The exercise of writing this book came with some realities. And they were painful. One of those realizations is that I feel awful that I know Charles better now than I did when he was alive. I thought I knew my child.
Conversely, I’m glad I have something that helped me understand who he was and how he struggled.
I had to decide which songs to leave in and which ones to take out. I was even tempted to edit one or two of them. They showed a side of him I wasn’t sure I wanted you to see. And sometimes a side of me I didn’t want you to see either.
I didn’t edit them or take out things. Because my imperfections are part of the story you need to see. As are Charles’ flaws.
I felt naked. As I’ve felt so many times in this process. But for me, allowing you to see inside my heart is my unorthodox way of healing and helping you understand your own process of dealing with adversity, tragedy or loss.
I understand what a gift it is to have the time to write this book and spend this time with my youngest child who is no longer here. Grief finally feels like a connection to the one I lost, and not this awful thing I want to squirm out from under. Because at first, that’s what it was–something I wanted to escape.
I have to say, the song lyrics I chose to end the book with are perfect. They offer such a ray of hope. It’s like he wrote it just for this book.
I found a lot of grief along the way, shed a lot of tears. But in the end, I found a lot of peace.