For many of us, writing is cathartic. These moms use their blogs to process (and heal) in the aftermath of a parent’s most painful experience.
Writing Through Grief
Blogs are incredible vehicles for exploring our passions and finding our voices. They can also be powerful tools for healing in the face of trauma; for many of us, the act of writing is a cathartic one.
These brave moms are blogging their way through one of life’s more traumatic losses: the loss of a child. Calling themselves babyloss blogs, they provide insight for those of us who have never experienced this unique pain and support for other parents starting to navigate the same grief — along with hope that life does go on, and happiness is still possible.
2014 BlogHer Voices of the Year winner Timaree started C is for Crocodile to chronicle her pregnancy, never imagining that after three years and five months, she would instead be chronicling her son’s fight with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia — an incredibly rare form of cancer. She blogged through his treatment and now writes her way through the aftermath, as in this piece published during the recent BlogHer conference:
I grabbed a glass of champagne, tucked myself up on a set of stairs, and I watched from Planet I Miss My Son as people strolled by, stopped, read, dug around in their bags for tissues, and moved on.
She shares the blog with wife Jodi, and together they’re documenting the journey to their new normal with honesty and eloquence.
Connecticut midwife Meghan was pregnant in March 2014 when she learned first that her daughter had down syndrome, and then a potentially fatal kidney defect. On Expecting the Unexpected, she does not blunt the edge of what happened next:
The story of my daughter began with a positive pregnancy test and ended as I held her in my arms as she died six hours after birth.
Her blog gives her a space to mourn and process the loss as she works not only to heal, but to re-enter what became a painful profession.
Natasha was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age seven, and passed away five years later. Like Timaree and Meghan, mom Suzanne turned to words to help deal with the pain of a devastating loss. In her latest post, she explains why she’d prefer that you didn’t call her child a “hero”:
To those she loved and trusted, she didn’t soldier on with a smile on her face as the hero-philes would have it. She mourned the injustice of the good health that she had irrevocably lost, noting that her friends who had morphed into gangly preteens got to play a brisk game of basketball.
Along with her blog, Suzanne helps other grieving parents feel less alone with regular pieces on The Huffington Post, Mothering, the San Francisco Chronicle, and many more.
The blogger behind Hang Your Hopes from Trees began writing in the aftermath of a traumatic miscarriage:
This is not a goldfish! My head raged. This is your baby! Pick it up! Hold it, you will NEVER get another chance! Another voice rang in, steady and calm. Don’t touch the baby, it said. The baby is gone, has been gone a long time. If you pick it up, what will you do with it? Will you ever be able to let it go? Will you be scarred, more deeply than you already are?
At, Hang Your Hopes from Trees she writes to forgive herself — and her body. This month, she opens a new chapter, learning to reconcile her joy at the birth of a daughter with the lingering pain of her loss.
Sadly, these four women are not alone; there are countless other bloggers using babyloss blogs to write through their grief, including:
- Jo-Anne, who mourns her stillborn daughter in prose and poetry at This Little Light of Mine.
- Writing the Roads of Grief, a blogger whose son took his own life.
- Carla of Loving Luca: Life Without Him Here and the blogger at following my sun, both of whom only shared a single day with their newborn sons.
These women tell their painful truths to help themselves heal and to keep the memories of their children alive — and in doing so, they help countless other parents who find themselves crushed and bewildered after the loss of a child.
Hi really liked what i read i to know the pain of loss and how writing can help i write a lot to deal with grief of losing my mum
All can say is keep writing i know i will
Not that i can proffess anything that will be right
Everyone has there own way of grieveing
I just know it must be worse for a parent to lose a child
The subject of grief interests me because i to am grieving for my dear mum the best mum in the whole world
The people in this have my thoughts and feelings for a few moment as do all that know loss
Because there is nothing like it
I still struggle today
I wish all those grieveing the best
Thanks for reading my comment if you did
Thanks for posting excerpts from babyloss blogs and providing links to these sites. I cannot imagine what it would be like to lose one of my children to cancer or whatever – especially if such had happened when they were so young like so many of these stories. It really puts everything into perspective especially when you get mad at your child like when my oldest, Rory, said some very hurtful things on his 19th birthday after announcing that he was engaged to a girl I didn’t like, who was constantly cheating on him. And he took my quasi-stunned silence to mean I was shunning her, which wasn’t the case, necessarily. But ANYWHO, I commend the courage of these women, and again, thank you for making other bloggers aware of their tragedies…:)
Thank you for reminding me what a great tool writing can be to deal with emotional chaos. Here is my story about the loss of my twin sons. http://shesramblingaboutstuff.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/the-miracle-and-the-politics/
Thank you for this post. And thank you to these moms, wives, etc. who are willing to share and put out about themselves to an audience unknown to them. I hope they also know how appreciative we are for their honesty.
A story I find incredible is that of Stephanie Nielson who was burned over 80% of her body in a plane crash with her husband. Her story about raising their children while living through the pain is amazing and I would recommend pouring over this if you have a chance: http://nieniedialogues.blogspot.com/.
My best friend lost her twelve year old son to a brain tumor nearly a year ago. I’m going to suggest this to her. I know she is struggling and I don’t blame her for her struggles because no parent should have to bury a child. All I want is for her to find comfort through this difficult time.
As a grieving mother and also a blogger, I appreciate you highlighting these blogs. I wonder though, that you failed any grief blogs with more religious themes. I noticed that the representations were quite secular and or even more liberal in their life stance. And yet there is a large audience for Christian meditations, thoughts, pondering a about grief. I began An Atypical Miracle after my 2 year old daughter was diagnosed with Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid brain tumor cancer 2 years ago. She has been gone now for ten long months and I have a decent readership following ‘the test of the story’. It would be nice if WordPress would give sample blogs/highlight a wider variety of grief blogs so that readership on the whole would be better represented in those options.
Thanks for listening, Amey Fair
I did that, and it turned into a book with a powerful run of messages and message themes on living with, then rising from…the choke-hold of grief. It was my therapeutic journey that walked me back to new hope, renewed thinking, and the realization that there still is more Life for me up ahead. The question to answer was ‘Did I Want It?’ That sent me on the new road to catch a new vision and walk it.
For almost twelve years, thirteen of us who are bereaved mothers have used writing to help us deal with our grief. Writing reflectively and sharing that writing has had health benefits, mentally and physically. We started our blog in 2011, and each of us posts not only some of the writings we have done during our time together as a writing group but new pieces too, often after we have met together for a writing retreat. Our blog is http://fartheralongbook.com
and we have links to somel of the blogs mentioned in the post and in the comments.
Reblogged this on Light : Within and Beyond and commented:
Yes indeed, blogging may bring out those pains thru which one might have gone, even the mothers who have lost their babies. It could heal the wounds in heart. One has to move forward, time passes and time heals too but blogging is sharing pains with which it reduces the intensity. I believe so.
For all those chiming in with their blogs and stories — I’m so sorry for each of your losses, and so appreciate your sharing your words with us.
I am so sorry to read of such loss… I didn’t come here to share my thoughts, but instead, look for help. My boyfriend raised 3 children on his own after his ex wife walked out on them. As his youngest son (18 years old) was approaching graduation and enlisted to go into the Marines, he drowned 5 years ago. I understand that there are several stages of the grieving process, but my boyfriend (with good reason) is still stuck in the anger phase, as he was never given an answer as to how it happened. To talk of his son brigs tears to his eyes. It is still a tremendous loss; one that I don’t think he’ll ever recover from. I was just curious to know if there were any blogs out there that help those of us trying to support our partners with such a loss. I never know what to say, or if by talking about him I’m crossing a boundary. It’s a very emotional topic but I don’t want him to think I don’t care. For his birthday, I got him in to see a reputable psychic in an attempt to connect with his son. Epic failure. She didn’t get anything right which caused even more pain. So, if you know of any blogs that could help me help him, PLEASE let me know. Again, I am so sorry for all of your pain and suffering, as no parent should ever have to lose a child.
Blogging is a catalyst to healing the loss of a child. We are approaching our 15th year (Aug. 4) without our newborn daughter. We miss her daily, but are so thankful we were blessed with her brief life. Thankful for God’s grace, and the opportunity to share our daughter’s story through blogging.
It’s amazing how something as simple as writing can give one a release from the hurt and pain of life, especially in the case of losing a child like these blogs do, but at the same time serve as an outlet to reach others going through the same thing you might not have ever met otherwise. Thanks for highlighting these bloggers’ bravery in sharing their experiences.
Even years after you experience a loss, it still sits with you. I reflected on the child “that might have been” in this post: http://wyswords.com/2013/03/05/the-story-of-my-super-boy/
There is really no greater loss than losing a child. I have written several stories about children I have met in my lost life as a pediatrician, itself a lost child, with whom I have been close during the process of their dying. The privilege of taking care of these special children in their last years, months, weeks, days, hours….well, you learn a lot about life from these souls who are on their way out of this world, some floating away peacefully and some fighting until the last seconds of their lives. I too have had my share, and it has helped me to help the parents. I don’t wish it on anybody.
So touching. I have never blogged about my son whom joined the ancestors at 23 days old but makes me think I should have if only for the reason that his twin another boy survived, is 8 years old and after being through a lot loves helping people all the time…..
Thanks sis star…
This couldn’t be more appropriate for me right now. I gave birth to my daughter a week ago today at 40+5 and sadly held her funeral yesterday. The pain of losing a child is like nothing I’ve ever known. I figured writing about my loss would prove a useful coping mechanism, allowing me to look back on my journey & possibly help others who find themselves in similar circumstances to me & my family.
Love to all of those who are grieving & have lost loved ones.
I am not old enough to be a mother and to suffer the unbearable loss that mothers must feel upon losing a child. My heart goes out to you and I admire these bloggers’ courage and grace with which they tackled their grief through writing. At 15 years old, however, I have lost my pet guineapig. It is in no means the same loss as the loss of a child but she was like a baby to me and I can almost empathise. I wrote about her death, memories of her lifetime that are now remembered with a sad smile, and her. Writing helped my grief immensely and it was an outlet for all the emotions I was feeling. The pen and paper were the confident I needed. In this post I recall where she lived and how she died, reading it always makes me cry with tears of sadness from the loss, of happiness from the memories I have of her, and from the gratitude that overwhelms me for having the opportunity to love her. She may only be a guineapig to some but she was a part of my life and a loving companion.
Grief. That caught my eye because grief is omnipresent in my life. And yet I do not write about it….ever. Oddly, I know, I’ve chosen to make my blog an escape from grief – albeit temporarily- the place where I can once again feel like me without the ever present shroud of my daughter’s illness which envelops me in every other aspect of my life. It is such a relief for me to interact with other bloggers without that huge part of my actual identity coming into play at all. I feel like “me” again. And never would I suggest that my choice should be anybody else’s. We all need to use our platforms in the way that works best for us.
I received an e-mail on Friday last or over that weekend opening with “We are saddened to inform to inform you…..
My heart stopped. I thought back to the Spring and the sudden unexpected death of a friend and colleague, Bill, age 55, too young. Not another 50 something lost…
Then I read the rest of the note and gave a silent scream…OH, MY GOD…NO, it can’t be. This doesn’t happen today, but it did. Our friend of many years lost his wife, Andrea, age 37 plus 6 days as a result of “complications from childbirth…” their twin boys, premature, are doing well. Bobby is shell shocked. I had never met his wife. Her picture and portrait showed a gorgeous, beautiful, svelte young woman.
Please pray for Andrea and Bobby.
Grief is often a great force of inspiration, in my opinion. Some of the best things I ever thought or wrote were in the midst of great grief, from a lost loved one or from a lost piece of your life. When you feel like you have tons of feelings and nowhere to pour them, pen and paper will never let you down.
I started my blog to cope with my daughters battle with cancer however I felt I couldn’t publish my stuff.. It felt to personal.. But I have read other bloggers and it has helped .. It has made me see that unfortunately I’m not the only one having things happen to them that and I appreciate the happiness that comes our way.. I feel like if it’s not one thing it’s another and that’s a horrible feeling to feel… I’ve had a miscarriage myself and still hurt..The loss of a child no matter how old is just extremely painful.
Writing is a natural catharsis of a grieving soul as the heavy fog of grief weighs down the heart. When I lost my beloved German Shepherd, Beethoven I was swept up in the darkest seas of sorrow. Writing my thoughts on paper eased the pain and brought me out of the throes of depression.
Thank you so much for sharing. I have been writing a blog since we lost our darling boy, Eddie in April this year. He was only 3 months old and was a victim of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). I find it therapeutic to write but to also comforting to read other blogs by bereaved parents who are or have gone through a similar experience to me. There is a large community of us out there and this is a great way to bring us all together. My blog is http://www.lifeaftereddie.wordpress.com
Hello Michelle, just a note to thank you for mentioning my blog, Writing the Roads of Grief. Some have shared a little of their story with me, others positive comments and my stats have gone way up. This comes at a time when I’m struggling with a sense of futility so the feedback has been invaluable to me.
Bringing light and understanding to the pain of mental illness and suicide is my mission after the death of my son at lensgirl53.wordpress.com. I wirte to remember him and bring honor to his name and his life and to destigmatize the way he died.
Every day I write in my Journal. I just write from my heart and find peace, understanding and company with my God. Wouldn’t be without it! Thanks for your Article on grief.
I discovered blogging and truly harnessed it’s power for communicating all those complex (sometimes ugly, sometimes surprising) emotions after my first pregnancy loss and then after my second daughter died after a few hours of life. Reading the words of others that experienced that type of grief kept me alive. Today my blog serves as a record of how far i’ve come and it brings comfort to others actively grieving and reconciling their own struggles.
It’s an amazing vehicle for exploring our emotions.
This was so hard to read!! I don’t talk much about my miscarriage on my blog but losing children can have a lasting effect on your life.
Thank you for sharing these brave, beautiful blogs. Like many here, through writing I’ve found I’m not alone as I grieve a major loss. My blog is normally focused on my professional life, but this week I posted about my pain. http://coachnotes.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/learning-in-the-dark-grief-loss-and-other-taxing-teachers/
Having used writing to process emotions that are less attractive or pleasant I thought about leaving a comment, but realised that whatever I wrote would be inferior considering the trauma and heartache these highlighted blogs are detailing
So I feel the only thing I can rightfully say is that the authors of those blogs are beyond strong to not only survive the grief that has befallen them, but to also make public their feelings and experiences so that others in their situation can find help and support
In the end only two words will do ‘Full respect’
There have been so many times in my life that writing got me through. I am so thankful that it has been a constant companion and true friend.
Oh, hey, I guess I get to join the ranks of blogging about grief. My friend died last week. Shit. (And please read my bluntness in a tone of utter shock, as that’s how I feel in regards to this realization. It’s not crass or rude. Just a balloon between me and the world.)
I am eager to read these blogs and share in community. I have a similar blog – Stealingnectar.com. My post from Aug 2013 (Swimsuit Palooza) is about losing my son at 17 weeks of pregnancy. http://stealingnectar.com/2013/08/22/swimsuit-palooza/. My latest post is an update one year later. (http://stealingnectar.com/2014/07/27/a-leftover-type-of-day/) Big hugs to all the moms and dads mourning our kids out there!
This brings such tears to my eyes. I am a journal writer to get my feelings out. Now I’ve decided to begin blogging for many reasons (especially Arthritis making it difficult to hold a pen for hours on end) and believe that sharing our stories of sadness or happiness can help us connect to those who feel as we do.
MIchelle, Thank you for including me in this piece. Writing has been incredibly therapeutic and so has reading other’s stories. Here are some other babyloss blogs that have traveled my journey with me.
as well as this post:
And there are so many other inspiring blogs in these comments.
Thank you for sharing these blogs. It’s beautiful, I think, that blogging offers a uniquely compassionate community for people to share and connect with others through writing.
I feel for all these women who lost children. We women are a special lot, for sure. I lost my first grandchild, Jessica, to the ravages of diabetes. Her first child, named Daniel, named after my first husband, was stillborn. So, we all have tragedies in our lives. Writing does help – a great deal. It’s a catharsis of all the feelings that have been slushing around for a long time, or not for a long time. Thanks for bringing these women and their blogs to our attention, Michelle.
When my uncle, whose is also my adopted father, died some years ago, I felt a great loss in my life. And I often wrote to reduce the pain. I know what it means
for the mothers who lost their childs. I hope that time and journal could help them move on with less sadness and suffering as they could recognize that sickness and death must be parts of our lives. We can try our best to make our loved ones safe but would never know why certain unexpected bad things would come to them.
Grief finds its way into our lives when we least expect it. It lingers long past what we would prefer or what others assume. Like a veil that covers our faces, grief can hide its ugly head inside of us for way too long. Writing is a way out … back into the sunshine. For there is sunshine to come, even when the grief feels as though it will never leave us alone.
I think blogging is like acting in a way, we can hide behind something, and express our feelings. Nice touch x
Reblogged this on briandstubbs's Blog and commented:
Though, I’ve never lost a human child, I understand grief… My condolences to the original writer of this blog. My situation, I did grieve for a functionally, happy, “united family setting” in my childhood. Mine was, traumatic and horrific, leaving me with serious complications of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors well into my adulthood. Read on, and may writing be part of your healing of your wounded heart, body, soul.
Absolutely! Writing and speaking eases the soul so it may lift itself once again.
My tears water the prayers I send to you from my heart.
There are no words, only silence and tears.
When my father, whom I didn’t have a very strong relationship to but loved very much passed away last year, I felt a great loss! I was always daddy’s girl even though I didn’t see him very often or understand him very much. I didn’t cry very long but did crying while writing . Writing just always gave me a chance to sort my feelings out, deal with the loss and let it go. The week before my father died, I was feeling very strong back and chest pains, and I dreamt about my father’s death. This pains I was feeling where the exact pains that killed him. Thinking back it is amazing to see how I mentally prepared myself without knowing,but at the time writing it down was my way to understand what is happening and accept it. After is death I used to write little notes with my feelings, emotions,and thoughts down and I would hide them someplace my dad used to go, stay, visit or took me to.
I guess writing it down makes one realize that something traumatizing did happen and that no matter how much you miss your person the memories will stay and you just have to let the very traumatizing moment go
I too am blogging because I have lost a child. russell was 28 and died in a work-related accident last summer. We started the blog Russellspostcards to help us and his friends get through the agony of losing someone so full of life. We have also done many other positive tributes which are all detailed on our Facebook page also called Russellspostcards and will be described in future blogs. We hope that in our own small way we can help to make death a less taboo subject. it really does help to talk. Talking helps us remember the good times and with the good times come laughs with the tears.
Writing has been my release and my saviour. My darling son died at two weeks old by SIDS. It’s unfathomable that life can be torn away so soon after it is given, but it’s a reality for more families than you think. I keep his memory alive and chase his sunshine at http://chasinghissunshine.wordpress.com
Is there a blog spot for widows?
Hearts on paper…
Thank you so much for so beautifully honoring those of us who use this platform to mourn our children and to process our losses. You did a beautiful job with this, Michelle. Thank you a million times over.
This is very helpful. You are doing a great job and helping others. Excellent!
Thank you for this post. I have found writing to produce healing for different types of grief, especially the loss of my mom a few years ago.
Wow! This is beautiful, I too have experienced such a loss, and have recently turned to blogging to find a way to release the pain I feel in my heart… I am slowly finding my voice. Thank you!!!
As a poet, I have always sought refuge in my writings at times of grief and low moods. Thank you for this post. You have allowed more bloggers express their feelings. I share the grief of all grieving mums and hope that expressing themselves through their blogs will bring succour and greater relief.
My first blog published today has been worded out of grief! Lost a Pet.
Writing through pain is sometimes the best way to express yourself. I wrote a lot of poetry after my brother in law committed suicide, leaving my sister and their one and a half year old daughter. We all think differently in these kinds of traumatic situations and don’t always feel that we can speak to the people around us. It’s then that writing because such a powerful vehicle for expressing your true feelings. Well done to all of these parents for powering through their painful situations!
I just lost my daughter at 2 months old to SIDS just 4 weeks ago. Starting this blog and being able to write has been amazing for helping me heal! tutusoon.wordpress.com
Writing has really helped my journey through losing my son. It’s a way to get out your feelings that you can’t seem to express out loud. Grief is such a hard process and it magnifies after the loss of a child.
My beautiful son, Tommy, was killed in a horrific and tragic school bus accident when he was 9 yrs old. In the immediate years after, I wrote many poems and writings in an effort to release some of the deep, overwhelming grief. Though it has been many years ago, there are specific days each year that I still dedicate my blog to my beautiful boy and my feelings of grief. I applaud each of these ladies for grieving publicly, sharing their experiences and feelings with those who are grieving themselves, or who would like some understanding of what it is like to loose a beloved child. Through reading their words, many will find affirmation in their own grief – which is essential for healing – in knowing they are not alone in the unimaginable experience of loosing a child, and will find a measure of healing in sharing experiences.
I can totally relate. Writing has been my outlet. A year ago i was in total wreck until I wrote all the pains and angst away. One could write the saddest lines when broken.