What a conundrum. This is my personal blog and journal. I’m not much of a writer but I write for myself about an assortment of topics. Whatever is on my mind in the moment. It’s cathartic and many times writing out my thoughts helps me get a better sleep at night.
And yet, my blog is public. Not public like I’m writing to anyone specific or in the hopes of having many people read my words but if you had a link you’d be able to come and see what I’m writing. Sometimes people happen upon my blog because they are searching out specific topics I’ve weighed in on. There is all kinds of traffic on my blog at any given time. Sometimes more, like when I’ve been featured on other blogs and sometimes less. I recognise that there are a lot of people reading without commenting but I don’t know who these people are until they comment. I suppose I take for granted that most of the commenters on my blog are my friends and family. People who know me. I don’t give much thought to the faceless lurker.
Recently I wrote about my reaction to the death of a family member. It was my initial reaction to the news of this tragic death that is what’s come into question. It’s made me think a great deal about blogging and it’s complications. If we refrained from writing something because it might offend someone than we’d never say anything at all. Writing about any given issue is always more complicated than the few words that are dedicated to that issue in a blog post.
Someone who knows Cam’s step brother read my post and took exception to my words. Believe it or not, this happens all the time on my blog. Most of the time the person taking exception is someone who’s surfed into my blog looking for articles about “cry it out” or baby helmets or some such. They don’t agree with my take and many times comment with some insults (which I don’t publish) or strong disagreement (which I do publish). I reminded this person that they had a choice to share my post with Cam’s family and she chose to share it. She chose to cause her “friend” pain unnecessarily. I’d be pretty sad if I had a friend who choose to stir the pot at the expense of my feelings.
No one is happy that Cam’s step mother has died. No one. It was terrible all the way around. Terrible for her sister who had just suffered a stroke and was awaiting her arrival when she was killed. Horrendous for her sons whom she unquestioningly loved more than anyone else in this world. Awful for her grandchildren who must now grow up with too few memories of their grandmother. Unfair to the community she was heavily active in.
When I talked about finding relief in this situation, I was talking about the closure my husband and I would have in finding his dad’s ashes and being able to properly say goodbye to him after all these years. Little did we know how many doors would open once we were able to access items from Cam’s family that were otherwise never shared with him. So many questions answered and more questions to excitingly search out answers to about Cam’s family history. We weren’t able to access any of these things, his dad’s ashes or family heirlooms or boxes of ancient photos, while Cam’s step mother was alive. Being grateful for these things is not the same as being glad that someone has died.
I had an interesting conversation with a friend this afternoon about the aforementioned blog post. I couldn’t imagine simply taking it down, like I’d done something wrong but I’m grateful for her honest perspective that the timing could have been better. It’s small town living up here (even if we are four hours away from where Cam grew up) and I could have been more considerate to the fact that locals could be reading my blog and might be hurt by my words, either because of how emotional everyone was feeling after this unexpected tribulation or misunderstanding because the readers don’t know me better or understand the complex history behind a situation.
I absolutely didn’t intend to hurt anyone with my words and I regret that my words hurt the way they did.
Does this post make things worst? Gawd, I hope not. I’m writing it as a way to clarify and offer the opportunity for those hurt by what I wrote to understand. I hope it will offer some peace.