Healing has been on my mind a lot the last few days. It’s such an abstract concept, difficult to pin down when you’re talking about heart-healing, mind-healing.

My book club’s latest selection was Healing Stones, by Nancy Rue and Stephen Arterburn. I’ve read one other novel by Rue and unexpectedly loved it. The same could be said for this one, but in a different way. I wondered how a book about an adulterous woman would translate into the lives of our book club of young women, all still rather new to marriage, tiny babies beginning to make appearances, houses being bought, careers being built. I was surprised to see how much I could relate — not to the adultery part, but the rest.

The main character identifying her core issue as a need to never fail, to be perfect at EVERYTHING. That feels familiar. The character’s realization that being helpless to help her husband deal with overwhelming grief felt like failure. Yeah, that resonates. The teenager seeming to do his utmost to rip the family apart while really dealing with his own hurts? Brought back a lot of past hurts I thought I had forgiven. And I had, but sometimes I have to forgive anew.

I cried when I finished reading the book, not because of the book, but because of the reflection of my own life in it. My real life. My real hurts. My real need for healing.

Then the news of Robin Williams’ death hit. I had to tell Husband.

“He died?” Husband asked, surprised. “What happened?”

I hated having to say it, but he needed to know, and from me, not his co-workers or the checkout lady at the grocery store.

“He committed suicide,” I said gently.

It’s a hard subject. Not one that I take lightly.

We talked in halted phrases for a bit, letting silence settle between the words as needed. We processed. I let him think, wait, speak, think again.

In the end we began talking about Out of the Darkness walks we’ve seen advertised at some time or another around town. Maybe. Someday. Maybe.

Healing. It’s such an abstract concept sometimes.

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