My book Grief is a Mess was published on Nov 3, 2015. Thanks to the support of friends, family, and fans, it made its way up the best seller list. It is now the #1 New Release in the category of "Grief and Death."
As if that isn't strange sounding enough, I came across the Amazon page stating, "Hot New Releases in Grief and Death."
The combination "hot" and "new" with "death" and "grief" is quite the oxymoron.
However, while reflecting on this odd phrase, I realized it reflects my jumbled emotions with the release of the book.
Although the book was bulished on Nov 3, 2015, I told everyone about it on Nov 4th.
As I watched the number of sales increase and the congratulations pour in... this odd feeling began to take over.
Despite how happy I was to finally achieve my goal, I just wanted wanted my mum there to see it. She always found fun, crazy ways to celebrate milestones in my life, and I found myself wondering what she would have done. This then spiraled downward to making comparisons to my current life. That no one would celebrate the way my mum would. It slowly robbed me of my joy.
In addition, I began to wonder... what's next?
Working on Grief is a Mess has kept me grounded and given me something to focus on. For the past year, I wanted to make this book. If I ever had a quiet moment, my mind would whisper, "You should work on the book."
Grief is a Mess also provided a way for me to process my grief and not feel so alone. As I shared the storyline with others and asked for input on illustrations, it helped me also share how I felt.
Furthermore, Grief is a Mess provided a way for me to take my skills, experiences, and emotions and make them into something beneficial for others.
In many ways, I have no idea where my art career is going. In the past, if I started to get overhwhelmed by the lack of clarity in my future, I would tell myself, "Just work on Grief is a Mess."
Now my goal is achieved. As I've scrambled to find a new goal these past few days, I am finally gaining some clarity. Maybe this is an opportunity for me to learn to process my grief without a goal or some shiny new project.
Yes, I will continue to create art, but maybe I can let joy and satisfacation sink into my soul first. Let it be okay to celebrate and be happy, even though my mum isn't here to make the celebration crazy.