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.

Red Clover

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.


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10 Responses to “More important than the quest for certainty is the quest for clarity”

  1. debra says:

    annie, i appreciated your honesty in the moment (your first post), but i come here thinking of you as a friend, and of course i don’t know anyone in your small community. i struggle with censoring myself, and i’ve only shared that i have a blog with 2 friends in our little town in an attempt to retain some of my freedom in writing – not that i ever end up writing about anyone nearby in any “scandalous” way, but the thought of it made me feel self-conscious. anyway. i respect that you don’t always voice the most conventional or popular opinion! just my 2 cents…

  2. Sarah B. says:

    Hi, I’m one of your faceless, comment-less lurkers. :-)

    I can’t remember how I ended up landing on your blog, but I keep coming back because you write with honesty and candor, and I’m interested in your journey and admiring of your written words. And you have beautiful photos and recipes, and beautiful children and birth stories, wonderful crafts…. all of great interest to me as I raise my own almost 2-year old and almost-born! You words help me to be more thoughtful about my own flavor of ‘sensible living.’

    Greetings from suburban Boston.

  3. I am not your friend. I am not your relative either. I like you words and recipes. Corn pudding for instance has made it to The Fam Hit List! Please be Candid. Please have a Big Opinion. Mediocrity and Bland is not worth writing about.

    Cheers from a “sister”
    Snowy mountain side on Vancouver Island

  4. Erica McKay says:

    Hugs to you, I have often been in your position where people have been offended by my words. And yet, I too, try to be as open and as honest about how I really feel – I really do not understand the desire to never make waves and to try to do the impossible task of pleasing everyone. I personally try to surround myself with people who have strong opinions – I may not agree with them all, and some may sting but then it forces me to look inwards and examine why I’m reacting how I am and what my feelings are. I’d rather grow as a person than surround myself with people tip-toeing around me. However, inevitably I also have many people in my life, especially family, who have a hard time with me and the balance becomes being true to myself (and those friends I choose to have relationships with) and not completely alienating family. It’s a journey, that’s for sure.

    I for one LOVE that you have strong opinions and speak from your heart. And yes, perhaps you could have waited a wee bit for the rawest of honesty, but the ‘friend’ also played in her role in her choices to share the blog. Ultimately, though, you will attract the people you want attract to your blog, and you will NEVER please everyone, so please keep on keeping on!!!!!! Hugs to you…….

  5. Marlene says:

    Ok, I have to fess up. (I like your integrity, hence I like your blog. I don’t agree with everything you say, and I don’t agree with everything anyone says. That’s just human nature. You are clearly trying to live with integrity, without arrogance.
    I came to your blog via Taisa, who I have met, years and years ago, but discovered quite by accident (via Facebook. Long story, recognizable profile picture), that some good friends of mine here in Thunder Bay know you! Small crazy world. And so neat.

  6. Annie says:

    I’ve replied to you all privately but but thank you so much all for your words… xoxo

  7. april says:

    This is a big issue with me as well. I don’t want my blog space to be a rosy colored version of my life. I think that sends a false message and can make readers feel like I don’t share the same problems and trials they do. Hard times happen, and I want to acknowledge that about our lives, to keep it authentic. But I hesitate, because if it’s not rosy, it may offend someone, which I’m not trying to do.

    Thank you for your honesty and integrity. It is an inspiration.

  8. V says:

    like a few of the others who commented here, i do not know you, and discovered your blog somehow, sometime ago… i guess when you are close to a situation, words can seem somehow harsher than they really are (or are intended?) – even then, i would hope that people could remove themselves enough to realise there are always two sides to every coin. when i read the blog post in question it made me think: i can relate! just this past month, my uncle died. someone who was ‘family’, but someone who also caused alot of pain to most people in my family as well. we need to have a voice. we need not be censored. you know your intentions, and i think that is more than enough. ~peace

  9. Jeanine says:

    Another blogger just wanting to chime in as neither in-person friends or family. I get the emotion you shared in the other post. I get it so well actually that it felt good to just read another person writing it “aloud” so to speak. There’s so much a person may choose not to write about on blog, for all the reasons you give. And I hope you guys find some of that resolution you need in this time. My sympathies to you and your family for their loss, even as a certain gain is acknowledged.

  10. Zane says:

    I think about this issue so much – wanting to be honest when I blog but being aware of the potentially public nature of this online world. It’s so tricky, and I don’t always tell the ‘whole’ story for that reason (as if the whole story could ever be told!). But I do know that the blogs I admire most and return to are those that strike me as “honest” and “real.” I admire you for you courage.

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