Some people need to talk when they are grieving, while for others, writing a blog can help them to address their feelings, mourn their loved one and adapt to their new and unfamiliar life.
Begun at different stages of individual journeys through bereavement, many grief blogs offer comfort and inspiration to thousands of followers around the world. Some provide updates in regular instalments, while others contribute something one-off and heartfelt to forums with a focus on bereavement.
Therapist Lisa Zucker says that journalizing has long been recognized as a beneficial form of therapy, while Larry Lynn began by writing a letter to his wife of 22 years, 10 days after she died. He went on to co-found Aftertalk, a blog forum where people who have lost someone, or whose loved one is terminally ill, can write and share their story. Larry, who took up writing again when his father died, says: “It was the most cathartic experience of my life, a major milestone in my grieving process.”
Here are eight grief blogs that may be a companion to you, or inspire you to write about your own journey through bereavement.
“Miracles aren’t supposed to die. And yet, ours did.”
Glow in the Woods is a forum of contributors who have each lost and mourn a precious child or children. People like Stephanie, a physician whose firstborn son died, who writes about her search for answers and finding a path to navigate: “There is no instruction manual for how to love the baby I no longer hold in my arms.”
Glow in the Woods is a place for ‘babylost’ mothers and fathers to express and share what they had and still hold dear, and what they feel, whether raw, confused, yearning or aching. Described as a cosy virtual cabin where a fire is aglow and there are friends inside to welcome you, you can join in the conversation and relate how you feel in the comment threads that accompany every heartfelt post.
Farther Along shares the thoughts of 13 bereaved moms. Between them, they are grieving for 14 precious children and have been writing about their journeys through bereavement together since 2002.
Twenty years on since the loss of her 18-year old daughter, Peggy Clover writes: “I will never be able to say that anything good could have come from losing Rebecca. But it did turn on a switch in my heart that placed me in a deeper level of living and loving.”
A collection of their work has been published in a book, also called Farther Along.
“I am a widower.”
Michael Flamini lost the man he had loved for more than 24 years, when they were both still in their fifties. He posted on Modern Loss, a forum for all kinds of conversations about death and bereavement, which welcomes everyone to contribute.
Michael describes the unfamiliarity of a phrase he never imagined saying at his age: “I am a widower.” Difficult to verbalize, he explores what ‘widower’ means, within the context of a long and loving relationship he had with Gary, who died two years before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of same sex marriage nationwide. Why does this word have purpose? Read what Michael discovered in his blog.
“I didn’t want a hardened heavy heart to carry the rest of my life.”
Paula Stephens’ beloved oldest son died in 2010, while he was home on leave from the Army. Crazy Good Grief is her way of coping and trying to build the pieces of her broken heart into something that would help her heal.
Of course, she says, she still has days where she cries, and feels pain and anger. But she expresses her philosophy this way: “I believe we need to live in the sunshine of our loved one’s life, not hide in the shadow of their death.” Her blog offers support for those journeying through grief with a focus on healing and she’s also written a book, From Grief to Growth.
“He is always with me.”
He Wore Flannel is mom Jenny’s grief and healing journal, which she began two years after the death of her 19-year-old son, Kade. “I hope Pain won’t be the last stop on the journey of my life. I hope it’s something like Purpose or Hope,” she wrote.
Her blog charts birthdays, anniversaries and poignant times of reflection: “Tyler looked so young. That meant Kade was even younger when his life ended. No cute toddlers for Kade, or ‘trying to marry’ a pretty girl. No cute grandbabies from Kade for me. And no Kade for me to call and say, ‘Hey, I ran into Tyler at the store. He looked the same but taller.’”
Follow Jenny as she also tracks the new personal goals she has been setting out to achieve in her changed and changing life.
“We both went our separate ways to deal with our broken hearts.”
Grieving Behind the Badge helps first line responders and medics to cope with grief and the psychological impact of situations they have witnessed in the line of duty, as well as the death of loved ones who supported them in daily life.
The forum is part of the non-profit Sweeney Alliance, which also runs support programs. Founder Peggy Sweeney is a retired mortician and has been a bereavement support advocate for more than 20 years. You can read her considered and informative posts, as well as read and share stories such as retired police officer Robert Cubby’s account of living after trying to save the life of his mortally wounded partner.
“Stop comparing death and divorce.”
Michelle Steinke-Baumgard, AKA One Fit Widow, turned to exercise to help manage her grief when her husband, Mitch, died in 2009. The mom of two, now also a stepmother of two, quit her corporate job to become a fitness instructor.
She’s become an inspirational public speaker, set to publish her first book this Fall. Her blog covers good days and bad days, coping with people’s misjudgements: “I heard stupid comments like: ‘At least he died loving you.’ Or: ‘At least you don’t have to see him around town or with someone else.’”
Michelle’s energy-charged blog also features tips for beneficial exercises for better wellbeing through grief and stress.
“I felt, rather than thought, about her.”
Knitting Through Grief is an anonymous guest post on a yarn brand’s blog, but a thought-provoking read about how stitching helped center the writer through her 91-year old mother’s last few months with Alzheimer’s and her final days.
“What helped me face the grief over my mother’s decline and eventual loss is exactly the meditative state that arises when knitting mindfully,” writes the author, who explains how mindfulness helped them cope with the pain of grief and hold her mother close in her heart.
If this thoughtful blog inspires you, you’ll also find links to non-profit organizations that welcome knitted donations.