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Thursday, 31 January 2013

From triumphant to tragic - why do we blog?


'We lose ourselves in talking about happiness but we don't allow ourselves to talk about loss...'

So says  Ben-Brooks Dutton whose wife Desreen was knocked down and killed two months ago. Ben's new blog 'Life as a Widower' is  featured in Today's 'Times 2' supplement giving an insight to the  the lives of young people who have turned to blogging   to deal with their grief.

A lot has been written about blogging in the last few months : Why do we do it? Why has it become so popular? Is it a form of journalism or just a waste of time? The answer to me is simple - if it's right for you, do it.

When I was in my twenties, I saw an old friend   standing on his own on the far side of the town square.  I deliberately crossed over to speak to him, for he and his wife had just suffered a terrible loss: their full-term baby had been born dead.  After I had offered my condolences he said: 'You're the first person who has had the courage to speak to me today - everyone else has looked the other way.'

I have never forgotten that conversation.  The truth is that in Britain we've never learnt how to openly discuss our grief. The Times  quotes  yet another heartbreaking story:  Alice Olins  started a blog after her son, Bear Hamilton Pullen, died in her womb. 'My body did the cruellest thing possible - it pulled the plug on my baby's life...' she says.

When the young Princes William and Harry were taken to matins on the morning after their mother died, the pain on their faces was palpable.  They should have been allowed to stay at home and sob, but the 'stiff upper lip' attitude of our royal family denied their expression of their grief.

My own blog, named after the island where I was born ( but sadly no longer live) reflects my  crazy sense of humour, but I've charted some personal tragedies, too.

 So my message today is - keep on blogging - you never know who you might  reach.
And finally here are the  blogs I have chosen for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.






Jane Lovering said...

I've found one of the most wonderful things, not just about blogging but about the blogosphere in general, has been the support one gets from others. If life has been truly horrible, and kicked us while we're down, having someone comment in the little box 'oh, that happened to me too' can be all it takes to make us feel a little less alone.

Linda Mitchelmore said...

This is terribly well written. It needs a much wider readership than even blogging can reach.
Thank you so much, Marilyn, for this poignant post.

Guernsey Girl said...

Thanks to Jane and Linda for your thoughts. Proof that it does help to share sorrow, even with those you we may not yet have met.

Carol said...

Congrats on the award and thank you Marilyn for passing this award to me.

You are quite right about grief in this country. I once had a lady comment that I was disrespectful to the vicar for shedding quite tears at a neighbour's funeral.


Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

So true. Sometimes you don't have to say a thing, just give a hug. I've been catching up on your writing here and still have a bit to go.

you left a sweet comment on my blog and I have to ask "Are you SURE you are nominating ME?" This means more than you can imagine because it's from YOU.
thank you. If you would take off the word verification it would help so much. It usually takes me 3 or 4 tries and mostly I give up, some won't even try it can be so difficult.

Guernsey Girl said...

Yes, Francie, I definitely nominated YOU - I really love your blog. I wish I could remove the word verification butI'm not sure how - it just seems to come up automatically... Lovely to have you as a follower.

Betty Stapleton said...

strange you mention that, I was thinking of this story today-years ago their was a tragedy at sick kids hospital in Toronto were babies were killed. One of the babies was to go home on a Saturday night but the hospital wanted him to stay until morning to make sure he was ok.He was murdered that night-mother was from England not sure where now. She was visiting a mutual friend who was from Plymouth about four months after the tragedy as was I. I sat there and nothing was said about the baby-Plymouth mother had to go and pick up her daughter at school and we waited on her. When she left I expressed my sympathy-well this mother started to talk and she said that most people thought that she should stop talking about the baby, no one acknowledged him and especially the plymouth friend. She told me later that you should carry on with life and be thankful for the live children you have. Stiff upper lip.

Guernsey Girl said...

Betty - that is so sad and proves my point exactly.
How was the poor woman ever to come to terms with the death
of her baby if she wasn't able
to talk about him?
I think a lot of mental illness has been caused over the
years by this very problem.

As someone said earlier,
knowing others have gone through the same thing can
make the tragedy a little bit easier to bear. The 'stip upper lip'
way of thinking has
a lot to answer for.

Annesphamily said...

Having lost an unborn daughter in 1987 I can tell you only those who have experienced such a loss were the ones who expressed themselves so beautifully to us. Many others sent cards and gifts but words from several friends and even two doctors I knew quite well helped the healing begin. Although you will never not be sad about it having someone who understands makes the whole journey a little less bumpy!
I remember as a young girl my dad's oldest sister telling me a story about a neighbor who lost a baby. She said my daddy was about 19 but he cried and when my grandmother asked him why he said because he loved that little one! My father was the soft touch, my mother, God Bless her and rest her soul, could have been British! She was very stoic and strong in all her losses including my daddy and my oldest sister Pat!
Thank you for your beautiful words and for sharing a topic that makes many so uncomfortable.
I am new here thanks to sweet Francie!
Hugs Anne

Barbara said...

I absolutely agree with you about the young Princes William and Harry it broke my heart seeing them there.
I am so surprised to find my blog in your list of nominations, thank you so much!

Guernsey Girl said...

Hello Anne - thank you for your comments and particularly for talking about the grief that I know you will always carry with you. It's so good to have met you on here.

Diane Eagle said...

completeiy agree with your comments Marilyn.