A couple of weeks ago I spent some time adding new bloggers to my twitter feed and daily reading list. One has cancer, one's sister died, one is a recovering addict, one is a struggling single mom, one's husband is on deployment. The list goes on.
As I thought about this the other day my initial reaction was - gee Amanda, you seem to be spending a lot of time reading about other's misfortunes. And I contemplated stopping. Was I looking for others who felt despair? Was I comparing my struggles with their struggles? Was I looking for a reason for my heart to ache?
I really wasn't sure why I was spending so much time with these strangers and their "problems." I even downloaded a book last night written by a man who lost his mother, wife and 4 year old daughter in a horrific car crash.
But as I was reading through my list of current favorite blogs this morning I realized something. These are not blogs about despair, or the depths of human sorrow, or raw pain These are blogs about overcoming that despair and sorrow and pain. These are blogs about digging deep into your soul and facing some of the hardest moments. These are blogs about resiliency and hope and faith. These women and men are putting themselves out there, exposing their most vulnerable moments and sharing little glimmers, little moments of truth, little moments of strength.
When I first lost my mom I was too overcome with grief to even hope to find glimmers of truth or strength. I was too jaded to have hope or faith. But now, now I'm searching. The wounds are not as raw. The grief isn't as palpable. And I'm searching to connect. To connect to others' journeys. To see the good that has come out of grief and loss and pain. To know that there is something beautiful that can blossom from devastation.
Lately, I've been grappling with how to bring meaning to my mom's death. How to honor her in my daily life. How to not let her presence in my life, and now lack of presence fade into the past, become an "event" in my life. I'm scared that by moving past the devastation, that all encompassing grief, that I'm moving past her. And I struggle with finding a way to hold her in the present. I don't have an answer for this. I've done grief and despair for a long time. But I don't know what comes next. I don't know how to do the next phase (whatever that phase is).
I think this is why I'm drawn to the lives behind these blogs. I think this is why I keep seeking out others who have faced difficulty. I need to know how they do it. I need to see how they do it. I need their inspiration And their moments of wisdom and truth are helping me navigate my way into whatever lies ahead.