I am inspired by books that cause me to think long after I stop reading.
Is it any wonder that Michael Friedman's "The Carriage Driver" was an instant favorite?
At the age of sixteen, I needed my mom to explain the process of death. I wanted answers - specific answers.
I was inconsolable that my first cat had died. In her usual manner, Mom listened to my fears. She asked me to think of Peppi's happiest days. Then she told me that heaven is a recreation of our most joyful time in life.
I've never forgotten this wise life lesson in my career choice of nursing - over thirty years ago. Working with patients and loved ones at times of death and grief is an emotionally charged labor of love.
All involved are dealing with any number of issues and feelings including anger, fear, blame, guilt, insecurity ~ at times, even a spiritual distress.
As a holistic nurse, I encourage patients, family and students to tell their story. As I listen to the stories of others, I am frequently awed by the universality of our experiences.
As a writer, I've seen positive benefits in the fictional genre. A well-crafted story has the power to change one's experience of reality. We have the ability to use the very images, colors and sounds that are created with the writer's pen to become more peaceful and centered. A release of feelings, fears and tears can accompany acknowledgement of the simultaneous grief and happiness in our life cycle.
"The Carriage Driver" stories by Michael Friedman, of Mockingbird Books, exemplifies the healing powers of a story.
The Carriage Driver and his regal horse companion, Nuelle, are a metaphor for our last earthly journey.
Adaptability and compassion are a constant throughout each chapter. Every passenger has their own life story and vision of what the next life means to them. The wounds of a lifetime disappear. Miracles happen as a new reality is custom made with Friedman's masterful pen.
On Wednesday, I attended the funeral of a 91-year-old friend who had been a music teacher ~ specifically the trumpet. Her religious family arranged for a trumpet player to join the organist at mass ~ one of the most beautiful services I have ever attended.
And I imagined what the soundtrack would be as The Carriage Driver and Nuelle escorted 'Cool Jule' to the pearly gates.
Louis Armstrong: "When the Saints Go Marching In"
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