Welcome to my (our) new adventure!
Anyone who follows my other blog, somemother, is familiar with my format…. ”Contributors” are invited to submit their responses to the same 20 questions that mothers from all over the world are answering. At somemother, everyone is a writer, blogger, author… because everyone has something meaningful to share!
And share, you have… I have posted 52 contributions and counting… That’s 52 different mothers willing to put their thoughts, admissions, history, and hopes out there… Many contributors have their own blogs, and almost all use Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Linked In, Pinterest, and more. We all have connections to family, friends, and colleagues…. yet, still, somemother is a unique forum because it is anonymous. There is safety in being able to share so personally in this over-exposed yet under-supported world of social media.
Each somemother post is its own piece of awesome, and even in the blog’s infancy, I have big dreams for what it can become and how it may impact the lives of those somewhere out there reading….
Despite this positive momentum, my followers also know that for months, I have been struggling… the awesome contributions I’ve received have languished while I wrestle with the forces in my heart, mind and life that make publishing a post difficult or, er, impossible… I have fleeting moments of motivation, and get a post up, and then it dissipates as I spiral into my life… What could be causing this disruption??? (besides kids, activities, laundry, cleaning…!)
last year more like two okay, well, four years have been significantly impacted by…. “difficult” relationships in my life. I know this is hardly original, something faced by MANY, yet I have not found a forum where I can talk about my issues. Things are complicated and messy, and I want to shield my positive “in real life” relationships from the whack of the troubling ones… And, the online world is too exposed with too much potential to cause more damage by seeking support there.
Many (both IRL and online) would never guess I have been struggling so intensely… I have been continuing with the business of life, kids, marriage, groceries, book clubs, playdates, appointments, and all the other things that propel us along even when we are so.very.broken inside. I think my life would be perceived as rather successful… I have a great husband, I have beautiful, healthy children, we have a nice home, we have friendships and activities and interests and all the things that make a life good. Blessed.
However, I have lost the most important relationships next to my husband and my children. Three very important people are gone from me.
…more on that to come…
For now, suffice it to say, what is most difficult is that, they are not dead. They walk, they talk, they do their lives, running parallel to mine, rarely if ever meeting and certainly not engaging. What is confounding is that all of us are seemingly normal, functional, happy people and our friends, acquaintances, and extended family would never guess that such a fracture has occurred. Even if they knew, their own relationships with each of us makes it difficult to be understood, to share our own understanding, and feel supported and validated.
HERE’S WHERE LOSS OF THE LIVING COMES IN….
Because, this is not unique. RIGHT??!! As a former therapist and frequent client (!), I am certain that ALL families cope with friction in relationships, and that ALL INDIVIDUALS have experienced the loss – sometimes profound, sometimes less significant – of someone living. Raise your hand if you have:
- been dumped by a boyfriend or girlfriend
- had a friendship falter under changing circumstances such as having kids or moving
- lost a friend in the aftermath of divorce
- lived with an expectation that was different from you were prepared for, such as having a child with a disability or keeping a marriage vow when your spouse doesn’t
- faced estrangement from a parent
- distanced yourself from a sibling for some good reason
- been fired or otherwise left a job
- lost a friend when you or they advanced to a senior role in the work place
- been defriended, unfollowed, or otherwise snubbed in any real or virtual social engagement…
The list could go on and on. The common thread is that they are all losses, and to some degree, must be grieved. The process may be no less difficult than a death*, except without the ritual of a funeral to express your grief or other people expecting and understanding that you are in mourning. In fact, if the loss is somehow your own doing, there is even LESS consideration that it still might HURT.
That PAIN is what has kept me STUCK for months.
And I am hoping THIS BLOG will change all that.
This is your opportunity to anonymously share, not because there is something to hide, but so that we can all identify with what’s written. Even if you are comfortable sharing your identity, it can change how your story is received by those who know you (or think they know you!). (However, if you want to link up, it’s your choice to include your url.)
Like somemother, Loss of the Living poses Ten Questions — just 10 — to help express and share the impact of the loss you are experiencing. The hope is that by sharing, you may be able to let it go, move on, and find some relief from the grief in your soul. In the process of doing so, you just may help someone in their own lives by reading about your experience.
Take as much time and use as many words as you need to answer these 10 Questions:
- What relationship that you have lost are you sharing about here?
- How long ago did you experience this loss?
- Did you or the other person initiate it?
- What was your relationship like before it ended?
- What happened that resulted in the loss of this person in your life?
- Where are things at now regarding this person?
- What is your ideal future with this person?
- What do you miss most about this person?
- What is now possible without this person in your life?
- What advice do you have for others experiencing similar loss?
See? That’s not too hard. Instead of just thinking about these questions, write something down, and send it to email@example.com. Be raw. Be long. Be brief. Most importantly, be honest.
Please spread the word about Loss of the Living. The more contributions, the more interaction, the better. Check in often. You might laugh. You might cry. You might be inspired. Know that if you want to discover something that means something to you, you will.
Please comment on the contributions…. Your comments are what take each post from being told to being heard.
Loss of the Living will post a new contribution as often as they are submitted……! Really. I promise.
Other plans are also in the works!! Stay tuned!! Follow Loss of the Living on Twitter. There might be a Facebook page. We’ll see how much laundry I have to do first.
*The intent of Loss of the Living is not to diminish the magnitude of the death of a loved one. Such losses are serious, profound, and we honour those who are coping in this circumstance. ((xox))