Blogging for Therapy After the Loss of a Child
Sitting by her bedside in the NICU, hour after hour, day after day, I realized it was going to be a nonstop roller coaster and phone call parade if we didn’t find some other way to communicate with the outside world on her latest updates.
The idea of a blog instantly came to mind. I remembered seeing a blog for the first time from my friend who documented her mission trip to China a few months prior. The idea seemed reasonable enough so I tried my hand at opening a blog, but was quickly flustered.
I gave up, and soon after found CarePages to be the ultimate – perfect solution – at the time.
When she died I didn’t know what to do with her CarePages. I left it a few weeks after our loss, and pretty much abandoned it since then. It didn’t feel right to keep writing there when CarePages seems to be mostly designed for living children. (Oddly enough, if I ever click on her CarePages site – which happens about once a year now – people still read her story)
Regardless – I knew I needed to write.
I opened up a journal and wrote as much as I could there. I wrote on my computer program at the time, Notes, for a while.
About a month or so after her death I got something in the mail from my Aunt. It was the beginning of something beautiful.
I carefully cut open the yellow 8 1/2 x 11 envelope and slipped open this incredible photograph. A photograph with her name written on this epic beach sunset. I think you all know who I’m talking about now – but at the time I had no idea who had done this.
I emailed my Aunt, thankful, but curious. She sent me Carly’s blog and from there I think I could smile for the first time since our loss.
I devoured every post up. I clicked on all her links and all her pages. I remember even clicking on the faces of her enormous Google followers gadget, trying to see if these people had also lost a child. Most of them had.
I decided I not only had the time to figure out how to open up a blog, it was something that I needed to do. Blogging became a double portion of healing. Releasing my emotions, and connecting with a community that seemed to just get it.
I wrote on my first blog for almost two years. Raw, unadulterated, grief-stricken, unapologetic posts of how this grief was rocking my world.
I made it private for personal reasons, but every now and then I’ll take a trip down memory lane. Where I was a year ago, especially around the holidays. I remember getting emails and messages from my blog friends, asking for my address. That first year I had so many people send me cards and ornaments with her name on them. For October 15th, my blog friends remembered her in their candle lightings and balloon releases. I cannot tell you how much that meant to me. To see her name.
If you ask me why I think my blog friends are rockstars, I can send you a photo album full of photos I’ve been given over the years with her name… remembered.
And if you ask me why I think blogging was vital to my healing, I’d tell you because it’s the best (and free!) kind of therapy there is.
If you are thinking about opening up a blog, below are some ideas and tips you might find helpful:
– If you are thinking about opening up a blog, but hesitating because of who might find it (trust me, we all have these ‘who’s’ in our lives) you can set yours to private and give access to only those you want reading – if anyone.
– I do blog design as a side job, and have had so many bereaved parents tell me over the years that getting to order a custom design for their blog was therapeutic, because it was something they could to honor their child, a way to create a space for just their lost child. I also offer discounts on blog designs for the bereaved community.
– If you have a blog, please be sure to add it to this page, where almost 400 blogs are listed – all written by bereaved parents.
– The great thing about blogging is you can turn it into a real, tangible book.
Have you found writing to be a source of release and/ or healing for you? Do you blog? Feel free to share it in a comment.