Characters and books come alive for me. At times I have to remind myself of what's real and what is book. Characters and scenes live on in my brain, long after I've turned the last page. And I imagine that most of you are the same.
But this Christmas stuff happened in real life--stuff from which I need to gain distance. Because I am imagining over and over what must have happened, since I wasn't there, and the images are awful and horrifying. And to make it worse, it happened on Christmas day. My youngest brother (18) and my stepsister (not much older) spent Christmas night trying to save their mom--my step-mom. And couldn't. A blood clot had traveled to her brain.
Mourning is difficult for me, since while I loved my step-mom, I didn't always like her. She was someone who craved attention, and many times was oblivious to the people around her. When I was young, I was one of those people. But I loved her. Because she was family. Because she was in my life while I grew up. Because she was crazy and strong and beautiful and said whatever was on her mind, no matter how inappropriate it was.
But what is living in my brain right now is the trauma that was my brother and sister's Christmas night. Over and over and over again, I imagine those moments when they tried to save their mom. Soon I will be able to see my brother and sister, and make sure that they are indeed okay, if forever changed. And until then, I need some distance from what is real.
Know that the unexpected can happen. Hug your family. Live in the moment. Make the best of this fleeting life. And I'll see you again when I come back to reality.