Today, I’m thinking about a few people that I know…or at least, used to know. For those who don’t know, I am the owner of a publishing company called Higher Ground Books & Media. To date, we have about 58 active authors whose books we have published. We’re an independent publisher, so these are individuals who wrote books and promoted those books to friends, family, and others. These are the people who helped build Higher Ground Books & Media. People who I considered to be good friends or at least individuals I was blessed to know. The other day, I was doing my annual bookkeeping tasks and wrapping up reports for end of the year. I sent out reports and strangely, a couple of those emails bounced back. I thought this was odd because generally, the emails reach their destination with no problem. So, I did some checking and found information that I wish I hadn’t found.
Two of my authors, who had been with me for a while, had passed away in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Neither of them had family who knew to notify me, so I had no idea that they had passed. And so, I spent much of the day after I found out, feeling a little lost and very sad. I had previously lost three other authors to various things and I still wasn’t quite over those losses. Not that I will ever be. In fact, I hate to hear that anyone that I’ve had the good fortune to spend time with or be friends with is having health problems or worse, has died. Granted, the degree to which I’m impacted depends largely on the extent of the relationship I had with the person, but I’m always sad to hear that someone I know is no longer with us.
I have a very difficult time making solid connections with people. The best I can usually do is to have regular communication with you and to acknowledge that I know you if I’m every asked about you. To be honest, I have trust issues that will likely never resolve. Thanks to a handful of wonderfully gifted narcissists I’ve known, I tend to approach every relationship very cautiously. Some of my strongest ties these past eight years have been to the individuals whom I’ve published. This is largely due to the fact that they share details about their lives with me as a part of explaining why they wrote their books. They tell me things that maybe they don’t share with others. And we trust each other to keep some things close to our hearts and not broadcast every detail that we’re given about one another. We have a common goal and that is to help others heal by sharing a certain portion of our stories with them when we are ready to do so. So, losing any of these wonderful people, especially without knowing I’ve lost them, comes as quite a shock.
I am still quite saddened by the loss of two authors with whom I spoke on a regular basis. Both died rather unexpectedly and with both, I found myself at a loss for how to best honor their memory. I’m struggling with how to honor these latest two individuals as well. Mainly, because I have no idea how they passed or what the circumstances were. We hadn’t communicated regularly, but we had always been in touch periodically and I had always meant to meet them in person. We may not have been best buddies, but these people mean something to me and to know that they are gone is just painful.
I’m hoping that I will be able to find a way to honor these two individuals. I will take some time to pray about it and hope that the right answer finds it’s way into my consciousness. It could be that the best way to honor them is to keep doing what I’m doing. And I intend to, but I at least want to consider what they might have wanted to accomplish in writing their books. At some point in the near future, I will add their names to the tribute page on our website. For now, I’m going to sit with my memories of these two individuals and try to make sense of things.
If you have people in your life that you haven’t checked on, take a minute and reach out. You never know when you’ll have your last opportunity to talk to the people you care about, respect, and admire. I pray that whatever has removed these individuals from this life is no longer causing them pain and that they rest well knowing that they gave it their best. God bless.
Rebecca Benston is the owner of Higher Ground Books & Media and the author of over twenty titles currently available through Amazon and other outlets. Her books include a mystery series (The Rona Shively Stories), empowerment resources such as Wise Up to Rise Up, Don’t Be Stupid (And I Mean That in the Nicest Way), and From Judgment to Jubilee, children’s books including Grumble D. Grumble Learns to Smile, All the Scary Things, and See How Strong You Are. Benston lives in Springfield, Ohio with her awesome daughter, Mya and enjoys traveling, reading, writing, and telling it like it is. She enjoys being able to help other authors get their stories out there through Higher Ground and has recently expanded her freelance services to offer more extensive guidance as a writing coach and social media manager. For more information, you can contact Benston at email@example.com.
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My name is Rebecca Benston. I’m a Christian. I’m a woman. I’m a mother. I’m a writer. I’m a thinker. When I write fiction, I am usually writing a mystery series called The Rona Shively Stories. My P.I. character, Rona Shively is feisty, fearless and fabulous and is usually caught up in something she doesn’t want to be caught up in. In addition to this series, I also have a blog called Higher Ground for Life. Through this blog, I’m hoping to reach women or anyone who is seeking to develop a relationship with God and give them inspiration to get out there and follow His path for their lives!
I also have a blog called Leading the Follower. This one is my favorite. I write about religion, faith, spirituality and all that goes along with it. What we believe, what we don’t believe, what we are told to believe and how society feels about believing in general. I do a lot of testifying here and some of what I say may make you angry. Most of it will make you think. Some of it will make you cry. Any of it could make you laugh. It’s really up to you.
If you are looking for practical advice, honest conversation, and no nonsense observations about living in today’s world, check out my blogs at http://highergroundbooksandmedia.com and http://www.ronashively.wordpress.com and http://www.highergroundforlife.wordpress.com and http://www.leadingthefollower.wordpress.com. And if you’re so inclined, you can purchase my books and some other great, inspirational works from Higher Ground Books & Media at http://highergroundbooksandmedia.com.