Sunday, February 28, 2010

On Blogging - 145 Posts Later

I started this blog on one of the darkest, most heart-wrenching days of my life. It was Mother's Day, my first Mother's Day, and my only child was dead.

Some people IRL have asked why I turned to blogging, and honestly, I don't think I had a choice. For one thing I was running out of paper. There wasn't a journal, notebook, piece of junk mail, or page in our telephone book that hadn't been scrawled on with poetry and prose about how it felt to lose my beautiful little Peyton.

I didn't know what I would write about here. How often, or even if anyone would ever read it. What I knew at the time was that I needed to write. And write. And write. I told someone earlier tonight that my writing became like the shoulder of an old friend, ever ready for me to lean on.  

I had read once that every time a page is published to the web, it becomes a permanent fixture regardless of whether or not you erase it. I guess in that way I found comfort too, knowing that Peyton's story would live on, even if only as some mess of binary code stored somewhere out in cyber space. It may sound silly to some, but when your child has left this earth so quickly after entering it, every imprint she leaves feels significant.

Tonight I went back and read some of my earliest posts and made a few discoveries. The first was a realization, the second, a gift.

The realization was about the permanence of my situation. Regardless of what happens in our future, this experience of loving and losing Peyton has left me forever changed. Sure I can breathe a little easier than I used to, and at times I even find myself braving cautious optimism, but the shift that I felt when Peyton took that last breath was just as organic and lasting as I knew in my heart that it would be.

There are posts that I wrote back then, seven months into my grief, that seventeen months in feel as if they could have been penned today. I guess in that way I still feel the way I did last May when I wrote in Moving On:

I cannot move on, as so many have suggested, I can only move with. And for now, that is what I am exhaustingly working towards; trying to find a way to live this life; to find joy in it once again and to see our dreams fulfilled with Peyton. With the memory of her, with that little spirit, with her unguarded love, and even with the unrelenting pain of her loss. 

I guess the more I remind myself that there can still be forward movement, even with all that has happened, the better.

The gift from going back to those older posts came in the form of this poem. It reminded me about so many of the beautiful aspects of mothering Peyton that grief over losing her was stealing from my memory. Just as finding the picture that I wrote about brought the gift of remembering to me back then, re-reading the poem tonight gave me that same gift all over again.

This little trip down blogging memory lane got me to thinking about other bloggers and what their blogs have meant for them, and so I am posing this question to be answered with your comments, for no other reason than I am just sort of curious. This question, of course, is open to all bloggers, not just those who blog about loss, and blog readers alike.

Beyond the wonderful support of this amazing community, what do you feel is the greatest gift that blogging (reading or writing them) has given you? 


  1. Honesty. With myself. I started blogging as I was about to begin TTC after Nick and Sophie were born and died. It was from a place of anger and brokenness and unsureness... I read old posts from time to time. They remind me of who I was, who I am, and that I will always be the mother of saints in heaven, and that makes me blessed- even when I am heartbroken and dont realize it.

  2. An outlet for my grief. Without blogging I would have so many emotions penned up inside of me that I wouldn't be able to get out. I am in a very unique situation where I am mourning one son and raising his twin brother. Every moment is bittersweet. The first time I saw my first son smile was when he was six weeks old, one week after we lost his brother. It was then that I realized he didn't even know what a smile was - all he had known was saddness. So I told myself that no matter my feelings I would put on a smile for him. And at that same time I bottled up my emotions - and when I started blogging is when I have an outlet that I can scream and cry and be angry and sad. I don't know what I would do without blogging.

  3. Blogging has given me so much. It helped save my sanity when I was struggling through our multiple pregnancy losses. It has introduced me to people who have enriched my life by teaching me to look at things in a different light. It has given me friends I will treasure for the rest of my life.

  4. I am 'glad' in a way that not only has blogging served you as a good vent, but you have also found some companionship. It is cold comfort, but in a sense it is!

    Besides companionship, one of the 'functions' of my IF blog is 'documentation'. It is like a cycle diary. Now that I read my back posts, I know what medication I was on and when. I was not very scruplous about recording it previously.

  5. Blogging has helped me to harness my creativity productively (at least in my eyes :). After losing Jenna, I found myself with so much empty time, time that should have been all for her. It has filled long hours (way too many!), and restored that part of me that I thought I lost.

  6. It keeps her alive, in some small way. If I wasn't writing about her, she would be fading from memory a lot faster than I'd like. And I don't mean my memory, but the memories of friends and family members who read my blog.
    And of course, the friendships. They are real and true. I'd be lost without them.


  7. It is a place to come, to be real and authentic. It is a place where I can vent, lament, and find comfort. It has joined me with a community of women who walk with me. It gave me additional blogs that feel so much like me, that the sheer realization that I am not alone comforts my hurting heart. It most importantly, it is a place to release the tidal wave of words, tears, emotions, questions, hurts, joys, and words that crowd into my mind and heart everyday. It is sweet, sweet release.

  8. Blogging has been my way of capturing the memories while they are still fresh in my head. While time softens the pain, it also seems to blur the details a little of the things I desperately want to remember. It also gives me affirmation that my son WAS real and DID live. So many of our family and friends never met him because we were living away from home at the time of his birth to give him the best possible shot at life (being born at Childrens' Hospital). He was gone so quick it seemed that his life wasn't signifigant to the people who mean the most to us because to them, he wasn't real, he was someone we spoke about but that they never met. This has been a way for me to make Calvin's life stand out, a way for others to meet the son who I love so very much. As well as being a release for me and my feelings, my blog is also a way for me to unburden myself WITHOUT burdening my family and loved ones over and over again by bringing up his loss. I'm so glad I have my space and that through it, I've met so many wonderful mommies and their beloved babies. Thanks for this post Kristin, it reminds me why I continue to blog even though at times I feel as if I don't have much to say. Hugs

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  10. Sheesh, what hasn't blogging given me. I am grateful for this freedom, this gift. It's opened up this whole, big world where I can express myself, uninhibitedly, and at the same time discover, relate to, and connect with others, wherever on the planet they reside.

    Growing from an environment that's always hushed me, I have to say that blogging has been, is, and continues to be a divine privilege.

  11. It helps maintain some semblance of sanity. It gives some sort of outlet for the waves of crushing grief and it is a chronicle of so many memories of her life.

  12. It's given me a place to record the memories so I will always have them. I know they will fade but I wrote them while they were still fresh and I'm so glad I did.