(Heads up, this one is… sensitive. It may not be an easy read for… pretty much anyone with a heart. I already cleared it with the requester that it was okay to post this. To which she agreed on condition of anonymity.)

Hi Jim,

I’ve been trying to write a story about my husband’s life. He was died in the line of duty a year ago. The thing is… I’m having trouble. I don’t know how to convey how the world changed when he left us. I sit in front of the keyboard and scream because I just can’t get it out. He was the love of my life who was willing to put his life on the line to keep everyone he loved safe.
I think about how I had to put my kids to bed each night and they would ask me when daddy was coming home. I’d wind up not being able to sleep, instead sitting up wondering what to tell them. How do I permanently break the hearts of children that haven’t even reached double digit ages?
His death left me with a hole in my chest that I couldn’t fill and could never be repaired. I don’t know how to write about it. How do you express the hole left when someone like that just permanently vanishes from your life.

Any advice you can offer me would be greatly appreciated.



Believe it or not, this is why I really hope no one ever asks me to write a eulogy. I can do it, but I’d probably hate it because no matter what I write, it will sound trite, contrived, and cliched in my head. No words will ever be enough. I really wish I had some sage advice for you… but honestly… I think you just did it. I had a hard time reading what you wrote. You conveyed how you felt, how it affected the people around you and how the world was different for you now.

That’s really all you have to do. You simply need to take what you wrote above and elaborate on it. Build on the feelings you’ve already expressed. If you have trouble finding the right words, ask around. Ask the other people who knew him to help you. Maybe have other people contribute or even write in quotes. Word articulation comes much easier to some people than others, especially if they aren’t grieving as badly.

I know it doesn’t seem like it, but you’re not alone. There are people out there ready and willing to help. You just have to make the big leap and… ask. You’ll be surprised how many people will come out of the woodwork if they haven’t already.

As cliche as it may sound, speak from the heart and readers will pick up on it. Write genuinely and people will pick up on it. Just put your feelings down on paper, all of them. Once you’re done, sort them out, or ask for help in organizing them into some semblance of coherency. Don’t worry about how it sounds, just get what you can down on paper. Trust me, once you start writing, the words will begin to flow. It takes time, but it will happen.

So on that note… I’m sorry… I can’t really help you any more than that, because honestly, you can write for eternity and never fully convey how wonderful a person is or how you felt. Every day is a different emotion worth a million words, probably infinitely more than that in your case.

Just don’t give up, write as much as you can until you feel that you’ve gotten out a satisfactory amount. Please feel free to email me back if you have trouble finding the right words. I’ll be happy to help!

All – please take a moment to thank our friend for her loved one’s sacrifice… and any advice or words of encouragement you can give her would be greatly appreciated. Don’t forget to support our men and women in uniform!


Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.


I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:


Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!



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