Self-portrait

Today is my 1-year blogiversary. That fact alone warrants a little self-reflection, but the larger truth is that there are overwhelming things going on in my life right now, and the reflection they deserve is so enormous that I am feeling swallowed whole by the responsibility.

And I don’t want to talk about any of it.

I am sitting here at my computer, wondering how to acknowledge my first year of blogging but I mostly want to dig a deep hole and ease myself down into its depths.

I have built my marriage, my parenting style, even my career, on communicating, sharing, talking it out. But now the very last thing I want to do is open my mouth.

My tribe of friends and family, so generous and caring, wants to shoulder some of my pain. But I am holding things tightly and protecting my heart. What is there to say, really? Anything I share will be both too much and not enough.

I am a relatively private person, but somehow I’m also a person who thrives on connecting with others. This contradiction has carried over into my writing career, as I struggle with the conflicts between needing to connect and wanting to protect. Lately the pull from each end has never felt greater.

So today, in honor of this blog's birth and in the spirit of reaching out, I want to peel away one layer and tell you something important.

I am losing someone I love. Not just someone, but my Mom.  And even though I have been losing pieces of her for many years, it doesn’t diminish the pain that is now devouring me, eating me alive from the inside out.

And there is nothing and everything to say about it.

This week I read a wise and beautiful piece about grief and how it is work done alone. I am grateful to this stranger for putting to words the power and pain of this experience. And I’m grateful that my own tribe is waiting nearby with ropes to toss down when I’m ready to climb out of my hole toward sunlight.

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