Posted by: Kathy | June 8, 2011

How Long Do I Keep Writing?

It’s been almost 3 weeks since my last post. Not something I planned – just a lot on my mind and a crazy life. On May 21st, my birthday and the day some thought the world would come to an end, a friend decided to end her blog. Foible Gal lost her mom quite suddenly and unexpectedly in September 2010, and then ran across  my blog a few months later. We’ve talked back and forth many times, sharing our feelings of loss. Even though we live in different countries and will probably never meet, she became my friend and someone who I knew understood what I was feeling. I am going to miss reading her blog.

In Foible Gal’s last blog she wrote: “My decision to end my blogging days has more to do with the fact that I need to spend some energy on getting well and moving on.” I get that. It takes a lot of emotional energy to write about feelings of grief or sadness or whatever else is on my mind and triggering the loss more deeply. There have been times when I was crying so hard that I could hardly see my screen as I wrote my blog. Each word a dagger piercing the heart with further pain. Sometimes writing can deepen grief, bringing back emotions associated with the loss, and those painful days are relived over and over again. Even during good times, I am suddenly  slammed with the thought “my mom isn’t here anymore.” The pain of her death never ends, but I keep moving forward because this is what I need to do, and this is what my mom would want me to do.

Even though I know I will never completely get over my mom’s death or what pancreatic cancer did to her, writing has been my saving grace. Writing this blog has helped me to sort through my feelings and start to heal. This blog is a tribute to my mom and a place for me to share what I am going through, what I am feeling, and how I am trying to deal with all of this and heal. This blog is also written to try to help others who have a loved one with cancer, lost a loved one to cancer, or who have lost a parent.

I had no idea what I was doing when I started this blog on my husband’s server two and a half weeks after my mother died. I was grieving, lost, and in shock. I had to do something. My husband suggested starting a blog. I probably gave him a weird look, told him I had no idea what to do with a blog, and didn’t think it was a good idea. He told me to just write, and that’s what I did. I eventually moved my blog to WordPress in hopes of reaching more people. Two and a half years, 114+ posts, 92+ comments, and over 11,800 hits later, I am still writing. And I still want to write. I still need to heal. I still want to help others.

But there are times when I wonder “how long do I keep writing?” How long should I keep this blog going? I guess only time will tell. I am grateful to everyone who has visited my blog, taken the time to read my ramblings, and even left a comment. I know it’s not the most uplifting of topics, but I appreciate the visits and the comments, as they have helped me to heal.

I will never stop thinking about my mom, always miss her, and forever love her. My mom was a kind and loving person. She always put others before herself and always tried to help other people. I hope she knows about this blog, my ongoing tribute to her, and my desire to help others as I heal myself.

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Responses

  1. I know what an emotional drain writing can be… My Mom died January 2, 2010 after a very brief but courageous battle with cancer. Her very best friend, who she had known since grade school, prefers to write (via email). I’m a phone person. It’s gets it over with. And it’s not that I don’t enjoy her correspondence, but it’s so very painful to sit and think and write…. somehow speaking is just more immediate and passes through my head that much faster than writing. Which makes going to those dark, sad places in my heart a much shorter visit.

    I’m am so grateful for your blog. I don’t know you. I comment on your posts seldom, but I read them all. You have a gift for word. And for expressing yourself in a very straightforward manner that we, who have lost someone dear, need very badly. I’m tired of all the flowery cliches, and if one more person tells me I just need to get through the first year, or that the funeral will give me closure (both of which have passed and nothing magical happened), I may have to smack that person.

    I sense that you may not be ready to end writing your blog so soon, and it’s certainly not our decision to make for you. Just know that your Mom would be so proud of how your writing has helped so many people with their grief. You have honoured her in such a wonderful way by doing this.

    I wish you and your family much happiness. Your children are very lucky to have a Mom who feels so deeply and is so empathic to others. These are rare qualities in this day and age, I think.

    You do what feels right for you. Your Mom (like all the best Moms) would only want you to be happy.

    Sarah Proulx

    • Hi Sarah. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to respond to this comment. When people comment, I typically try to respond by email or on someone’s blog site if I have the address. But many times, especially lately, it seems like time just slips by so quickly and responding doesn’t seem appropriate anymore, if that makes sense. But then I feel bad that I didn’t responded to a comment when someone took the time to write to me. So I’ve decided to start responding to comments on my blog site. The comments people leave mean a lot to me and, at times, make my day, like this one did.

      Yes, writing can be very draining, but it can also be a release of emotions for me. Sometimes I need to write what is in my heart, to release those emotions. I write all day, but it’s all professional writing. Writing the personal stuff, the words that are close to my heart, is difficult and often brings me to tears. A close friend of my mom’s, who I’ve known for probably 35 years, told me a few months ago that she’s been wanting to write me a letter about my mom, but just can’t. Although I would love a letter from her about my mom, I understand. For those of us who were closest to my mom, it’s just so hard. The impact she made on people’s lives is everlasting, and her loss is deeply felt.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment and also to read my blogs. I appreciate your compliments on my writing. I write what I feel and there is nothing flowery about the way I feel :-). I don’t know what it takes to find closure. I haven’t found it yet, and I believe it is different for everyone. You’re right, my mom would only want me to be happy, just as I want for my kids, so I need to find a way out of this grief. One day I will, and so will you, but only on our own time and when each of us is ready. I do plan to keep writing, I need to. I’m also writing a book, and that will be a tough one, but something I need and want to do.

      Take care, Kathy


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