It’s been an exhilarating two weeks. I started my blog with an intention but not much of a plan. My intention was to write, regularly, and to share personal stories about my life experiences. If you read my initial post, you could envision what Karen v1 would have done. I would have had a plan. I would have crafted a tight and compelling mission statement for the blog, engaging one of the many talented designers with whom I work to design a slick site. I would have put together a strategic editorial plan, outlining at least the first year’s stories. I would have completely mastered the WordPress platform, exploiting all the bells & whistles. You get the picture.
Instead, I am happily making it up as I go along. Allowing it to unfold. After I published my first post, I received my first comment, “How do I follow your posts?” I had no idea.
The planner in me did, at one point, reach out to my friend Tatiana to say, “I need to figure out my next few post topics. Here are a handful of abstracts. What do you think?” To which she wisely replied, “Write what you feel like writing each day, what motivates you that day.” The old me would have scoffed at such a loosey goosey approach. The new me is amused and intrigued by it.
Buoyed by my first post being selected as a WordPress Editor’s Pick, pique has been viewed almost 3,000 times by about 2,000 visitors. I think that’s an amazing start. I meant for my sister’s death and my response to it to be my back story and envisioned I would be writing funny posts about the myriad things I am currently exploring. And I will do that.
But in reading the comments to the blog, one thing was clear. People were inspired by the radical changes I made in my life as a result of my sister’s death. And what’s really cool is that they, you, shared your stories too. A common denominator was personal tragedy and what happens to us in the aftermath.
Over lunch recently, a good friend commented that she and her family are only now beginning to see the good, the learnings, from their tragedy. About five years ago they were the victims of bullying, and it was bad. It made me reflect on the grieving process.
The old me wanted to plan and orchestrate grieving. To make it happen on my schedule:
- 9:00 – 10:00 AM: Staff meeting
- 10:00 – 11:30 AM: Meeting to Discuss Website Changes
- 11:30 – Noon: Lunch/Complete Grieving Stage 3 (Bargaining) and Recap Key Learnings
- Noon – 1:00: Write New Contract PR
- 1:00 – 1:30: Start Grieving Stage 4 (Depression) (Call Dr. Jones for meds)
As the lady in the funny insurance commercial says, “That’s not it works. That’s not how any of this works!”
Inspired by my lunch discussion with my friend, I wrote this little piece, and I think it captures what I have come to realize about the grieving process.
If you’re looking for the light
And you stare straight into the sun
You’ll burn your eyes.
But if you let the light come in sideways
Softly, from an angle
Over time it might penetrate.
You can’t think your way through it
You can’t fix it
Nor can you resolve, or at least understand it
On your time schedule.
Things start to come into focus when you’re not looking.
When you’re doing something else entirely
You’ll begin to catch a glimpse
Out of the corner of your eye.
Maybe the glimpse will remain in your memory
Long enough to make an impression
Then another day, another glimpse.
Maybe later, always later, you have to be patient
The glimpses will begin to form a pattern
Start to make some sense.
It doesn’t matter how smart you are
Or how enlightened.
You are not in charge.
You cannot shortcut the process.
All you’ll do is burn your eyes.
While I am not self-centered enough to say my sister’s purpose in life was to sacrifice her life to save mine, I do believe helping me was part of her life’s mission, although neither of us knew it when she was living.
A longtime friend, John, replied to my Waking Up post, “Thrilling to go along with your journey of words. So what is the mission that you fulfill?”
John, I don’t know. I may never know. And I’m good with that.