You know that for the last week or so, I've been writing the scenes that take place immediately following Andrew's death. They've been grueling. Challenging. And very painful. Very few people enjoy immersing themselves completely in the mindset of death. Myself included. I much prefer the tears that fall while reading to be tears of joy. Poignant tears. Not sad, depressed tears.
This weekend, I wrote the scene where Emma finally told her sons their father was gone. I thought long and hard about it. How would a grief-stricken mother help her extremely young sons understand their loss? Could they even understand it? I'm not sure. At least initially, I'm sure they won't fully understand what it means to be fatherless. Only as the days go by and they continue to miss him will it gradually sink it. I think. Certainly, I doubt it's even something that would register on a 1-year-old's mind. He would simply recognize that his family was sad. And that his Daddy wasn't there. How will Emma become accustomed to single parenting? And how will she help the boys cope with their loss? These are all questions that have been consuming me this weekend. I've written and re-written. Read and re-read. Then, written some more.
At the same time, last night, I was inspired to write the final chapter. I feel a little like Peter Jackson filming "Lord of the Rings" out of order. It seems strange that I'd be crying with Emma and the boys over Andrew's death, then celebrating Justin and Emma's wedding day---all in the same afternoon and evening. (C'mon. Don't act so surprised. Of course they get married. What kind of love story would it be if they didn't?) I went from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs. Kinda like this whole process.
This story has been over two years in progress. I've written like a fiend for weeks at a time, then allowed it to languish for months on end. I've discarded pages upon pages of hard work. I've cried. I've laughed. I've dreaded. And yet I continue to be drawn back to it. Justin and Emma have a story they want to tell....and they won't let me go until it's finished.