I’m taking some time today to reflect upon this blog. I’ve been posting weekly for just over a year now. It’s a year that has sped by me—a blur. I still can’t put my finger on what compelled me to begin writing in the first place. I am generally a very private person. There’s a reason that I like to stand behind famous people—they can take the direct hit of the spotlight and I don’t have to. Offering up my entire thought process on things—or showing vulnerability—is not my forte, yet I feel I’ve been very open and honest here. I have held back certain things that are just too difficult for me to say out loud or acknowledge even to myself. The only reason that I can think of is that I’ve been so grief-stricken that if I kept all of my thoughts inside, I might not have survived—so I blogged.
Many people ask me if writing is cathartic. I’m still not clear on that, but I do know that the feedback that I have been given is hugely cathartic. When I read all the comments, emails and private messages each week, it helps me know that I’m not the only person struggling. It also gives me the space to give to someone else—to perhaps offer some perspective to a person who might be earlier on in their grief.
At the onset I was concerned that after three or four weeks of the blog, I would run out of things to talk about—run out of thoughts. That has not been the case. Almost every day is a new day with new issues and anxieties, so thus far, I haven’t run dry.
But now, after a year, I would like to hear from all of you. I want to know which blogs meant the most to you. I’d like to know what I haven’t discussed that maybe you’d like to know about. I would like to know if you have found a specific use for the blog. For example, one reader told me that once a week she goes for a hike with four other women, three of whom are relatively recent widows. She shared with me that their topic of conversation each week is the current blog. I couldn’t be more flattered. Instead of a book club, it’s like a blog club. How cool is that? I've had several grief counselors tell me that they share the blog with their groups. Last week I was in Aspen working as part of the John Denver Tribute shows there. Many people came up to me to share their stories of grief and to confirm to me that the blog is helpful to them—or perhaps that they’ve shared it with a friend who is struggling with sorrow. I can’t tell you how encouraging that is to me.
I’m not looking for a pat on the back, I just want to know what is helpful to others. Pete always reinforced to me that when you are feeling bad to do something for someone else. Any time I get feedback that I’ve done something to help someone else, it helps me move just a smidge closer to the bright side of the road. And that’s the whole point here, right? Let me hear from you.