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.