Messy Edits

Yesterday’s post was a mess for those of you who receive it through email.  

I’m sorry.

What had been a previous draft was tacked onto the bottom of what I wanted to send out so the whole thing was not really how I meant it to be.

But maybe it was how it should have been.

Because that’s where I find myself so often this side of child loss-all the careful editing of words and careful managing of appearances is impossible.   I just don’t have the resources or the energy.  So too often (for my own comfort and probably the comfort of others) the words just tumble out.

A fire hose instead of the gentle trickle I’d rather them be.

That’s why I rely on writing whenever possible.  It gives me a chance to start, stop and revisit what I want to say and how I want to say it.

But yesterday, well, you got the fire hose version.  

There was so much I wanted to say-I wanted to thank Brenda for the portrait and share how having a new picture was truly a balm for my soul-and also to express how I am still unbelievably sad that my son will never grow older.

I intended to blend the two into a seamless post but couldn’t do it so I left it alone for a few hours.  Grief brain kicked in, I forgot about the second bit and just hit “publish”.

So you got the messy version.  The version that lives inside my heart and mind most days.  It’s not pretty and there is a constant battle between hope and helplessness.

I work hard to hold onto hope.  

I keep fighting.  

But it’s messy.

those that wait in hope shall not be ashamed

New Feature on the Blog: Search Bar

I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time.

Like many of you, I find myself wanting to find a particular blog post but just can’t remember the title.

Now that I’ve published over 900 posts, I have NO desire to backtrack through all of them hoping to light on the one I’m looking for.

SO...at the request of a sweet friend I finally (FINALLY!) added a “search” feature on the side bar.

I have to admit that changing anything on the site gives me jitters.  Dominic was my tech guru and without him I am always afraid to make changes that I might not be able to undo.  (He was the one that showed me ctrl-z could rescue that line or paragraph I accidentally deleted in word documents!)

Anyway, it’s here now. 

search bar

And I hope it becomes a useful tool for anyone looking for a particular post or for posts about a particular subject.  

Just put in your word or words and you will get a page (or more) of all the blog posts that are tagged for that topic or contain references to that topic.

It made me smile.  

I hope it makes you smile too. 

 

 

Repost: Don’t Want to Miss a Post? Here’s How.

I’m reposting this one just to help those of you that either want to catch every blog post and/or want an easy way to share them with friends and other bereaved parents.  ❤

I’m no tech expert.  I kind of blunder about like a blind mouse searching for cheese most of the time. So I feel you if you haven’t figured out how to make sure you get each day’s blog post.

For those that do want it each morning here are several ways to get it:

Read the rest here:  Don’t Want to Miss a Post? Here’s How.

Bone Deep Grief

My fellow bereaved mother and blogger, Kathleen Duncan, recently wrote that she felt she was done writing about grief.

It’s been  a little over four years since her son Andrew ran ahead to heaven and, as she explains:

I think I’m done.

I think I’m done writing about death. Writing and thinking about death, grief, and pain doesn’t help me anymore. And it may be detrimental for me to spend time writing about those topics. ~ Kathleen B. Duncan

Both our sons were killed instantly in an accident (although the details are different) and both were vibrant young men pursuing what they loved when they left this life.

That got me to thinking since I’m only a few months behind her in my own grief journey.

Because my experience seems to be very different from hers.  

I still find writing not only helpful, but healing.  And while I think of many things in addition to grief, I still think about grief often-not only my own, but that of others.  Not only the grief of bereaved parents, but of all the suffering, broken people I meet or hear about each day.

The feeling is different, but it remains.  

At first my grief was so overwhelming and the sorrow loomed so large that it was constantly before my eyes.  Everything I saw, heard, experienced or felt was filtered through tears.  The world was a blurry place and life was unbearably hard.  Every day I labored to lift my head from the pillow and roll my body from the bed.  Every morning I remembered afresh that Dominic was not here, that my family circle was broken, that another 24 hours loomed large and lonely before me.

It’s definitely not like that anymore.

But, for me, what’s changed is the location of my sorrow and sadness, not the FACT of it.

Now, instead of being in front of me, my sorrow has bored its way into my bones.  It rests deep inside the core of who I am, woven into the fabric of me.

I think of it like I think of being a mother.  

My “baby” is 25 years old.  But if I hear a plaintive “Mama!” in a store, I instinctively turn to see where the desperate or needy child may be.  I can’t resist even when my head tells me that whoever it is, isn’t MY responsibility.

My heart responds because “Mama” is an unchangeable part of my identity.

I don’t cry every day.  I don’t only see, feel or hear things through a veil of tears anymore. But bereavement has changed me forever.  It remains part of the way I experience the world.

I appreciate Kathleen.  I hate that we are part of the same “club” where the dues are higher than anyone would willingly pay but I love the precious community of loving parents who are willing to share their journeys through blogs, closed groups and published books.

And I am blessed by honesty, transparency and authenticity-whatever that looks like.

For me, that’s to continue writing about my grief journey.  For someone else, maybe not. 

There’s room for everyone because what calls courage to MY heart might not call courage to yours. 

I suspect that just as our children are unique, the circumstances surrounding their deaths unique and we are unique, so will be our grief experience. 

grief-is-as-individual-as-a-snowflake

 

Don’t Want to Miss a Post? Here’s How.

I’m no tech expert.  I kind of blunder about like a blind mouse searching for cheese most of the time. So I feel you if you haven’t figured out how to make sure you get each day’s blog post.

For those that do want it each morning here are several ways to get it:

Sign up to receive the post via email.  You will get the whole post (minus the featured image at the top) unless it’s a repost and then you’ll have to click through to “read the rest.”

Sign up to receive posts via a WordPress account.  You don’t have to actually start a blog to have a free WordPress account.  Daily posts show up in your reader list when you log onto the site.

Follow my public Facebook page:  Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child.  I generally post early in the morning and the post can be shared easily from here to your own FB page if you like.

Go to my personal Facebook page (Melanie DeSimone) where I set those posts on “public” for easy access/sharing.

Follow me on Pinterest:  Melanie DeSimone Pinterest-I post the blog on a board called “The Life I Didn’t Choose” and also in “Grief”.

Follow me on Twitter:  @DesimoneMelanie.  I’m not a big Twitter user but for those that are, this is an easy way to view/share the blog posts.

Some of you are part of closed bereaved parents groups and I post there as well.

But if you want to share the post, you will need to access it another way.  If you share from the closed groups it shows as “attachment unavailable”  except to other group members even if you set it on “public”.

The social media icons on the right hand side of a post will take you to my Facebook page, Twitter account and Pinterest page.  For some reason the Google+ link won’t work but I’ll keep trying (told you I was no tech genious!)

I appreciate each and every person who takes the time to read what I write-it makes me feel that this pain is being redeemed, just a little.  And I am so thankful and blessed by feedback on the blog and via social media posts-let me hear from you!

It gives my heart courage to keeep sharing.  

your-story-could-be-the-key

Please Share!

I realized after I wrote about the recent incident where someone plagiarized my blog there was a good deal of confusion about HOW to share it appropriately.

I wanted to clear up the confusion.  So here’s how to do it:

  • I post every blog set on “public” on my personal Facebook page.  You are always welcome to share it like any Facebook post which means it will include my original comments and the link to the blog;
  • I post every blog on the public page Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child and it can be shared from there the same way;
  • You can click on the LINK to the blog and use any of the social media buttons at the bottom of the blog to share to the social media platform of your choice (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc.);
  • If you are a WordPress user, you may reblog any post by clicking that button-you will have the option to add personal comments and then the blog will show up on your site with a link back to my original post.

I also post the blog on several closed bereaved parents’ sites on Facebook.  

If that’s where you see it, please click on the link and share from the blog itself to protect the privacy of those sites and the people who belong to them.

A great way to be sure you never miss a post is to sign up to receive blog posts in your email.  Just click on the “follow blog via email” button on the right hand side of any blog post.  

You get the whole post-not just a link that makes you click through.  That’s an easy, fast way to get it every morning without having to get on Facebook.  You can forward the email to friends if you like.

Really the only way NOT to share the blog is by copying and pasting the content and then posting it as your own.

I love, love, love when I get feedback from another bereaved parent that says what I’ve written is what they feel or have experienced.  Not because I wish this pain on a single soul, but because I know others share my pain and I am thankful that sometimes MY words help them put THEIR feelings into a form they can share with others.

So, if a particular post is helpful to you-please DO SHARE.   ❤

 

 

Plagiarism

I write because it’s important to me and because I want to share freely what I feel God is teaching me in this Valley of the Shadow of Death.

I don’t have affiliate links on my blog, don’t sell books, posters or merchandise and have no plans to do so.

But I am jealous of the content I produce.  Not jealous because I think it is of high value but jealous because the words are wrung from ny heart each evening to be posted the next morning.  Jealous because they reflect MY experience, expose MY heart and contain details of MY journey.

In all the time I’ve been sharing, I have never had a post stolen, to my knowledge.  Until the other day when I found another blogger had re-blogged my post, “International Bereaved Mother’s Day” and given credit (appropriately) to where she had found it-on a Facebook page.  

I followed the link and yep, there it was-MY post, copied and pasted changed-only to exclude Dominic’s name and replace it with “child”.  Even the graphic I chose was used.  

I contacted the page and they have agreed to correct the post and add the link to the blog. I appreciate that.  

But in responding to my concerns, the page administrator indicated that it had been found and reposted from another page ( I don’t know which one).  And that upsets me.  

I know social media is risky business and that I can’t stop anyone from doing whatever they want to once I hit “publish”.  But I would ask that in this community of bereaved parents we show one another the respect anyone deserves and honor our individual contributions, whatever they may be.

Taking the words of another and passing them off as your own is plagiarism.  It is wrong and it is hurtful.  

I will keep writing and risking but now I’m on guard and I hate that.  

If you are a regular reader/poster/sharer I ask that you help me watch for this in the future.

I want people to share.  

That’s the purpose of writing-that one more heart my be encouraged or strengthened for another day in this Valley.  So share away!

But please do it honestly 🙂 ❤