Posted by: riverchilde | October 4, 2012

Two-headed calves and navel-gazing

I’ve had this uncomfortable worry that somehow I might turn into a Munchausen by proxy blogger mom, writing about my son’s death in order to get attention. Losing a child to suicide leaves you questioning and examining every aspect of your life: your parenting, your family, your personality, your selfhood; so I suppose this is the next logical area of questioning. Why am I, as one friend so nicely put it, baring my soul to the entire Internet? (A much, much nicer way of putting it than my imagery of throwing up slugs.)

I must ask myself, has this become about getting attention? I didn’t ask that question when I was posting on a private FB memorial page for Alex. There, I knew my purpose. In that space resided people who cared about us personally, who chose to show up there to show support, or share their memories, or listen to me ramble. I began posting as a way of letting people know how we were doing, when we needed extra prayer, and the experiences and thoughts that were sustaining us. People there needed to hear from us and were consoled by what they read.

I moved to a blog because so many people were telling me that my words were helping them process not only Alex’s death, but other pain and loss they have experienced. I thought maybe it would be a good idea then to distribute my words more widely, not because I thought they might help someone, but because they already had.

But the curse of a writer is to fall in love with one’s own words and thoughts, to try and craft and shape them, rather than letting them come into being on their own. And while pressure may make good diamonds, it merely crushes my muse into dust. A blog implies a sort of commitment to regularly sharing your thoughts, and honest thoughts are the only ones truly worth sharing. But at what point does one begin to write because it is expected, because there hasn’t been a new post in a few days, because folks might wander away and lose interest, because it is exciting to call up the site stats and see how many hits there have been today? At what point does honest sharing become the holding up one’s grief for public display like a two-headed calf that will draw the attention of the crowds?

Cartoon credit to sassyfrasscircus.wordpress,check out her blog!

Does even posting this question signal that one’s blog has simply become public navel-gazing?

And so, my friends, I ask you–with the help of my Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit–to keep me honest and let me know when I have strayed from my goal of healing into an  ignoble act of self-inflation.

(Two-headed calf photo credit to Ripley’s Believe it or Not)

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