Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Healing Art of Writing by Candy Little

The Healing Art of Writing

My writing journey is a bit unconventional from most writers. I never thought much about becoming a writer when I was young. I dabbled with some poetry in high school, but nothing serious. And, once when I had Saturday detention, I filled the two hours by writing a short, horror story about an ax murderer.  After graduation, I got married and started my family I didn’t have time for writing.
That is the prequel my story. The first chapter of my writing career started fourteen years ago when I was twenty-eight years old.
The labor pains ripped through my body, muscles convulsing with each contraction. The severe ach in my body didn’t compare with what I felt in my heart. I tried to ignore the physical pain as much as I could. However, the pain in my heart wouldn’t subside. As I doubled over with every contraction, my only thought was I hope the sonogram is wrong. I prayed that my baby would be all right. After eight hours, I delivered my beautiful baby girl. The soreness in body eased immediately, but the hurt in my heart intensified.
The sonogram had been right my baby was dead!
I held my precious bundle in my arms as tears streamed down my cheeks. “Why God! Why?” I screamed in distress. I didn’t understand how this had happened. She’d been fine at all the doctor appointments. I’d watched her get bigger and saw her heart beating with the sonograms. How had she died the night before? It didn’t make any sense. I felt numb, my heart shattered into a million pieces. This isn’t what I had planned. What could I do now? My life felt ruined!     
My husband tried to comfort me. Family called from out of state, and friends stopped by from church. I tried to pretend that I was fine. That my life wasn’t falling apart. But deep down I wanted to crawl in a hole and die myself. I didn’t want to go on. How does life continue after death? I felt lost with no direction.
Hope had been stripped away, smothered. I felt suffocated . All light blocked from life, yet as sad as I felt, I needed to move on. My husband and two children needed me. I had to survive for them.
In the bleakness of that night, I cried constantly. I couldn’t stop, wave after wave of pain hit me, rubbing me raw like the ocean chafes the edges of a shell. Nothing eased the pain. I screamed, cursing God for taking my baby. Why, lord, why? was the only thought in my head. Yet, my heart knew there had to be a reason, I just didn’t know what.
As the days slowly moved on, we had her funeral then tried to get on with our normal lives, even though nothing would ever be normal again. I went back to work, cleaned the house and cooked supper. Did all the things I’d done before, only with an empty heart. The void where Megan should have been swallowed me up. My life was surrounded by darkness.
The only light I felt came from the moments I wrote in my journal. The nurse had suggested I keep one as part of the grieving process. Although I thought it a dumb idea at the time, now it was my salvation. The lifeline to my sanity. I could express my thoughts without fear that I’d say the wrong thing. I could scream, rant and rave about everything with no one to judge me.
With my sorrow as a guide, I not only kept a journal, but started writing poetry again. They were sad and haunting poems that reflected my inner turmoil. I found a peace even when I wrote about the most raw and intense emotions of my life. I’d found a way to heal my soul.
This inner freedom sparked something inside of me. Not only could I let my emotions out, but I could be creative too. I loved the feeling of the keys pressing down when I touched them, the magic of words appearing on the screen as I thought them. I could take a blank piece of paper and write down my activities for the day or week and have a story. 
After two years, I decided to try writing a romance novel. I named my heroin after my daughter, and plotted out a fictional romance drawing on my personal feeling and fears.  Then, I sat down and started writing. Two years later, I finished the story.
Excitement throbbed through my body, filling my heart with joy. I’d written a novel! I held the printed pages in my hands with the same care as a newborn baby. In that moment, a true peace about my daughter’s death fell over me.
Although I didn’t understand why God had been so cruel to me all those years ago, I slowly became aware that if I hadn’t lost Megan, I would never have started writing. Her death had been the first step in the long, winding road that led to my writing.
There you have it folks!! The story of my writing career, and how it healed my broken heart.
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