For months now, little voices have argued amongst themselves about what I’m doing here.
Telling a story. But is it my story to tell?
We draw the line, all of us, as to what we publish on our blogs, and what we don’t. I’ve chosen to be, I think, a lot more personal than most people do. I’ve grieved here, mourned here, dealt with my trauma here. and done it all publicly.
I’ve always been OK with that. There is no shame in feeling.
But essentially, the tale I’m telling is one that will define my husband, the way we all are defined by the end of our lives, in some way, eventually. Which is why I am so insistent, why i say it so often- he was a good man, a good father, a good husband. And we loved him to the moon and back, and all the way around it.
I made the choice, in the Before, to not blog about a lot of what was going on in my life. Or, perhaps, not so much my life, but the huge chunk of my adult life that intertwined with my husband’s.
As we do. As we all do.
But then, Tony died. And he made the choice, rational or not, to have me bear witness to his death.
He is no longer around to tell his story.
And so, it’s become mine to tell.
I’d never advocate bloggers logging on and writing about the mental illness of their family members, unless the permission was expressively given. And I guess it was given to me- as his wife, his next of kin, I have the choice to tell his story. And I ensure I balance it with the flipside of that horrible truth- what an awesome person he was.
My children are young enough that I can, selfishly, make this decision without it directly effecting them right now. I’m guessing by the time they are old enough to hold a comprehension of it, a lot of this will have blown over. I will probably still blog, but my grief and anger will be diluted with some kind of normality. And rather than my grief being a living, breathing entity on this blog, it will become an archive for it. An archive my children can pursue one day, if they choose, when they are old enough to make that choice.
I make money from here, a little, occasionally, and sometimes, that sits strangely with me too, at a tangent against a feeling of selling out.Bbut it doesn’t feel like selling out- most people who read here, they are invested in this story. And it’s doing good for the world, speaking out. Every time I get an email that tells me that, it reinforces that what I am doing here, I’m doing OK.
I never intended for any of this to happen. To grieve so publicly. To become some strange kind of advocate for suicide prevention. To have people recognise me, and instantly know my story.
But truly, I would be lost without this place. Any shadow of negativity it brings is sparkled away by the sunshine of constant love and support, the therapy of writing. Without this blog to replenish my depleted, malnourished self esteem… I don’t where I’d be.
So, most days, these days, while I still struggle with it slightly, I feel OK.
What I’ve got here, I’d give it all back for one minute, one second, with my lips pressed against my husband’s, him whispering against them.
What I’ve got here…. I’ve paid for.