I started blogging, for me. As a journal. To dump, to record, to work through things. And then I discovered how this community worked. People actually responded, supported me. I found by reading others' blogs that they picked into the recesses of my grief, asked questions I hadn't asked of myself, and gave me an opportunity to respond. I found in others' words similar questions, similar problems, similar metaphors, and was so fucking relieved that I wasn't losing my mind. Ocasionally someone would startle me, and cause me immediatley to react "No, Niobe, that's not it at all." But oddly, the sentiment would roll around in my head for a few hours until I found myself agreeing with it completely. Those ahead of me on the grief path would offer reassure, those behind me, support.
I've noticed a few bloggers have recently written about getting so sucked up in this corner of the 'net that it might actually be harmful to their recovery. That reading and rereading the same stories is overwhelming and difficult and profoundly sad. That a light has finally glimmered, and perhaps it's time to move out of this corner and into another before the batteries on the flashlight run dry. And I get that. I do. That might very well be me someday.
But not today. Today I find myself working through my own life while sharing in others, appreciating everyone's way of expressing their losses, reading the names -- the simple joining of letters -- of our lost children. It moves me, it helps me. It makes my burden easier to carry, and disperses the load.
I discovered grief blogs rather by accident; I had actively sought out a few familiar stories after my own loss, but was so overwhelmed that I had to shut down the computer. And then months later, Julie said she was ridding herself of her blogroll (what?? How in hell do you expect me to find my way around now??) and pointed over to Mel's. And there was a tidy header on stillbirth and neonatal death. And I started making my way through the good titles, and 10 minutes in knew I needed to do one of these.
But it was round-about and accidental. And then this spring, a grief mama said HEY! and decided that perhaps a more central location for information -- a springboard into this community -- an upfront disclosure that you're not alone and that someone out there feels the way you do -- might be in order.
Today, Bon, Kate, Julia, Janis, Niobe, and I are launching Glow in the Woods. Please think of passing through now and again. We'll all be writing over there a few times a month in addition to our own blogs. We'll be doing some interviews, some co-authoring, there'll be guest writers, and we'll reach out and explore your words, your experiences, your grief. There'll be a chance to connect with other babylost mamas, and who knows -- perhaps you'll reach out and grab someone yourself.
I occasionally get email from people who don't have blogs. (I'm no longer sure of what the blogger sign up to comment thing entails, but it's probably a bit more invasive than it needs to be. And damn if that word identification thing isn't driving people to drink lately!) Who are rather amazed at the sense of community. And I try in my small way to invite them to be a part of it. One woman wrote to me:
Grief of this sort can be so incredibly isolating
Yes, it can C_____, it can. This is for you. And the others like you who have lost. I'm so incredibly sorry you're here, but please know you can pull up a chair and talk when you're ready.