the hope I could find love, the hope I would feel like a whole human being again pushed me to live my life; to re-enter the world with the perspective that I had the power to change what may lie in wait for me. Good or bad, wrong or right, truth or lie I hoped for more for myself. Whether that hope was true or false it was worth holding tight to my chest. -Ashley, False Hope© 2019