In Rescuing Dawn my heroine Dawn is still suffering from the grief of losing her husband and infant son. She doesn’t want to feel again. She doesn’t trust herself to love again because everyone she has loved unconditionally has either left her or died. So, for Dawn, doing endless nightshifts is her way of coping with her life. It makes it easier to not associate with people when you work nights.
Dawn is also suffering from another emotion too – guilt. She feels guilty that on the day her husband and son died, she chose work over spending time with the family going on the outing that they had planned. Finances were tight so the money she could get from the shift could help them. Guilt consumes her almost as much as grief.
For Dawn, her mindset is that if she hadn’t worked her family would still be alive. So while she’s dealing with the grief of the loss, she can’t let go of the guilt she feels too. When Andrew comes along and forces her back into the land of the living, she waivers between moving forward and staying in her safe little world she’s created. It’s tough for her and, at times it was tough for me to write! I wanted to tell her to move on. She rebuffed me a lot of the times and told me she would do it in her time. And when she did, we all celebrated!
She acknowledged both emotions, but it was with the understanding of her soul mate Andrew. He gave her the strength to embrace the grief and guilt so that she could move on.
Both emotions are real and a lot of people feel them. They are emotions that some people just don’t know how to deal with. They are also emotions that a lot of people hide.