Blogging/Writing Whatever Gets You Through The Night – Part 2
I have journaled off and on since a creative writing class in high school. Journaling can be a cathartic experience and looking back on past entries is a great way to see just how much you have changed over time. When the girls were born I journaled so they would have a record of that time of my life and the joy I was experiencing.
When Shayna passed I decided to pick it up again. I have had a blog for years where I discuss politics and religion. I’m active on Facebook. So, sharing my feelings with the world isn’t exactly new to me. I decided to make this a public journey because we generally are so private with grief that people feel like their situation is unique. “No one has ever experienced before what I’m going through now.” That is true on one level, we are all unique and each situation is unique. We are also the same on another level and there is nothing new under the sun. I knew the moment they told me Shayna had passed that this marked the end of the life I had come to know and love. I died when she died. I could not see a way forward, but I knew I had to keep this body going forward for Ty and Kayla. I knew this would be the biggest challenge of my life and the next day, I knew I had to share it. I also wanted to be able to look back at my own posts in months or years should I be here that long. I wanted to be able to see the process retroactively.
The simple act of writing things down forces us to organize and examine our thoughts. Sharing them provides additional benefits for me. Knowing that a handful of people are reading keeps me somewhat accountable. There are times when I just don’t feel like writing. Knowing someone is reading gives me motivation on those days, like today. Some days the ideas come pouring in from somewhere and I have to get them down before they evaporate. Several people have told me that reading my posts has helped them with their own grief whether it’s fresh, many years old or anticipatory. It’s not that my words are so full of wisdom. As human beings there is something comforting in just knowing that we are not alone in our experiences. While I feel like my love for Shayna was greater than any love that has ever existed on the planet, I know my loss isn’t one that no one has felt before. And having watched other people lose loved ones in totally other ways I know that while it seems like has just vanishing like that couldn’t have been any worse, sharing with two people who lost their kids to long term illnesses, I can’t say their situations are any better. We all have our shit to deal with in life. And it’s not easy for any of us. If it looks easy for someone either you don’t know their struggle very well or you just need to wait a while. None of us gets out of here unscathed. And we all have crazy thoughts. We think we are going insane. I share as many as I can without worrying my family too much. I don’t know how anyone can lose someone as close to them as Shayna and not think all kinds of crazy things. I was listening to a woman whose adult daughter had died and she said she had thoughts of stepping in front of a bus. I knew at that moment I had to get that book, because she has felt what I feel. I don’t want to go on without her. I wanted to know what else she had to say because she is alive over a decade after her daughter’s passing and seemingly thriving and happy. How did she do it? I had to know. Her sharing that thought that most people would have kept hidden helped someone she will never meet.
I’m glad I took up the blog. It gives me something productive and regular to do. I write almost every day. I number the posts to force myself to and to create a timeline. It helps me and I hope it is like a pebble in a pond and sends ripples out to help others.