I am writing to you to help me think things out about writing for the blog. This may even turn into a blog post with some editing. (and it did)
I was trying to figure out why I don’t like writing on the blog, and I am thinking that the others may have similar feelings. When you said that since starting this blog at least someone has viewed it every single day, I remember why we decided to do it in the first place. We wanted to do any little thing we could do to help others deal with the death of their child.
How we wished something like this could have been there for us. When you lose a child you experience thoughts and feelings unlike anything you ever experienced before. Many of those feelings seem like they should belong to a crazy person. The confusion, the fear, the bottomless pit of despair. There was nothing in my life to prepare me.
Within our group we eventually found we were not alone. Much to our surprise, the feelings we had were very similar to everyone else’s. It didn’t help the sadness, but it did give some hope that we might possibly function in the world again.
When we first met, we were at different stages in our grief from eight years to just a few months. For me it had been five years since losing Rebecca. I still felt pretty raw and cried a lot with the group, even though I know I was looking better in the outside world. I remember Monica telling me she was watching me because she wanted some assurance how things might be in a few years for her. I was shocked that anyone could consider me “farther along.”
It has been sixteen years since our first meeting and we will all admit we are farther along. We know we will never cross a victory line that says “You are all healed now,” but each day we move just a little farther along. We have all learned to carry our grief and our lost children in so many different ways. I guess we can all be looked upon now as someone who can offer assurance to newly grieving mothers. We no longer feel the need to stay in bed under the covers every day crying (what progress!). We are so much more aware when joy comes into our lives through our other children. We have learned to take care of ourselves, each of us coping and honoring our children in different ways, and knowing whatever we do is all right. In some ways it almost feels like there is a new freedom to experience life the most natural way we can. We really KNOW other grieving mothers need to know this.
But part of me feels embarrassed or uncomfortable about posting this for all my friends and family to see. Why is that, I wonder? I have always been open and comfortable to mention Rebecca with friends and family. Will they view me differently if they know the depth of my grief in spite of my happy persona full of laughter (which I need on a daily basis), in spite of how well I am doing and all the things I have accomplished since Rebecca died? When I stop to think real hard, like to write on the blog, I still get raw moments, and wonder how the heck I can shed my identity of a bereaved mother. (Sadly, not a chance.) Yet I don’t ever want anybody to think that sharing THEIR memories of Rebecca will ever cause any distress. I want her to be remembered.
And when I look back on my earlier writings—I can often remember where I sat in the group and how I felt while writing it. When I look at it in terms of helping others, I am so happy I was able to express what I did. But even getting close to those feelings is scary.
So writing on the blog now…do we say we have gotten better? We have. But not without going through hell first.
What do people want from our blog now? What can we give? How do we protect ourselves from stepping too far back in time?