Fan Mail Brings Me Grief

Grief: The Great YearningI must be only author who grieves when she gets emails and comments from readers. For most authors, fan mail is a wonderful and affirming event. It is for me too, but the affirmation is usually accompanied by my tears because most often when readers write to tell me how much one of my books meant to them, they are referring to Grief: The Great Yearning.

It’s nice to know that people who are going through grief find comfort in my words, but oh, it breaks my heart to know that yet another person is dealing with the devastating loss, disbelieving shock, unfathomable pain of losing a spouse.

Those who haven’t lost their life mate, soul mate, partner, the person who makes life worth living, the person who connects them to the world, cannot comprehend the reality of the situation. In fact when people tell me they can’t imagine having to deal with such loss, I tell them not to even try. There is no way anyone can imagine the physical, mental, spiritual, emotional upheaval such a loss brings. And yet, the people who reach out to me in their grief know. As do I.

And so I weep.

The tears don’t really help anyone. We all have to find our own way through the horror, and yet, there they are, these prisms refracting my soul. Still, I do love hearing that my words mean something to people, that they brought a bit of comfort. It helps give meaning to those long years of pain.

If you are suffering a soul-numbing loss, maybe you, too would find comfort in my words. And I promise, despite my tears, I’m always glad to hear your story.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

7 Responses to “Fan Mail Brings Me Grief”

  1. sumalama Says:

    I haven’t suffered your loss, but I have been divorced. Not the same, I know. Thank God for your books.

  2. Jean Says:

    You have helped me ” hold it together”! Just knowing that there are others feeling the same feelings makes it possible to endure the devasting loss. You are a blessing in my life. I lost my husband of fifty years two years ago on March 11th.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Thank you, Jean. It’s a terrible thing we’re having to deal with. In a world where people seem to think we have to be cheerful at all costs, it’s nice meeting those who feel the same way.

      I’m so sorry you have to deal with all this. Wishing you peace.

  3. Constance Says:

    Having a loss of a family member, being a Spouse, Child, Parent or Grandchild is hard. Each member you grieve for differently and for a different length of time.
    You never forget them. You have your memories.
    I have photos of my family where I can see them (My Bedroom, Office and Guest/Sewing Room. Sometimes, I feel sad. Other times I feel happy looking at them and feeling many happy memories.
    I am now the oldest living member of my family. It feels odd when I think about it. I know my time will come. How will the ones left feel?

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I have an older brother I never see and some living aunts and uncles that I don’t know, but other than that, I’m the oldest in my family, too. Weird.

  4. Toby Burnett Says:

    I learned about your book at about three months after losing my soul-mate. ( I googled “grief turning point”, which brought up this blob. How naive that thught!) From then on, until the one-year anniversary last week, I read each entry as the day corresponded to my own day, checking each morning. You expressed what I was going through so elegantly, validating, and helping me understand, my distress. As you said, on day 123, “grief is one of the most complicated–and agonizing–states a person will ever suffer.” Thank you so much for sharing your suffering.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I am so sorry you had need of my book. No one should have to go through the agony of losing someone so dear — it’s just not fair. But I am glad my book helped. Even though your comment brought me tears for both of us, I appreciate your letting me know. Wishing you peace in the coming years.

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