For a while now, I’ve been trying to figure out why I haven’t been writing much lately. Well, I haven’t written much in the last year or so, actually. I don’t know why I haven’t been writing much. It seems as though I hit a wall in my writing not too long after I hit the ten year anniversary of Jason’s death. It felt like I had so much to say when I started. After the ten-year mark, it seemed as though I ran out of words.
I’m not a “natural” or “driven” writer. Some people have to write. It’s like the words are churning right under the surface, waiting to get out. I’m not one of those people. I have to wait until I feel like I actually have something to say, which isn’t all the time. When I feel like I have something to say, I write. I need to have a purpose to write and something meaningful to say, otherwise it feels as if I struggle getting the words out.
I like to think I write fairly well. My grammar is good. When I have something to say, I write from my heart. I write in a readable, narrative style, I think. It just doesn’t come naturally to me all the time.
I guess I’ve been trying to figure out if writing this blog helps, if it’s accomplishing what I set out to do.
Has it helped me? Yes. It has helped me put into words that which I’ve held inside of me for so long. When I felt like I had to stuff my feelings and emotions down inside of me because those around me wouldn’t understand or no longer had a desire to hear what it’s been like to lose a child, writing has given me a voice. Initially, that voice was through writing in my journals. That voice continued to speak when I started writing this blog. But, I have definitely hit a wall.
Has it helped others? I hope so. (And, NO, I’m not fishing for compliments!) I want to be helpful; I like to feel useful. I have a generally helpful personality. I want to encourage people who read my blog that surviving the death of a child is possible. I want to encourage other parents who have lost a child to step forward to speak about their experiences. If we – as parents who have lost children – don’t express what it’s like to be on this “side of the fence,” how will others know how we feel, how we hurt, how things affect us? I want to encourage those who are around parents who have lost a child to step forward instead of stepping away. I want to be helpful, but I want to be real in speaking about my own experiences without being discouraging. Perhaps I have been concerned subconsciously that speaking honestly would be discouraging to those early-on in their stages of grief. I think I’m afraid people might think, “Her son died eleven years ago! Why is she still struggling with this?” It’s a life-long path, this journey after losing a child, and one that can be complicated by many things.
I think another reason I’ve hit a wall is because I think I always assumed that a “greater good” or “purpose” would present itself eventually. Surely, Jason didn’t die for nothing. I haven’t seen or been able to create such a thing that feels like a purpose or greater good. Other parents start foundations, become grief coaches or counselors, write books and the like, but I haven’t found a niche of my own. I have some ideas – one, in particular – but the pieces just haven’t come together yet. Moving around and having little support system hasn’t helped, either.
I am working towards once again finding my voice and writing some sort of meaningful commentary. Thank you to those who have read my words and encouraged me along the way. I’ve been re-reading your comments, and they are most appreciated.
© 2013 Rebecca R. Carney