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"Grief is the price we pay for love."

To Have Her Again by Kay Shanee was such a good read. I loved how complex every character in the book was—so much so, I had a hard time trying to decide who I was gonna write my character spotlight on. I figured that since Father’s Day is right around the corner, I’d do a little character spotlight/therapy on the father figure in this read.

Everleigh and Myles were the two main characters of this read; however, for me, Everette, Everleigh’s father, stole my heart. After the unexpected passing of Everleigh’s mom, Mrs. Dinah, it was difficult for him to resume with life as he knew it. He was her partner of over fifty years; the loss was devastating. Imagine trying to be your daughter’s strength while mourning the loss of your one true love. Though difficult and seemingly unbearable, Everette sought therapy to help him cope with the pain (*Sidebar* I loved that that Kay Shanee highlighted the importance of seeking help when something this traumatizing happens to you), but there were still signs that he was struggling with moving forward.

It seems that since 2019-ish, there has just been an insurmountable amount of loss. I think loss has impacted just about everyone I know—including myself—and it just got me to thinking. Aside from therapy, what do people need to know about grief? What could’ve helped Everette move forward?

Grief is very complex, and it doesn’t always look like sadness. Guilt, fear, anger, fatigue, nausea, weight loss or gain, aches and pains, and even insomnia are all symptoms of grief. The best thing you can do for yourself is acknowledge the pain and go through the natural stages:

· Denial

· Anger

· Bargaining

· Depression

· Acceptance

These stages can be a rollercoaster, literally. One minute, you can feel ok, like you can manage and then the next, the pain is as tangible as it was the day the trauma happened. So, be patient with yourself. Contrary to popular belief, there’s no time limit on grief. I would imagine that a loss like Mr. Everette endured, it may take the remainder of his life to gain true acceptance. So, if you find yourself in a situation where you’re experiencing some grief (and keep in mind, the death of a loved one isn’t the only circumstance that can cause grief. Miscarriage, loss of a pet, loss of a job, friendship, etc. can all cause grief), please consider doing the following:

  1. Acknowledge your pain.

  2. Accept that grief can trigger many different and unexpected emotions.

  3. Understand that your grieving process may look different from others.

  4. Seek out support from people who care about you.

  5. Support yourself emotionally by taking care of yourself physically.

Everette truly deserved father of the year for being such a great father and support system for Everleigh, even after losing the love of his life. If you’ve experienced a loss, surround yourself with people who love you. Although it may seem hard to do, take care of yourself to the best of your ability. You owe it to yourself.

Have y’all read To Have Her Again? Did y’all love Mr. Everette or what? He was just so cute to me.

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