Kitchen Table @ Glow7:38 am
Glow In The Woods is an amazing support website for bereaved parents, today I'm taking part in their kitchen table discussion.
1 | How would you describe your presence on the Internet? Does your online voice differ from your real life voice? If so, how? And why?
I had my blog before Florence was born,I wrote about sewing, and knitting, home decor, all pretty light and fluffy, just pretty pictures really with a few words. I had a small following, mostly other crafty Mummies and customers from my little business .
Then Florence was born, and she died, and news was leaking out via Facebook, rumours were started and Woody and I thought the best thing to do was add our news here on my blog.
We had no idea at the time what an impact that would make, and I had no idea how that decision would change my blog forever.
I think my online voice is my real life voice. I'm as honest as I can be about most things, and my lack of writing skill means I can't really hide terribly well behind a more crafted voice. So yeah, I think this is me.
2 | Why did you begin blogging, or reading blogs? Was this before or after your experience of babyloss?
I was blogging already when Florence was born, and decided to keep my thoughts and feelings about her here in this space primarily because I didn't want to hide her away somewhere else. I had shared so many of the preparations for her arrival here, it just seemed too sad to move her.
This means that now my blog is a rather peculiar mix of grief and sewing, but that kinda reflects my life.
I worry sometimes that my sewing/crafty readers don't want to hear about the grief, and my babylost readers don't want to read about the sewing. I'm certain my initial dreams of a beautiful craft blog are totally scuppered now, and maybe the presence of my crafty readers stops me spewing my grief so violently, I just don't know.
3 | Do you write anonymously? Does anonymity - or would anonymity - change your expression of grief?
Nope, I am who I say I am. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to be anonymous, but I know in reality I just couldn't keep it up.
4 | Do you have a responsibility in how you express yourself on the Internet? To whom, and why?
Yes, I think I do. My first responsibility is to my family. I will not write about Woody's grief, and I'm careful what I write about my living children, they deserve their privacy. I also do not write about extended family or friends likely to read and be upset.
Sometimes this is hard, and I've deleted many a post having a good old whinge about someone,but it's not worth it to hit publish. Usually just writing it down is enough to get it out of my system.
5 | Do authenticity and honesty matter to you, both as a reader and a writer? Or does unconditional support matter more? How do you think readers perceive your truth?
Authenticity and honour do matter to me greatly as both a writer and a reader. I hope readers perceive my truth for what it is. I'm a normal Mummy, missing her little girl.
6 | Have you ever been in the crosshairs of a troll? How did you deal with it, and what did you learn from it?
No, and I hope I never am.
7 | How do you feel before going online - either to write on your own blog, or to absorb the writing of others? How do you feel when you shut down the computer and walk away?
Hmmm, this is a tough question. I think how I feel changes so often. To read, I like some quiet time, I like to absorb what has been written by women (and men) who I have come to care about so very much over the past few months.
To write, well I guess I usually have something niggling away at me, and need to get it out. Once I have I generally feel better for a while, then I panic I've exposed myself too much, or I'm that boring woman droning on again about her dead baby, or that I've inadvertently upset someone.....I'm a worrier!
8 | Do family/friends know you write/commune online? If so, have they told you how they feel about it? How do you respond to their opinions?
Some do, some don't. I don't make a point of telling people. I'm usually pretty surprised when someone tells me they read.
My sil Julie reads and comments (Hi Julie), and I don't want to put words in her mouth, but I think she does that because she lives in the US with her husband (Woody's brother) and children, and we don't get to see them very often.I think in some small way my blog has brought us a little closer, and I'm glad of that.
I know some of my real life friends read, they tell me, actually when I think about it, there are quite a few real lifers who read, the lollipop lady (Hi Wendy) stops me sometimes to talk about something I've said on here.
9 | Have you ever met any other loss bloggers in real-life? How did it feel to share food and air and space, and how did it make you feel about your own storytelling and healing? If you haven't experienced this, would you want to, or not? Why?
No I haven't, but I'd like to. I feel very sad sometimes that many of the women I care so much about I will never meet.
10 | How did you/will you know it's time to read fewer grief blogs, and write less of grief? How did you/will you redirect your energy, creativity, and persona online -- did you/will you go offline? Disappear and start again? Or transition in your current space, hoping to find a new voice? If you've done this, how did it feel?
I really don't know, I'll probably just have more sewing here and less grief as time goes on.