Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Something Big Is Coming Your Way. Just Thought I'd Give You A Hint....

You know...it’s funny.  In all the time we’ve spent together...I’ve never really shared with you how the Widow Chick Facebook page and blog came to be.  And now I feel like it’s time to share this story with you because it’s getting ready to take a turn.  One that I hope you’re ready to take with me.

So.  I’ll tell ya.

Once upon a time, there was a young widow who managed to get her head out of the stormy clouds of grief long enough to start working on a book.  Not just any book...a funny book about her journey as a young widow.  Her goal was to give other widows a “friend on a page” and instead of churning out another grief book that said, “It’s okay.  Take a deep breath.  You’ll be successfully through the stages of grief in about 6 months to a year,” she wanted to give readers a hug and say, “You feel like you’re going crazy?  Good news!  You are!  Can I uncork that for you or is it a twist cap?”

Now, this book began with her journey in the hospital and the shock of the death of her husband and took the reader (yes...the ONE reader...and that would be me, the author.  Don’t laugh...we’re very close) through the first year or so of widowhood.  It contained memories, witty little stories, and had many of her family members quaking in their boots, worried that it might actually be published some day.

(Don’t worry, y’all.  It’s still safely tucked away on my hard drive.  Where, chances are, it will probably stay.)

Okay...enough of the 3rd person.  It’s starting to confuse me.

Anyway...back in May of 2010, I started reading about how to get a book published, and one of the main things it said to do was to start blogging.  Truth be told...I don’t know if I’d ever actually read a blog before, and if I had it was mainly a family page that let everyone know what they were up to.  I had no idea if there was a certain way to do it or what.  All I knew was that I had successfully managed to create a free page on Blogspot that would let me write whatever I wanted.

So I did.

Now, I was not in any way naive enough to think that I was or would be the only widow blogger.  There are many widow writers out there, far better than I am who can articulate what we go through on this journey with more pizzazz than I can.  But I was tunnel-visioned enough to just do my own thing.  Honestly...I had no idea anyone would read it other than my mom.

And that made me really worry about my grammar.

The Facebook page came about kind of the same way.  I was literally playing around on Facebook and noticed, “Hey!  I can start a page!  What does this button do?” and just started messing with it.  Once I realized it had actually posted something I thought, “Crap.  Now what?”

And the answer came to me.  Fill the void that I was missing.

It was selfish really.  I was a little familiar with the usual support pages on Facebook, but in a sense...I felt like I’d kind of outgrown them.  I mean, sure.  I could still get on there drunk as a skunk and vent to my heart’s content (hey...that rhymes).  But a lot of the time...no one would respond.  No one would say anything. 

And that sometimes made me feel worse than if I hadn’t said anything at all.

So I thought...what if I created this page that kept things as positive as possible and a few people could get on there, post their blogs and stories, I could post mine, and we could just support each other?

Never, ever did I think that eventually over 800 people would be on that page.

I remember waking up one morning and realizing that 2 people (other than my college roommates) were there.  From that day forward, I made a point to be on the page every day.  To post my thoughts and really read what others had posted.  To get new ideas on how to cope with my own grief from the others who were willing to share.  And to never, ever let someone’s comment or question go unanswered.  If I didn’t know the answer, I would be honest...but everyone would be acknowledged.

That Facebook page turned into a labor of love I never knew was possible.  I think there has been one day, since I started the page, that I haven’t been on it.  And it’s not because I have to.  I just can’t stand letting a day go by, not knowing what everyone is up to.  I’m very nosy by nature, if you haven’t guessed.

And then something changed for me.  Big time.

About mid-way through the summer...I ran into a problem.  I started getting frustrated about the way we seemed to be forced to communicate.  I would see comments people had left on the page at 2 AM and realize...they were up all night, couldn’t sleep, and had no one to talk to.  Others would ask me how to find other widows and resources in their area and, just like when I was first widowed...the sources seemed to be scattered and hard to find.  People started getting worried about privacy on Facebook and if their comments could be read by others who didn’t “get it.” 

Our group started getting so big that, even though we all have the common bond of loss...we seemed to be having a hard time connecting with people who really shared our experience.  The people who didn’t have children had a hard time figuring out who the other people were who didn’t have children and talk to them one-on-one.  The older widows who were embarking on a new phase in their lives couldn’t always connect with the others who were on the same path.  The different types of losses seemed to blend until those who had lost their spouses to cancer or suicide...had a harder time finding each other.

Until now.

In the next few days, I will be telling you the rest of this story.  It’s something that involves you and our entire widow family.  Because that’s what we are at this point.  We’re a family.  We’re together in good times and in bad.  For better, for worse.  We’ve connected and there’s just no changing that.

It’s just time we found each other.


For more blogs and articles from other widow(er) writers, join us at www.theWiddahood.com!  


© Catherine Tidd 2010

11 comments:

  1. mvalsechi716@yahoo.comDecember 14, 2010 at 5:25 PM

    Oh my god, you're writting a book. You are the perfect person to do this, you have helped all of us and brought wonderful people into our lives. I am so excited for you, cant wait to hear the rest of this. Good luck with it all my friend <3

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am smiling...and I mean actually smiling like a Cheshire cat from ear to ear. I am so excited about what is to come next! I am like a child at Christmas waiting for the big surprise! Thanks for the early gift of anticipation. It is nice to have something to look forward to!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm along for the ride.

    ReplyDelete
  4. ...eagerly awaiting the rest of the story!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Count me in, since I found you, I don't so alone

    ReplyDelete
  6. ok I'm ready for the rest

    ReplyDelete
  7. You Go Girl! So Proud of Ya! Bring it :>)...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great post. Sounds like you're doing just fine. Love to help write a guest post someday if you need one on how life does go on and you can be happy again or how I coped, etc. etc. Just holler if you ever need something.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ok, two comments... first off... as a book store owner who reviews VERY criticaly.. any book on grief... your stuff is great! (if you need contacts in the 'publishing' world email me!)

    Second: the following comment in your blog...

    "The older widows who were embarking on a new phase in their lives couldn’t always connect with the others who were on..." brought me to tears.. I relate with this point way too well.

    Third (oops.. I dont count well) we have editors to fix grammer and spelling etc.. which I have problems with also. I refuse,per good advice from some very well known authors, to let that (and my wierd punctuation) stop me from writing.
    thanks for all you are trudging thru and hope you have time to read this wordy post/comment.

    ReplyDelete
  10. my motivation was similar to yours. I really wanted to help other widowed people feel less alone. I was feeling very alone and isolated. I too read about blogging and a year or so later found your blog. I love your posts and can't wait to see what's ahead...oh, btw, Nancy, could you check out my site! See what you think! :)
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you to you all. I'll "see" you soon!

    ReplyDelete