Max and Mom and the Internet

Two and a half years ago, I wrote a blog post that was bout a dog, but wasn’t about a dog.  It was a piece of writing I ended up being fairly proud of, though it certainly isn’t the only one in my time and tenure writing here.  In the past 8 years I’ve written some good some and some crap and a lot of stuff in between.   The search that brings the most people to my blog?  Getting carpet stains out with windex.  And, yes, it works.

I’m not sure what launched the idea that grief is love.  I think it came from my therapist who said “if you love deeply, you grieve deeply.”   It was easy, I suppose, for me to make the jumping off point that grief was just leftover love. Grief is what happens when active, vital love screeches to a halt and becomes inert and still.

When I first wrote and published that post I got a lot of attention.  A lot, being relative.  Auntie Awesome is still my most prolific comment leaver.  But, something about Max and Mom touched people.  I got feedback from people that it was more than a good piece of writing, people said it resonated with them.  It made sense.  My Dad reached out to me to tell me that it had touched him and he never does that.   In the past couple of years, people in my life would bring it up from time to time.  They’d share it when someone they knew was hurting or refer back to it.  I was always glad that story of Max and Mom and Me was useful to people.

At one point, I searched for my blog on Pinterest.  I was surprised to see graphics of that blog post floating around.  I honestly haven’t kept stat statistics here, reliably, throughout my entire tenure of writing.  Sometimes I’d throw up a site counter.  Sometimes I wouldn’t.  I never knew how much exposure I was getting outside of my personal facebook and this blog’s facebook page because I didn’t check because I didn’t want to know.    The things I write about here are the things I’d say to you if we were sitting down to coffee.  I’d talk about what I was feeling and thinking, what I was reading, how I was managing the kids getting older and what I was making.  I’d talk about what I was watching, how the dogs were managing and we’d debate about what color I thought I should repaint the living room.    I’ve never monetized or advertised because I always wanted to be authentic, beholden only to myself to continue to be, well, me.

A couple of days ago I got a comment on my blog.  I popped in to read it and found that an image of some words taken from my “As the Lights Wink Out” blog post had been shared on a large Facebook page for grieving people.    I freaked out for a minute.  I wrote a letter to the owner of the page asking her to attribute the quote to me and she did and now that image as been shared in excess of 100k times with thousands of likes and comments about how it is helping or resonating with hurting people.  My blog has had a few very big days.

And I’m over like….oh no.

I’ve always been honest here about myself.  About my successes and, more importantly, my shortcomings. I’ve written, honestly, about anxiety and agoraphobia, about failing at diets, about my struggles with my kids getting older and my changing role in their lives.   I wrote about really screwing up a pants pattern.  I’ve been careful to maintain the girls and Big Daddy’s privacy, but I’ve tried to be honest and open.  I’d always hoped to help someone and now, maybe, I have.  And it’s big and weird and I’m not even sure what to do or think about it.

Nine and a half years ago my Mother passed away at not even 50 years of age and I’ve spent the least near decade trying to make sense of it and reorient myself in the world, but that’s only a small piece of what and who I am.  I’m a wife to Big Daddy, a mom to the trio, the person to Juno, Atlas, Luna, Rory, Amelia and Shelly-Turtle.   I take pictures, read books, watch crappy tv and make things (edible and inedible).  If you’re new, welcome.  I hope you stick around.  If you’ve been here forever, thank you for your time and loyalty.

To quote Lin-Manual Miranda, it’s been a bit of a day.

14 Comments

  1. Cheryl says:

    You have a remarkable way with words, and expressing feelings. I look forward to each new installment!

    1. Jamie says:

      Thank you. <3

  2. Jolene says:

    I’m so glad that particular entry is making its rounds. I know I’ve sent it to grieving friends. Saying grief is “deep sorrow” doesn’t really explain what, why and how you are feeling. You should be getting some recognition for this, and I’m glad it’s touching so many people that really needed those words.

    1. Jamie says:

      Thank you so much. <3 Your support means a lot to me.

  3. Jodi says:

    I have tucked your words away for a time that is coming. It used to lurk in shadows but now stands nearby waiting and will soon move in. I watch as time takes pieces of those I love most away. There is power and beauty in your words keep writing and you had me at Lin.

    1. Jamie says:

      A Hamilnerd? Welcome! I’m sorry sadness is about to darken your door and I will be glad if my words help you at all. I always look for the silver lining.

  4. Nancy says:

    Just discovered and read your, ” Grief is just love with no place to go.” post. Loved it. Wept. Shared it on Facebook. Linked it to your blog.
    Needed to thank you for giving voice to my deep forever love of my dear ones.

    1. Jamie says:

      It is my great pleasure to be able to put these feelings into words.

  5. Dina says:

    Thank you Jamie. I am one of the people who saw your words on grief from Facebook and it hit me right in the way you described. It was as if that feeling which I’ve had for decades finally had an explanation that I could never give. I’m finding a level of solace and acceptance for emotions and sensations that I’ve pushed away for years. Thanks for shining the light. :)

    1. Jamie says:

      Dina, thank you for the wonderful compliment. I’m glad that the things that I’ve said have helped people or had meaning for them.

  6. Valerie says:

    Jamie, thank you for writing this eautiful piece. Like Jodi above, I have saved it for a time that is coming in my life too. My mom has Alzheimer’s and my grief has really already started. Yes, I will grieve for her forever. Thank you for the words.

    1. Jamie says:

      I’m so sorry to hear of your mom’s diagnosis. That distancing while the physical body remains so unchanged is so difficult. <3

  7. Mama says:

    I’m a mother of a wonderful little 5 year old boy. My husband and I were hoping to adopt to grow our family and, after 2 years in the process, we’ve just found out a couple weeks ago that our adoption will not be moving forward at this time. I am devastated. I’m grieving for a loss of children I hadn’t even got to meet yet. But they were mine all the same in my heart and I loved them deeply. Now I grieve them deeply too.

    Posts and forums of mothers who’ve experienced miscarriage, infant loss or child loss don’t quite capture the vagueness of my grief, but it is real nonetheless. Your description of grief as the love you want to give, but cannot give, popped up in my feed, and hit home for me and gave me words to think and talk about how I’m feeling. I haven’t lost a child from my body, but I’ve lost a child from my heart, and my heart already loved them to the moon and back.

    Thank you for your words.

    1. Jamie says:

      I’m so sorry that things aren’t moving forward right now. I hope your door, window or mouse hole opens up soon. That loss of potential love is so difficult to manage. I’m glad that something I’ve said has helped you. <3

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