Tomorrow Comes by Donna Mebane
My grandmother visits me as a cedar waxwing.
Maybe it’s because she was a big bird lover and the cedar waxwing was always at her feeders.
These birds are not that common around here, but every once in a while, one will stop by the holly bush at my front window. And, it seems to be when I need a reminder.
One day, I was frantically working, and was stressed about time, and deadlines.
I heard a bird crash against my window. I looked up.
It was a cedar waxwing.
A reminder to slow down and take things easy.
A few days ago, I was in a rush driving somewhere. In the middle of the road in my neighbourhood was a flock of birds. They were splashing in a puddle, and weren’t making any signs to fly away as I came barrelling down the street.
When I got closer, I realized it was a flock of cedar waxwings.
Again, a reminder to slow down, take things easy – just when I needed it.
I call these encounters a message from my grandmother.
Probably many of us have these feelings and notions that someone who was close to us who has died is trying to communicate with us.
This might be in a dream, through a vision, a bird, a butterfly – anything.
This is why many people will be able to relate to Tomorrow Comes by Donna Mebane.
Donna Mebane’s daughter unexpectedly died at age 19 in her sleep. Understandably, this was a real shock to the family and community. To help her come to terms with her daughter’s death, Mebane wrote Tomorrow Comes.
The story, which I would categorize as Young Adult, is how each person in the family is coming to terms with Emma’s death. As an interesting addition, it is also about Emma herself coming to terms with having died. In it, Mebane creates her vision of utopia of what life after death is all about, in a secular way. Her thoughts and concepts are really interesting, and of course, we will never know the reality!
And of course, Mebane talks a lot about the messages that Emma is trying to send to her family through birds and music.
If you have had someone close to you die, you may want to check out Tomorrow Comes, to realize you are not alone, and to see how others come to terms with their grief.
To get another perspective on the book, I got my co-book-blogger, my mom, to read it.
Here’s what she says:
This story arose out of the unexpected death of the author’s nineteen-year-old daughter, Emma, who goes to sleep one night and doesn’t wake up. The author says that she wrote this book to help deal with her grief and loss of a beloved daughter. She also explores how each of the family deals with the loss in his or her own unique way.
One unusual angle is that she imagines her daughter beginning her new existence beyond death and finding her way. Each chapter was told from the point of view of a different character and this at times was confusing, rather muddying the story.
This book, which has won 11 awards, was an interesting read but a difficult one as no parent wants to think about what it means to lose a child, but in the end it is a celebration of Emma’s life and a call to us to live life fully.