by Kristena Tunstall
Why do we write? For everyone it’s different. For me, it’s very personal. I started to write because of a tragedy, and not just any kind of tragedy but one that so many of us could imagine because we know the pain would be so acute. It’s the loss of a child.
It’s hard to believe that over five years ago my husband and I sat in a nurse lounge as one our daughter’s doctors told us that “the daughter you know and love is forever gone.” Imagine that for a moment. Forever. Your brain can’t really wrap itself around this. As believers, we know that once we pass from this earth we will be in the presence of God forever, but we still can’t fully grasp that because forever never ends. Yet, here we sat now knowing that our daughter is forever gone.
We made the hardest decision of our lives that early afternoon when we told them that night we wanted to take her off life support. Try to imagine making a decision to let your child go permanently. It’s unfathomable. Yet, here we were anyway having to make it.
It’s through this very tragedy I began to write. First, by writing updates on a CarePage for family and friends, and then by starting a dedication website in her honor.
God started me down a journey I didn’t know I’d be on. Writing wasn’t my thing other than writing in my dairy in spurts over the years. However, He slowly revealed to me that He’d given me this gift. That somehow my words when read by others touched them. I still find this hard to believe, but then it’s reaffirmed every time I read a comment left to something I written.
Then God further lead me to start writing fiction. Wow, it’s been a journey, and I’m loving it. It took me a long time to even call myself a writer. I had a hard time believing I was any good. God kept showing me through comments and feedback from others that this is what He meant for me to do. I’m happy doing this. It helped me through my grief journey. I was able to talk about how I was feeling through words. In a way it felt freeing. I thank the Lord every day for it.
As a result I’ve now started my author site. I’m going through this book that has 365 days of topics. I read what the author wrote and then I write my own posting. I’ve loved doing this and sharing it with others. I also have a weekly column on Friday’s where a fellow writer, whether unpublished or published, share about their own writing journey and how they’ve seen God in it. To read these journeys has been another blessing in my life. I thank the Lord everyday for all of it.
On a side note, Happy Birthday Mariana. She would’ve been 14 today. Mommy loves and misses you.
Kristena Tunstall began to write after the tragic loss of her only child, her eight-year-old daughter, Mariana. As God guided her through this tragedy He slowly revealed the gift of writing He gave to her. He laid it on her heart to write through her grief journey and dedicate a website in her daughters name called MommysAngelInHeaven.com. He further placed on her heart to write a nonfiction book about the journey which lead to losing her daughter as well a Women’s Fiction book. When the time is right, both books will be published. In the mean time you can find her still writing on her daughter’s dedication site as well as her author blog.
Helping others face the same tragedy you did is such a noble reason to enter this career. God bless your work!
Thank you Linda. My hope is that in some small way that through God I might be able to do just that. 🙂
Very nice, Kristena, and very heartfelt. I can only imagine your grief at that time and your writing put me there in the room with you and your husband as you digested the heart-wrenching words from the doctor. Thanks for sharing.
I’m so sorry for your loss. I visited your daughter’s site — what a beautiful tribute. I have a daughter who is less than a year younger than Mari and so your story hit close to home for me. God bless you and your writing.
Jill, I’m always amazed at how God continually reaffirms for me the gift He gave me with writing and how it can touch another person. Before my daughter died I had no desire whatsoever to become a writer. However, God’s given me a burning desire to write. I’m loving it. Thank you for your kind words. They have touched my heart.
Becky, first, thank you for visiting my daughter dedictaion website. That means so much to me. And thank you for your kind words. They’ve touched my heart.
I feel so blessed by both of your comments. Thank you.