This afternoon, I checked in on Twitter and found the tweet below by Tim Pratt:
… which in turn led me to this tweet by Neil Gaiman:
… which in turn led me to this this post on Neil’s blog:
A long, strange day. In the taxi downtown this morning I learned that there had been a sudden death in the family, and I went down to the sunshine of Union Square to phone people, and sort logistical things out, and breathe…
You must go, this moment, my writer friends, and read Neil’s post. Go on, click this link… I’ll wait.
Dedication of a Writer
Ok, now that you’re back, I’ll continue…
When I read that post, I remembered that I’d been watching this event unfold on Twitter. Yesterday, I saw this tweet by Pablo Defendini:
From other tweets, I knew the signing had been going on for awhile, but no one knew what Neil Gaiman was going through. He worked for eight hours, reading for the audience and signing hundreds of books.
My heart goes out to the Gaiman family for the pain of their loss, but also to Neil directly because I know how it feels to keep working through pain.
Working Through Pain
I know what Neil means when he talks about working through pain and the intense gratitude one feels toward everyone who keeps the work coming.
Eight years ago, my mother suffered a terrible accident. I was scheduled to head off to Europe on business just a few days later. It seemed like she was going to get better, so I went ahead with my trip.
Unfortunately, she did not get better.
While abroad, I received news that her traumatic brain injury had worsened and that she was brain dead. I explained to my colleagues that I needed to go home early. They were shocked because I’d been working at our usual crushing pace with no sign of the turmoil in my life. How could I do that?
I told them how much I appreciated their kindness. I told them how much I appreciated the opportunity to work, because working was all I could do. I had to keep moving. The pain would catch up later. It always does.
That’s really all I have to say in this post. No lessons or morals. No lectures or funny business. Life is like that sometimes…