The morning of September 1, 2012, I woke up a widow for the very first time. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself. During the entire month of August, I’d rushed out every morning, either to the hospital or to work. This Saturday morning I sat down, coffee in hand, realizing I had nowhere to go.
I’d started a journal as a way to make sense of what had seemed to be a fun-house ride where nothing made sense. It became a safe place for me to vent my anger, fear, and frustration over the unraveling of our life together. My most recent entry had been made the previous night, when I documented the details of my husband’s final day on this earth. I wanted to capture every detail; I could no longer help him in any way other than to ensure that I would never forget.
I read that entire journal, and decided that I needed to keep writing. The difference was that I wanted a chance to find other people that were going through a similar situation. Googling blogs led me to the WordPress site, and I signed up for a blog. The initial name, ‘Diary of a Sad Widow’ was kind of a play on the ‘Diary of a Mad Housewife’ movie, and an expression of how I felt.
Rereading it now, those first few posts are tentative and shaky. That entire first week was surreal, with his funeral almost exactly 1 week to the hour after his death, and his memorial service 2 days after the funeral. During those first 2 months, some of what I posted was pulled from the journal I’d kept during that final month, and most was just my reactions to what I was experiencing. My first surprise came when I saw that there were people “liking” what I’d written. Then I received a few comments. Many were from people who were also in mourning, and I started reading other blogs. It was strangely comforting to share these stories of loss with people in the same situation.
I started feeling more comfortable writing and sharing. In November of 2012 I had a post featured on the Freshly Pressed site and was blown away by the number of views. At that moment, blogging changed for me. It was still a way of working out my grief, but it was also something more; I was trying to be the best writer I could and to figure out what my life could be. I slowly started writing about things other than grief, but my working through loss remained the core theme of my blog. I was lucky enough to be freshly pressed a second time, in August of 2013.
I found other blogs I enjoyed reading, and began to think of their authors modern pen pals. Some were working their way through grief as I was; others were not. I found that WordPress was the best therapy for me, more helpful than the grief counselor I saw twice, or the online grieving support group.
It is now 16 months later. At the one-year mark I changed the name of my blog to ‘And Now for Something Completely Different’ as a signal that, while still mourning my loss, my life and blog were about more than just that one event. My life is moving forward; I’m not sure to what, but it is moving. I’m still reading other blogs, and I’m still writing.