Capture Your Grief, Day 16 – Creative Grief

I don’t usually draft what I am going to write before I write it. Maybe that’s a bad thing. I do edit, a little, but my work here in this space is largely unpolished. Again, maybe that’s a bad thing. However, one thing that does happen, when you write like this, is vulnerability. My writing is not perfectly structured. It’s not professionally edited. I write the way I think, and the way I talk, so what we end up with is a conversation, and I quite like that. You’re getting me, just as I am. You’re getting unfiltered thoughts and emotions, a soul and heart laid bare.

This is a two way street, though, because while you get a peek inside, I get to let some things out. Since I don’t usually outline in advance what I’m going to write, I don’t know what’s going to come out until my fingers hit the keyboard. In this way, writing becomes a form of processing for me, and I didn’t realize how much I needed to process creatively, until I started doing it again.

For a short while, I was doing some freelance writing on the side. I took small writing jobs and spent my evenings and weekends working on blog content for travel websites and small businesses, some copy for a clothing catalog, that kind of thing. For a wordsmith, it was an easy way to earn some extra bucks. I did it for a few months, made a decent chunk of change and then abruptly stopped after having a job where I was asked to write a persuasive post, in favor of hair implant surgery. Yep. Hair implant surgery.

Now, I am all about people doing whatever makes their skirt fly up, so long as it doesn’t harm you, or anyone else, but I have a hard time encouraging people towards any kind of cosmetic surgery because, well, I believe that you’re fabulous darling, just how you are! That said, if you think you need hair implants to be your best self, then like, go for it dude, but I’m not going to be the one who tells you that you need them. Needless to say, I had a hard time writing the post. I did it, but I do recall inserting a line which encouraged the reader to not succumb to societal pressure or antiquated beauty ideals… they probably didn’t end up using my work. Heh.

By taking this freelance writing work, I thought that I was scratching a creative itch. It wasn’t until the hair implant piece that I realized I wasn’t scratching anything. Instead, I was wasting my time (and my talent, maybe?) writing about stuff that I didn’t care about. I was making pretty sentences for someone else, when what I really needed was to make pretty sentences for me.

This blog is the result of that realization. After we lost Clara, I realized that I had a lot of emotion just under the surface. Feelings and thoughts seemed to slip in and out of my consciousness, but I just couldn’t grab ahold of them. Navigating my days was like climbing across a water bed, I just couldn’t seem to steady myself. I turned to writing at the suggestion of one of my therapists, who already knew that it was a favored creative outlet of mine. I started by writing a few tepid lines of, I don’t know, poetry? I scribbled them in an old and dusty moleskin journal that had been sitting, unused, in my craft room. Immediately, I felt relief. The next day, I sat in the library, with the window open, and wrote some more. Again, relief.

About a week later, having spent some time thinking about the best way that I could tap writing as a method of healing, I opened my laptop, created this blog, and wrote Clara’s Story. It was a game changer. Putting our story down allowed me to process the trauma and pain in a way that I had been unable to before. In addition to that, it rocketed me into all these new communities of people; bereaved mothers, women who have had terminated pregnancy for medical reasons, postpartum anxiety survivors, mommy bloggers, and so much more. With one post, I pretty much obliterated the isolation I had been drowning in. And that was before I even had any readers!

Since that time, this blog has been slowly transforming into an incredible, and incredibly diverse, community of people joining together to read and share. We find solace in our commonalities, we find comfort in not being alone in our pain and struggle. We find inspiration in the encouragement and kindness of each other, and we take one day at a time, but we take them together.

Thank you for allowing me this space to creatively process. Thank you for your comments and your kindness. Thank you, thank you, for helping me to do away with that pesky, damn water bed.

Sending you love, and hard, steady surfaces.

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