27 April 2010

Definition

So, yeah, mmm hmmm, I guess I don't blog anymore?

I'm a total blogging cliché, the very person the anti-bloggers find annoying. I'm the blogger who is having an existential blogging crisis. Who am I? Why do I blog? What does it all mean??? Seriously, as if blogging were not by it's very nature the definition of self-absorbed, now I have to start processing and questioning and taking all to new heights.

The bottom line is this: I needed something when I started this blog. Like most bloggers, I needed a safe place to go with feelings that felt unsafe in any other context. I needed a place to be honest to the nth degree and a place to be raw in my chronicle of a difficult and beautiful time in my life. At the time that I started blogging, I was ruled by the pain and fear of knowing that my husband was going to die. I felt like a victim, and a victim-in-waiting. When I didn't feel like a victim, I would dress up as a martyr. My identity was built around the pivotal event of being cheated out of the life I'd wanted with the man I'd finally managed to find.

Don't get me wrong: I'm still flawed, and I'm often still angry, and I sometimes still feel like both a victim and a martyr. I am certainly still dealing with grief and have accepted that I always will. But I can honestly say that the experience of John's illness and death are no longer the core of how I define myself. I'm a person who experienced a great loss, a loss that has influenced who I am, to be sure. But it's a loss that on most days does not control me anymore.

This blog has been the place for me to examine my life through my grief. Through this lens, I've focused on parenting ad nauseum, dating to a certain extent, work, family, and friendship. For a long time, the grief was so overwhelming that I had something to say on these topics every day, sometimes multiple times a day. Now I find that to look at my life through grief-colored glasses more often than not feels forced and pandering. I feel like I'm supposed to write about grief, so I do, or try to, on the days when I'm there. But even when I'm there, it's not like I'm there, the way I used to be there, dwelling there, wallowing around.

It feels fake. For a person who prides herself on her honesty, that's the ultimate sin.

So instead of being fake, I've just been absent. Or I've blogged about shoes; those shoes were a real need, I'm here to tell you. The things about which I have some real, raw feelings aren't blog-appropriate in some instances these days, either because they involve people who don't want to be blogged about or work or certain aspects of family or various and sundry other things that I'm just not ready or willing to share.

Now that I've cleared the air, however, I think I will be ready and willing to share about some of those things. Now that I've said out-blogging-loud that this place does not exist solely for the sake of grief or my grief process or my dead husband or my sadness-related parenting fails or my widowhood-induced single-motherdom . . . now I can talk about all the other things that make me whole.

There's a lot more to me than grieving, anger, and sadness. Thankfully, there's a whole lot more.

29 comments:

Amber said...

I just have to say, "Now I find that to look at my life through grief-colored glasses more often than not feels forced and pandering" totally made me tear up. In a good way, I suppose, because it pains me to think of the prospect of John's death defining you. I'm sure that whole experience defined you for a long time, and no one could fault or blame you if it defined you forever. I'm just so glad it doesn't have to. You know I can't wait to read more. :)

Anonymous said...

This may be my favorite and one of your bravest posts yet. So many people send you (((HUGS))) when you write about grief in a particular way that looks lie GRIEEEF, or on a BAAAD day. I am sending you a (((hug))) for this post.

I, too, can't wait to read about more of "those [other] things" you mentioned.

Janine (txmomx6) said...

I can relate to this post SO much. I've also felt that I have less to say now that grief isn't consuming me on a daily basis.
Thanks for continuing to share.
:)

Michèle Hastings said...

please know that there is more to you that is interesting beyond your insights to grief. i am perhaps a year behind you in the grief process... although i am somewhat older, and my john and i don't have children together... he was diagnosed with cancer shortly after we moved in together... i feel our life was encapsulated into a very short, yet intense time...i find comfort in reading about your day to day life that isn't consumed with grief... it gives me hope and relieves the guilt i have when days go by that i feel happiness and joy instead of sorrow and grief.

Lyndsay said...

I agree with Michele. There is so much more to YOU than being a widow and that is why so many of return time and time again.
I can't relate to that aspect of your life, but I'm sure it brings many readers great comfort to see that there will come a time in their lives when they're spending a lot of mental energy on shoes!!

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

Good for you. I'm staying tuned.
X
Supa

Alicia said...

I made a very similar post on my blog a few weeks ago ... Gotta love it when it's not longer all-grief-all-the-time.

Anonymous said...

You have found the rainbow! Yay!

Sadia said...

I, for one, have never come here looking for someone one-dimensional. Hurray to life that contains, but isn't controlled by, grief.

Stephanie said...

You're evolving. It's a beautiful thing :-) Peace to you and yours...

jaycosnett said...

FWIW, as someone who has discovered your blog only recently but read a fair amount since (though not at all in chronological order), I never in a million years would have thought it (or you) were defined by any one thing. Not even close.

Though I have traveled down the road of grief and redefinition for far less time than you have, I can already see myself developing my new place in the world in terms of a complex mishmash--widow(er), yes, but also dad, friend, advocate, artist, writer and definer of a path yet to be completely defined.

And I can thank you for being an excellent role model.

BiancaW said...

I love all your posts. The happy days, the sad days, the grief ones, the ones about shoes. All of them. :-)

Parisienne Mais Presque said...

My blog deals with much more frivolous subjects, and has so much less to share with the world than yours... yet even I end up in periods of wondering -- worrying -- exactly what it was I was trying to say, and going silent as a result.

You are such a gifted writer, and I, for one, will be reading whatever you have to share. Just write from where you are.

(And I am so happy to hear that constant grief is no longer "where you are," even if you are still and will always be grieving.)

sarzini said...

I'd be happy just reading about what you ate for breakfast. I like your insightful thoughts and love to read about the kids, shoes, the weather, your house. If grief is the topic of the day when you write so be it, but the other stuff you choose to share is wonderful. Thanks for writing.

eba said...

Bring it on! I would love to hear more from you even if it's not about grief. I can't wait.

Donna said...

Still tuned in, cant wait to hear more!!

carosgram said...

Glad to hear it and excited about hearing more about your real life.

Luvily said...

Looking forward to reading more! As a mother of multiples myself - you will have plenty to write about in that dept!!!

Truly enjoy reading your blog. :)
Peace!

Anonymous said...

I'm a grandmother of boy/girl twins (now 2) who found your blog and have enjoyed reading it since they were born. I wonder what happened with the book you were going to write? If you don't care to answer, that's okay.

Anonymous said...

I am a grandmother of 2-year-old twins (boy/girl) who started following your blog after they were born and have enjoyed it. Whatever happened with the book you were going to write? You don't have to answer if you don't care to but I was just wondering.

Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

I think this is actually a really good thing and the blog served its purpose for a certain period of your life. Now, it can change since you are ready to have it change and all your readers will be here to root you on!

Gretchen said...

Not to be shallow, but did you get the shoes yet and how did you like them? My feet are becoming grandma feet and I don't want to buy grandma shoes!

Dr. Smak said...

I always enjoy the perspective you give in your posts, grief or otherwise.

This one makes me feel hopeful. Thanks.

Suzann said...

Love this post - I too feel the same way - my blog was really important to my grief journey but now is about so much more. From time to time there will be things that pop up to write about but I too am over "all grief, all the time." I am ready - the journey continues. Thank you so much.

Sandra said...

Amen, sister.

mames said...

for me my blog has always been a reflection of life events and for a long time yours had to be about grief because it was such a big part of your life. but i have been reading here for some time and never felt it was only about you and your loss..some of the posts i can still recall are the ones with quotes from maddie and riley. i miss those posts and would think if your life is moving into a space of less grief and into other spaces, that is okay. better than okay...that is great.

Susan said...

I've been reading your blog since a few weeks before John died, and it has always been at the top of my list of blogs to read, regardless of what you're talking about. I was afraid when I started reading this post that it was an introduction to saying that you weren't going to blog anymore! I'm glad to hear that you're keeping at it, because I will be reading whatever you're writing.

Crash Course Widow said...

Ditto to what the rest of the horde said: I'll be here to read whatever you write, whether it be navel lint, rants about...well, anything, shoes, John, etc. etc. etc.

I know I, for one, would love to hear about the restaurants you frequent, after your tidbit on FB about Beast. But that's just because I'm a whore for good places to go here in P-town but am out of the loop on where to go, after living in the boonies for too long.

And I feel the same way about blogging and grief. It hasn't been all-grief-all-the-time in a long time for me, and the topic has grown particularly stale for me. If it becomes forced (great, encapsulating word for it, btw) and tiresome to me, what about other people? Broken records are so last year.

Hugs, my friend!!

Sonya said...

Life is a process so your blog should be one too. Here's an idea: change the name of your blog to reflect the stage you are at now in life.

Clearly, grief has its presence, but it's not at the center as it used to be.

Mothering is always relevant.

Come up with a new direction for your blog.

Share what you enjoy.

I'm sure it will help get your creativity running!