Why I started my blogging?
Why I started blogging. What if I never changed my Instagram from public to private? Would I be on the same healing path? Where would I be in my grief journey today?
When Justin died I knew of one person on Instagram who had also lost her husband to cancer. She was young and also had children. Those first few days and months after Justin died I devoured her instagram and blog. I read and reread every single post. Somehow seeing her living and moving forward gave me hope. Hope that I would one day smile again. Hope that I could stand again. Hope that I could live.
I needed to see that it was possible to continue to live after my whole world was shattered. After my person, the person who was my whole world was now gone. The future felt hopeless and unreachable. I felt so alone. But as I read her post it brought a sliver of hope.
I decided one day to switch my Instagram account from private to public. I decided to be brave and share. I wanted to be that person for someone else like she had been for me. A couple months after that my friend reached out and encouraged me to start writing again. I started my blog and wrote my first blog post in January of 2019.
A part of me died with Justin that day. I was replaced with chains of grief and despair. A darkness I couldn’t escape. The first blog post I wrote I felt one of those chains unlock and fall from my body. The more I wrote the more I started to get closer to the light.
There is liberating power and strength that comes from sharing the darkest and most painful parts of yourself. As we share we become vulnerable and come closer to trusting ourselves and in return we continue to heal.
I started sharing my story in hopes of helping others, but never did I imagine it would in return help my healing process.
I started to get hundreds of messages from other widows, cancer patients, people grieving a loss of a loved one. I connected and befriended other widows who found me on Instagram. The more I shared the more it helped.
I read somewhere that talking about trauma or pain can be healing. Whether it’s validation, understanding, being seen, or empathy, talking with someone (or many someones) who gets it, removes survivors of feelings of isolation. To process or talk about pain means to make sense of it. Trauma or grief doesn’t make sense. It’s a mess of emotions and reactions and questions. Therefore, turning the unspeakable into language is necessary to make sense of it.
Through my grief and as I continue to share I’m just trying to make sense of it of it all. Trying to learn to live this new life that I wasn’t expecting to ever live.
To go back to my original question. “What if I never changed my instagram from public to private? What if I never shared?” I truly think I would be in a different place. I dare to say.. a darker place. I’ll never be “grief free.” I will always grieve, cry, mourn the person I loved, but I do feel like I’m in a better place today because I decided to share.
If you are also in pain I encourage you to share. You don’t need to turn your instagram to public, but share with a friend or a therapist. Sharing will help you to feel empowered and start to trust in your inner strength. We’ve got this!
Thank you Jen! You’re so brave to share your story. Our love, prayers and thoughts with you always!