“When I started this blog it was a giant primal scream into the ether,” reflects Lucie Brownlee, a blogger who has inspired others to write through their own grief.
Some grief blogs, like Lucie’s, have formed the basis for best-selling books, while others are part of the writer’s way of coping with a ‘new normal’ and the pain of life without someone they loved.
Here are five grief blogs that may provide companionship to you in your own journey through bereavement, or inspire you to share your own thoughts and feelings.
“Your child’s death changes not who you are, but your outlook”
Mum of five Kelly began Chasing Dragonflies and writing about grief after the death of her eldest daughter. Abigail was aged 12 when she died following a sudden brain haemorrhage. Her blog recounts the story, including the day she and her husband broke the news to Abigail’s siblings that their big sister wouldn’t be coming home from hospital.
Kelly invites readers to share their own stories in her blog, which explores parenting through grief, her spiritual faith, changed perspectives and withstanding the impact of devastating loss upon a relationship.
“The days are filled with Firsts”
Palliative care nurse Emergency Bunny Blogger lost her wife, Jane, to a brain tumour after eight years together. She decided something good should come out of the tragedy, went to university and now nurses in a hospice.
Writing about widowhood in her long-running blog, she charts the raw pain, numbness and feelings of emptiness and, as the years pass, the ebb, flow and pangs of grief felt as new people and experiences come into her life. As she forms and develops a meaningful new relationship, she explores the physical and emotional ties and memories we keep hold of when someone dies.
“Every day it’s the same. Louise is still dead”
Gary Marson began his award-winning blog Just Carry on Breathing a month after the suicide of his wife of four years, Louise. He begins his journal by relating the story of how they met. From a starting point at the profoundest stages of grief when every day seemed an impossible horizon, Gary and Louise’s story is a month-by-month encounter with life after bereavement, the first year of which has been published in an acclaimed book.
In his latest blogs, Gary has begun to explore what he can let go of and what to hold on to, the possibility of new relationships, notions of ‘betrayal’ and the capacity to be in love again… and still.
“A giant primal scream into the ether”
Lucie Brownlee’s grief blog Wife After Death has become a best-selling book, Life After You, inspired by her husband and soulmate Mark, who died suddenly in 2012.
Irreverent, funny and acute, she writes, “The prospect of interring your spouse is a bit like being asked to sleep with Prince Charles. In a way, it should be a great honour, but you’d give anything not to have to do it.” Her blog’s the written equivalent of a widowed friend that pours a glass of wine and gives you a shoulder to cry on.
Lucie’s become an inspirational speaker and also hosts therapeutic Writing Through Grief workshops with bereavement counsellor Nicki Walker who lost her own husband of 30 years to cancer. She and Lucie became friends through Widowed and Young, the charity which brings younger widowed people together through social events, friendship and support.
“Your name should be in lights, not flowers”
The author of A Mother Without a Child lost her precious little boy, William, to sepsis when he was just a year old. She hopes that the blog will provide comfort to others struggling with the pain and emptiness she feels, as well as forge reciprocal connections.
Her blog reflects on William’s death in the days she’s counted ever since. She questions the meaning of life after loss, writes about days and times that remind her of milestones she will miss and on masking grief in daily life – “I have always explained grief to be love with no place to go.” She also explores how new love can happen for another child, without diminishing the whole and complete love felt for the child who is so entirely missed.
This blog also aims to raise awareness of sepsis and the work that the Sepsis Trust is doing to potentially save lives by providing greater information about the early signs of the life-threatening condition.