One of William Faulkner's more famous quotes was, "The past isn't dead. It isn't even past." This is an underlying theme of Faith, Hope, and Dr. Vangelis, my first novel, which will be published next winter.
As I've noted in other posts, the protagonist is Dr. Lukas Vangelis, an elderly hospice physician. Weary from the burden of easing the passage of the dying into peaceful death, he begins to get messages that point him toward the approaching end of his mission. This brings no fear; most of the people he's loved in his life have already died.
What it does bring is an unwelcome imperative: dealing with his past. Lukas has never fully rid himself of the hurt he's given others, and which they've caused him. He considers himself a man of generous spirit, but the dark shadows in his past must be dispelled before he can find peace.
We all have similar demons that lurk in the crevices of our memory. I've known a few people in my life whose sunny dispositions seem to deny darkness any foothold. Yet, when I've gotten to know them better, I've usually found that, while they've shut the door on darkness, it's still lurking somewhere, ready to emerge and cause pain.
This isn't a confessional novel. I have no urge to unburden my own soul, except to note that, when I must acknowledge the reality of pain, I try to use such occasions as a way of banishing darkness, not just pushing it somewhere out of sight. I don't know, even today, how successful I've been. I believe that, when you get to know Lukas Vangelis better, you'll seen in him something that resonates in your own life.
Live long and learn to forgive.