I Like My Life (Despite Missing My Heart) 

First off, BIG CONGRATS to our 2016 Deb Abby Fabiaschi!!
I’ll admit, this was a hard read for me. Because it forced me to face feelings I had hidden for a while. Some novels can be triggering, but in the best ways! As you’ve noticed, this week is all sunshine and rainbows talking about painful life moments and the lessons we’ve learned. I don’t particularly like talking about my Grandmother’s death, which was similar to Jenni’s Grandfather. My Grandma was like my second mother, all I wanted to do is be around her. She was warm, mushy, unintentionally funny, someone you just wanted to stand under. I spent summers with her in Jamaica, weekends with her in Far Rockaway Queens, I loved her more than I could ever love myself. I absolutely hate having to live in this world without her. Her death was long yet fast, unexpected yet common, painful yet numbing. Here are the main three lessons I learned from it:
1) Get Your Shit in Order
My Grandma had a stroke the day before Christmas Eve in 2007. She died two days before her birthday in July of 2008. She was such a strong woman, a true matriarch, the stroke blindsided us and similar to Maddy’s family, we really had no clue what to do. What was her final wishes? Did she even have a will?
As depressing as it will be, draft a will, write your last wishes, choose executors, and prepare your files for if you were to happen to leave this earth sooner than expected, you family won’t be put through more torture figuring out your life.
2) Five Stages of Grief Repeats Itself
After she passed, I walked through the five stages of grief dutifully: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, then acceptance. But then over the years, something would trigger me, like a picture, a smell of her lotion, or a gospel song on the radio, I would burst into tears and start the whole stages over again. Last week, after ALLEGEDLY debuted, I found myself crying non-stop because I wanted more than anything for my Grandma to be there to witness it. When you lose your heart, grief honestly never leaves you. You just learn to live with it, much like a functioning alcoholic.
Live. I mean, really live. Do all the things you ever wanted to do now. Go on trips, see the world. Kiss a boy you like without overthinking it. Write that book that’s burned in our soul.
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Tiffany D. Jackson is a TV professional by day, novelist by night, awkward black girl 24/7. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Film from Howard University and her Master of Arts in Media Studies from The New School University. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves with her adorable chihuahua Oscar, most likely multitasking. Her debut novel, ALLEGEDLY is due January 24th, 2017 through Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of Harper Collins.

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