Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Widow Advice #15 Why Do I Blog?

Dear Carol,

I've been following your blog and although I see you seem to help some people I don't understand how you bloggers put so much personal information out there for all the world to see.

I am a private person and I like it that way. I don't need to air my dirty laundry in public.
Why do you?

I am sorry for your loss, but we all lose people and don't have the need to display our feelings
on a billboard.

Fed up with Bloggers,

Dear Fed Up With Bloggers Vicky,

Why do I blog? Why do you read it? My entries are "dirty laundry?" You oughta see the filthy laundry I don't include here.

If you notice I rarely write about my kids. I never breach their confidence. I did enough of that while they were growing up. Read their diary? Sure. How else was I supposed to know where they were hiding their pot?

If you think bloggers in general tell too much you're in the minority. Human beings need to connect to other human beings. This is why Facebook and Twitter is so popular.

In my case, I am a writer and when Jimmy died it was natural for me to write about my feelings. I put it out there on a blog because I knew I was able to express what other widows were feeling and weren't able put words to.

My friend Cathy Seitz lost her husband Howie about eight years before Jimmy. She was adamant that I write it all down. She was sorry that she hadn't.

One of the reasons she was sorry was because she felt she could have helped me more by going back, reading and remembering and letting me know that she related...specifically. How brave is allow yourself to relive your pain for someone else?

I encourage other widows to keep a journal - private or public - which is basically what personal blogs on line diary. (Boy parents have it easy today. No more rummaging through their kids drawers careful not to leave fingerprints)

It's invaluable for widows to be able to gage how different we feel from year to year, as we get closer to what grief counselors call "our new normal." What's that? Our normal life died with our husband and we are constantly trying to get comfortable with our "new normal" life.

My readers have watched me struggle to find my new normal and now three years later, for the most part, I believe I have. Vicky, this has to offer hope and be healing for others.

Funny, just last night I caught an episode of William Shatner's Raw Nerve and his guest was
Fran Drescher (who I met last year at the Friars Club and couldn't have been nicer and more genuine)

Anyway, she mentioned her book "Cancer Schmancer" about her having stage 1 uterine cancer undergoing a radical hysterectomy and her experiences with misdiagnosis. William Shattner asked her why she would put her personal stuff out there. (although, Vicky, he asked her a lot more kindly than you asked me)

Her answer blew me away. She said, "I needed to make sense of the senseless. As human beings we have an obligation to turn pain into purpose."

This is why I blog, Vicky.

That and when people ask me how I'm doing - I can take the lazy way out and just say, "Read my blog."