Last week I was on Blog Talk Radio discussing my new non-fiction book Grief: The Great Yearning
and explaining why it is important.
I’ve written four novels, all published by Second Wind Publishing,
and although I thought the subject matter of each book important enough
to spend a year of my life writing and another year editing (to say
nothing of the years on the arduous road to publication), I have a hard
time telling people the novels are important.
The basic theme of all my novels is conspiracy, focusing on the
horrors ordinary citizens have been subjected to by those in power. Most
people who have read the books seem to like them (though a few who
didn’t like them seemed befuddled by what I was trying to accomplish). Light Bringer
in particular seems to arouse a difference of opinion. Written to be the granddaddy of all conspiracy theories, Light Bringer
traces the push toward a one-world government back 12,000 years. Based
on myths, both modern conspiracy myths and ancient cosmology myths, Light Bringer
is a thriller, or mythic fiction perhaps (if there is such a thing). I
never intended it to be science fiction since the science is gleaned
from ancient records rather than futuristic imaginings, but that is how
it is perceived.
Still, despite the scope of Light Bringer
, despite it being
my magnum opus and the result of twenty years of research, I can’t in
all honesty say it is important to anyone except me. It probably won’t
change anyone’s life or anyone’s thinking. For the most part, we bring
to books what we believe, and so those who believe in conspiracies see
the importance of my novels, while those who don’t have even a
smattering of belief that there are machinations we are not privy to
might even think them far-fetched.
On the other hand, Grief: The Great Yearning
is an important
book. It is composed of journal entries, blog posts, and letters to my
dead life mate/soul mate, all pieces written while I was trying to deal
with the unbearable tsunami of emotions, hormones, physical symptoms,
psychological and spiritual torments, identity crisis and the thousand
other occurrences we lump under the heading “grief.” Because of this,
the emotion in Grief: The Great Yearing
is immediate, the
experience palpable. This is a comfort to those having to deal with a
grievous loss because they can see they are not alone. (One of the side
effects of grief is a horrendous feeling of isolation.) They can see
that whatever they feel, others have felt, and that whatever seemingly
crazy thing they do to bring themselves comfort, others have done.
This book is also important for the families of someone who has
suffered a grievous loss. Too often the bereft are told to move on, get
over it, perhaps because their families don’t understand what it is the
survivor has to deal with. Well, now they can get a glimpse into grief
and ideally, be more patient and considerate of their bereft loved ones.
This book is especially important for writers. I’ve mostly given up
reading for now because of the unrealness I keep coming across in
fiction. So many novels are steeped in death, with bodies piling up like
cordwood, yet no one grieves. The surviving spouses think as clearly as
they did before the death. They have no magical thinking, holding two
disparate thoughts in their minds at once. (For example: I know he will
never need his eyeglasses, but I can’t throw them away because how will
he see without them?) The characters have no physical symptoms or bouts
of tears that are beyond their control. There is no great yearning to
see the dead once more (and this yearning is what drives our grief, not
the so-called stages). In other words, we are continually conditioned to
downplay the very real presence of grief in our lives. If we don’t see
people grieve in real life, in movies, in books, where are we to get a
blueprint for grief?
As Leesa Healy, Consultant in Emotional-Mental Health wrote, “If
people were to ask me for an example of how grief can be faced in order
for the healthiest outcome, I would refer them to Grief: The Great Yearning
which should be the grief process bible. Pat Bertram’s willingness to
confront grief head on combined with her openness to change is the
epitome of good mental health.”
So, yes, Grief the Great Yearning
is important, and it was good to have a chance to talk about the book and to spread my message: It is okay to grieve. It is important to grieve. And as impossible as it is to imagine now, you will survive.
If you’d like to listen to me talk (and laugh) and discover that I
really am okay despite my continued sadness and occasional upsurges of
grief, you can find the show here: Talk Radio Network with Friend and Author Pat Bertram
Click here to find out more about Grief: The Great Yearning
Pat Bertram is the author of Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. All Bertram’s books are available both in print and in ebook format. You can get them online at Second Wind Publishing, Amazon, B&N and Smashwords. At Smashwords
, the books are available in all ebook formats including palm reading devices, and you can download the first 20-30% free!