Maybe

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sometimes people act embarrassed to tell me that they read my blog.  I'm not sure why.  I WANT you to read my blog.  That is why I am writing it.  I often feel down about my blog because it seems like nobody is reading it.  I have very few "followers" and don't get many comments.  I compare these stats to the other blogs I read and I feel inadequate and wonder why I am still writing.  Then I look at the number of page views and the number of places around the US and the world that people are reading from and I feel a little better.

When I think out loud about trying to improve the visibility of my blog, people wonder why.  Why on earth would I want people - especially non-grievers - to read my blog.  Do I think that my life is so interesting?  Do I really want to share all of my ups and downs with everyone who might happen upon my online journal? 

The answer is more complicated than you think - and it is both yes and no.

I 100% know that my life isn't interesting.  In many ways, it is a typical life with a small child.  We are home a lot.  Sometimes we go to the park or on other outings.  Occasionally, we visit family or friends or take a vacation.  I don't blog because I think my life is so cool.  Not at all.  I continue to blog because I believe that my thoughts, my experiences, my challenges, obstacles, upsets, and triumphs are very typical of a parent in grief.

My intentions are to advocate for the bereaved, to try and bring our experiences out of the closet, to give the non-bereaved the tools to connect with us, and to connect to others in grief.  My intention is to create community.

The stigma around grief and loss is such a burden.  The burden I feel carrying around this loss, and having to be the person that nobody wants to talk to, is the second greatest burden I have ever carried in my life.  So, I think, maybe if you knew who I am and how, in many ways, I am just like you - maybe then you would treat me like a human being.  Maybe if you understood that I also have dreams, and deeply love my family, and have both sad and silly in my life, and friends who both lift me up and disappoint me, maybe then you would relate to some aspect of me.  Maybe my little blog would give you some context to the experiences of other people you know in grief.  Maybe you would know that saying Maxie's name, that sharing with me how you think about him, and by telling me that although you've not lost a child yourself, you know how much I hurt - that you are doing way more for our connection to each other than you would be by just pretending he never existed.  Maybe you can do these things for someone else you know in grief.  Maybe.

Blogging creates another kind of community as well.  I have connected with other parents who are having my experience and the friends that I have made here are people with whom I can share how I really feel - through emails, phone calls and visits.  As raw as it sometimes seems I am willing to be on my blog, I have never really written some of my darkest thoughts.  If you haven't lost a child yourself, I've probably never even really told you the depths of it all.  You don't know all about the blame, the guilt and the anger.  You know some of it - but not all of it.  I can't share that stuff with anyone except for other parents like me.  They are the only ones that I know won't judge.  My blog is my address in the grief community.  It is where you can go to find me or send me a note or become my friend.

So, yes, I DO want people to read my blog.  I want people to find my space and pay attention to what I am saying.  I don't think I speak for all bereaved parents but my intentions are to put a face on my kind.....one of many faces.  I want you to know that we are here, that we live with great pain, lots of love, broken hearts and tremendous hope.  I want you to think of us as one of you - because we once were - because we still are.  I am not trying to hide out - my intention is for you to know who I am.  Maybe then you won't be so embarrassed of me.








13 comments:

PJ said...

Your blog is the first one i go to every morning. Your thoughtful and honest writing touches my heart. Not to mention that your boys are beautiful and the old and new memories are priceless. I appreciate you baring your soul to the masses.

Anonymous said...

Same here, your blog is also the first one I go to every morning. Sometimes I would check a couple of times in a day if you haven't posted yet :) I like your writing, and they speak so true about us. I wish I had the talent of writing, but English is not my native language, so it's always sth in between how I really feel and the words. I also often struggle with wanting to share and open my feelings or hide.

Rose said...

I read your blog to stay connected to you, because I love you and your beautiful family. I have also learned so much from your writing. I hope I am a more sensitive, caring, and diplomatic person because of the honesty, thoughtfulness and integrity in every one of your posts. I think I do understand more about grief-- and more about humanity-- because of your writing here. I hope you will only write for as long or as much as feels right for you, but I find you writing always gratifying to read and I'll keep reading for as long as you are writing. Love you Abby.

Kristy Heselton said...

I've been reading your blog for a few years now but I never comment. Thank you so much for your honesty and sharing your sweet boy with us. You honor his memory in a way where complete strangers can even feel the loss in the world without Max in it. I think of max and your family often. I am so sorry for your loss

MO is such a handsome boy! I can see how much he looks like his brother!

Lindsey Arent Schank said...

I love your blog. I think you are an amazing writer, Abby, and you encapsulate so well with each post the tremendous emotions you feel - the unbearable grief and horror of what it feels like to have lost a child, and the emotional ride you're on as you heal and focus on Mo. I often tear up reading your posts. I really appreciate being let into your world and I admire you for being so raw and truthful - and for the way you keep Maxie's memory alive for all of us.
-Lindsey

Jayden's Mommy said...

Just remember Abby your blog has helped many more than you would ever know. I remember the very early days of grief. When family goes home when is only been a couple of months maybe and everyone is back to their normal life. When is cold and dark and you are alone in physical pain. When the grief takes over and tomorrow feels impossible. It was on a night like that when I wished I was the one bury. I found your blog and I felt hope. You were still alive. Tomorrow can happen. Don't stop writing. I don't read blogs I don't even belong to the famous Facebook but believe me every day I try to make sure I read your blog. Much love to you. And Maxie's memory is alive. Thank you. Kira

Anonymous said...

I am a long time reader of your blog. I appreciate your voice. I have not faced the loss of a child and do not comment because in all honesty... I don't want to say the wrong thing. I have read many posts about people who have made you unhappy with their words or their silence, and I would hate to say anything that could come out wrong no matter how well intentioned. Internet tone is tricky, so for now I stay quiet. Just know I do read and appreciate what you graciously choose to share about your precious boys.

Laura555 said...

I read your blog and comment upon occasion. I'm only 5 months into losing my son, who was 17 -- a lot older than your Maxie -- but know what it's like to try to go on after a devastating unexpected loss of a much loved child. Even though i am not a blogger myself, I take comfort in your blog and a few others, also written by grieving moms. So, please continue to write and I (and many others) will continue to read! laura

Carmen said...

I came across your blog by accident and I am always checking in for new posts. Your story and journey has touched me so deeply and I have cried many tears while reading your posts about your beautiful boy that you lost so unfairly. Thank you for taking the time to share Max and Mo with all of us! Sending hugs all the way from South Africa x

Mindy said...

Abby, I'm Marla's cousin and have been reading your blog and following your story from the outset. I hope that you are able to gather your posts into a book someday, as I think you would help so very many people. You write from the heart. I think of all of you often.

Michelle said...

Just like most of the comments above, I'm a long time reader of your blog. My cousin passed just after his 1st birthday and your posts have really helped me in supporting my family and knowing what to say and how to be there. I often don't comment because I'm not sure what to say, or other comments sum up my thoughts. But please know your blog is read and very much appreciated - even in little New Zealand x

Lindsey said...

I'm a reader! Your writing helps me FEEL your emotions. I, also, am hesitant to say anything for fear of hurting you on accident. You have two beautiful boys, you're a great writer, and I will continue to read if you continue to post.

robyn said...

I thank you for writing your blog and for sharing your life and experiences with us all. since i unfortunately don't live near you, it allows me a daily peek in your life. i wish maxie was still here with us and that you didn't have a reason to write this thing to begin with, but i thank you for doing so and allowing us to walk beside you. xo.

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