Writing out your guts
I panicked the first time I clicked the publish button. I knew that few people would read my words, but publishing requires bravery. Putting your words out to the public eyes is frightening.
Blogging on the edge embraces that fear and uses it to gain confidence and overcome obstacles. I first realized this when I wrote of my mother's death from breast cancer, 16 years after the fact. Through those years I wrestled with demons that I could not exorcise, after more than a decade.
I possessed painful experiences that were so close to where I bleed that I could not speak of them. Emotions ate at me through the years of silence - anger, terror, horror, and heart break.
I decided to write it out, to see what happened. I relived torturous memories that I had spoken of to no one, and I prepared to publish my tears for the world to see. Clicking the publish button on that story is one of the most terrifying things I have forced myself to do.
The fear that gives pause
- We are exposing ourselves to strangers who may reject what we have to say.
- Others may not value what we say.
- We are not perfect, and we might screw it up.
- Some may laugh.
- We care about what we have to say, and others might not.
- We share our most fragile side, where the deepest pain resides, and there lies the potential for greater pain.
- We relive the trauma of the experience in the telling of it.
The reasons for writing where it hurts
- Forces us to clarify our thoughts and feelings.
- Makes us work through the trauma and pain to find meaning.
- Shares the painful burden with others who are sympathetic.
- Connects us with other human beings in the most intimate of ways.
- Frees us of the burden of silent anguish.
- Makes us better, more passionate and thoughtful writers.
Writing on the edge because you are human
In writing about my mother, I made a powerful self-discovery about design, order, and the universe. I healed some deep wounds and helped others to see a side of another being's emotions.
My mother's cancer moved fast. There is a point at which the cancer reaches the brain and breaks it, damaging neural pathways, memories, thoughts, and speech.
I had no idea that this telephone conversation with mother would be our last words. At the time, I didn't think we were even communicating. I thought she was already gone, and the only sounds were moans and sighs.
I wanted to talk with her. I did. But she did not say anything in return. Until I finally said "goodbye." Then she spoke as if from death and said "bye." "Bye ... bye ... bye ... bye." Over and over she said bye.
I thought she was lost and I panicked. I was 23 and freaked out at my mother's voice and absence. I didn't know what to do.
I slowly hung up the phone and could still hear her.
I know now that she was aware that it was her final goodbye. I cut her off, and after processing the shock of the moment, I cried and felt a coward. I realized what she was saying to me. That this was the end.
In reflecting now, I realize that the conversation could not have ended any other way. I reframe that last click and silence as a moment most serene.
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Your thoughts, comments, and feelings would be appreciated.