the funeral flower coverThe Funeral Flower
by Michelle Jester
Genre: NA Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: June 20th 2017

Summary from Goodreads:

Devastated by the death of her grandfather, six-year-old Kelly Rodgers barely manages to cope with the profound loss. Already facing issues at school, she finds herself spiraling deeper into despair, when a fateful interaction through the fence in her backyard gives her hope. In the years following, Kelly realizes that life’s tragedies can be dealt with through acceptance; until another series of agonizing events leaves her heart in pieces.

Finding herself thrown into new surroundings, Kelly embraces her life and resolves to never fall in love. That decision is easy to keep until her junior year when she is drawn by an unavoidable attraction to the new guy, tormented James Delaney. The moment he looks up at her and smiles, her body betrays her. And he notices. She is determined to avoid him, but soon Kelly is forced to face the inevitable truth: She doesn’t want to avoid James… and he won’t let her.

Even though tragedy always follows love.

Due to critical subject matter recommended for Ages 17+

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Guest Post –  Coping with Tragedy or the Stages of Grief

You’ve been told at least once in your life that somebody else has it far worse than you. You’ve even told yourself that statement in hopes of alleviating self-pity during difficult times. I learned at a very difficult time in my life (years ago) that everybody has a story; a tragedy that they’ve lived through or are living through. I also learned that it is impossible to tell someone that their worst day is any harder or any easier than any another person’s worst day, because to each of them it’s still their worst day.
In the midst of series of tragic events in my life, I found myself in a store, walking on doctors’ orders following one of many surgeries. On one hand, I was feeling sorry for myself because while I could walk, I had to take it very slow. My son and daughter dropped me off at the service center, as the doctor suggested, and were waiting for me at the front of the store. The point of the exercise was simple: walk through the disappointment and pain and make it to my kids… In PUBLIC. It was metaphorical as well as physical. Good suggestion, but humiliating none the less. People were passing me, agitated that I was walking so slowly. One young woman even commented to her companion that I shouldn’t be in the store if I couldn’t walk at a normal speed. I felt sorry for myself and thought that those girls had obviously never been through anything as horrible in their life to be this callous. On the other hand, I felt happy that I was able to get out of the house and walk at all, after what I’d been through. At that point in my life I was only dealing with one moment at a time. I knew I still had a long road ahead. Each day was a new victory…and defeat. I found that I was nothing more than a walking contradiction of emotions.
My back was hurting so badly, but finally I was making my way to the front of the store. Then I heard a woman crying. I thought it was a child at first and I slowly made my way toward the distress. As I started to round a corner near the pharmacy I realized it wasn’t a child at all, it was a woman not much older than me. She was crying with such sorrow that it made the tears I had successfully held in all morning erupt like a geyser. She was talking about her husband who was recently killed in an auto accident. I stood their listening, not even able to help myself, while she told the pharmacist how wonderful her husband was and how they were scheduled to go on a second honeymoon that following month. She mentioned that he and their daughter hadn’t talked in over a month due to a disagreement they’d had and how hard it will be for her daughter to live with. I made my way closer to them and lowered myself into one of the benches. I just sat there and cried, for myself, for that woman and her daughter, for my family going through all of this with me. I was facing the tragedy of an auto accident of my own. I had thought several times with the pain, that it may have been best if I hadn’t made it, but at that moment I knew I didn’t really feel that way. My kids found me sitting there, crying, and said reassuringly that it was okay and I’d make it next time.
I hugged them and thought I had truly made it already. I think I accepted my circumstances that day. It’s okay to be sad; to grieve. I understood in that moment sitting on that bench that my story isn’t the worst story out there. Everybody has a story to tell. All of us experience tragedy and sorrow. If I could do what the doctor said and walk through it, then every day would get better and better. And it did.
The stages of crisis are mapped out for us all. We know we’ll all go through it at some point, likely many points, in our lives.
We’ll all feel denial.
And anger.
We’ll try to bargain with ourselves or others.
We’ll get depressed.
And then we’ll accept. Once I accepted, I was able to move forward.
Some days are going to be harder than others. However, we just need to keep walking until we make it through. It is respect and compassion for others that make us grasp that we all have tragedies, sorrow, and pain. I am not the only one who experiences bad times. Another person’s worst day to them is just as bad as my worst day is to me. Each of us has a story to tell. I may feel sad about my circumstances also.
However, it is wisdom for us to recognize that we could each have it much worse than we do. It doesn’t stop our sorrow to know that. It does help us accept our own circumstances and learn to help others one day with what we’ve been through.

 

michelle jester.jpgAbout the Author

I am a hopeless romantic (I think this is the most important thing to know about me). In addition, I live in Greenwell Springs, Louisiana with my husband and high school sweetheart. Together we have a son and daughter. Throughout my life writing and photography have been my main creative outlets.

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