Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Offering Ourselves

It takes a lot for me to watch a video these days, even one that is just five minutes. But for some reason, when I came across this post on Fussy, I hit play. And now I want you to hit play, too, and listen. Take the time to really, really listen.

What I have to Offer from Eliot Rausch on Vimeo.

This so spoke to me that I took the time to listen, over several small bits of time I had to myself at the computer, to the audio of the whole speech. I have so many favorite parts, but this is the one bit that didn't make it into the video that I think is so key.
"Say who you are, really say it, in your life and in your work.Tell someone out there who is lost, who is not yet born, someone who won't be bon for 500 years. Your writing will be a record of your time. It can't help but be. But more importantly, if you're honest about who you are, you'll help that person be less lonely in their world. Because that person will recognize him or herself in you, and that will give them hope. And it's done so for me, and I have to keep rediscovering it, it's profound importance in my life. Give that to the world..."
This, I think, is why I write here. I know I run ads, which are selling things to people. I'm not going to lie; it's nice to get that small check every few months. I know bloggers that have refused to run ads on principle, and I respect that. I haven't made that choice, obviously. Still, if it weren't an option, I would write here. I don't write because I can make money off of it. I write because of what I can give and what I have gotten. Because what others have written have made me feel less alone, and I hope that I can give that gift to others.

I used to journal, filling page after page with what now makes me feel embarrassed. I don't do that anymore. I think it's because I realized that by writing it all out, I was holding onto things that I wanted to let go, and I never, ever edited myself. But here I write things that I want to keep and to share. I clean it up so it makes sense now and will continue to make sense in the future. At least I hope that's what happens. I know I overshare sometimes. I know someday my children may have questions and objections regarding what I've written about our family life. But I'm not writing it to exploit them or cajole my readers into giving me more page views. I'm writing because it helps me be better and do better as a parent. I'm writing because I know some of you are walking this same road, and your children's grief is a deep chasm that you cannot fill, and it is hard, and that grief is relentless much of the time. I want you to know that we are doing this together. I want you to know that it is possible to concurrently feel utter joy in your family and utter heartbreak at what brought you together.

We are walking through an intense season in our family life right now. Zinashi is struggling through some things, and I believe that Elvie is starting to grieve in earnest. It's not all beautiful, but at the same time it is. We are working hard, and I know, because you are writing too, that we are not alone. I know because you take the time to comment and encourage me. It means the world to me, to our little family as a whole. Thank you for offering yourselves to us. In doing so, you have given us both grace and courage. I hope that by sharing here, I offer the same to you.


  1. It's all beautiful because it's honest. It's real. You are giving much to the world.

  2. I can't imagine how hard it would be to constantly be trying to figure out what was behaviour every child naturally does as they grow and become more independant and what what was due to their hurt. Keep on being your wonderful sensitive tuned in self and know that with time some of these trying behaviours will pass. Your blog is a great insight into a family that looks different than mine but has a lot of the same daily struggles. From one introverted mom to another rock on sister!

  3. I love your thoughts about journaling and how it allowed you to hang on to stuff that you didn't need to - and how blogging is so much different than that. I get that. Several years ago I shifted how I write to myself. I find blogging to be the most rewarding specifically because of the feedback, of the inspiration of other bloggers, and of the somewhat loose requirement to be responsible for my words.

    I remember Matthew's grieving as an infant so well. There's no way to describe it respectfully or properly. A baby grieving is an unacceptable thing, and yet it happens all the time. I think if everyone understood that, the world would be a kinder place.

  4. 'so much different than that'????? the most awkward phrase ever uttered by me. blech.

  5. Truly beautiful. Thank you for sharing.


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