Many people have told me over the past 4 years that I should turn the blogs I wrote when Jane was ill and my first year as a widow in to a book. People have said it was helpful to them, informative. They said it made being widowed less of a mystery and made them feel more confident about approaching someone they knew was recently widowed. There have been emails and messages from partners of people with brain tumours, both in the comment section on this blog, as well as in emails I have received.
I find it extremely humbling that the blog is in any way helpful to people. The blog has been extremely helpful to me in many ways. Initially it was part of my normal blogging. Then when Jane became more ill it became a way to inform people without having to spend all my time on the phone or emailing people individually. When the end was near, it became a way of dealing with my fears and frustrations. Afterwards, it was my crutch; my only way at times to pour out my most painful, raw emotions right at the moment I was feeling them. More often than not I would break out in tears and run to the computer to start typing. None of the blogs I wrote then (or any of the ones I have written since) have been edited other than for spelling and typos. I have always written them in one sitting without going back to read them. Often they started about one thing and ended up being about something completely different.
I have read many books written by people who have lost someone or gone through a traumatic experience. These books always seem so well written, so planned out, so organised. The thing people tell me is so powerful about the blogs is that it is so raw, straight from the heart. But when I read them (which I never do), I can not imagine people would find them anything other than slightly tedious and confusing. After all, they are about someone they don’t know, whose life they have never interacted with. It might work as a blog but I can not see it as a book.
And yet, with so many people telling me it might help others…. I have started to think maybe I should do something with the blog. After all, in a way the book has already been written. It just needs tidying up. Which is the bit I am rubbish at. I write from the heart with no filter. I am simply not able (or willing?) to re-write parts so that they are in a better order or so that they are more concise. Is this what editors do? Where does one find one? How much editing should be done? Is there something that should be added or removed from the text? It is about 570 pages long so something will have to be sacrificed. Does it need small bits of clarifying text in between the blogs?
There might be someone out there who would benefit from knowing they are not the only one who lost patience with their partner when they were unable to swallow that medication that was so vital to keep them going; that they are not the only one who has shown up at work smelling of booze because last night someone offered to ‘babysit’ their partner so they could just go out with friends and forget all about it for a few precious hours. I’d hate to think that person would not be able to find this blog and feel better, even if for only a few minutes.
I have no delusions of grandeur about this blog. It is not the best thing ever written. But if it helps one person to feel better, isn’t that what I am becoming a nurse for? Isn’t that part of my nursing responsibility?
So, if you are a writer/editor/proof reader and you think you can work with me on this project (read: I give you the text and you make it in to a book), then get in touch. Or tell someone to get in touch with me.
By the way, I forgot another vital function of this blog. When I met the new Mrs through mutual friends 3 years ago, she had already read my blog (we live in a small town). She knew more about me than I knew about her. She said that reading the blog made her less scared of getting involved with a widow because she understood what I had gone through before getting involved with me. It made the widow thing a part of me, without making it all that I was, if that makes sense.
I quite like the idea that the raw story of loss is what has played an important part in finding happiness. Jane would have liked that a lot.