M C Beaton, do you know who she is? No? She is a fantastic writer and among my favourite stories are her Hamish McBeth series and Agatha Raisin series.She also writes under a number of pseudonyms.
Her Blog is called Marion. Her husband has recently passed away. Through her blog, she is reaching out for support and using it as a cathartic process to help her deal with his death. By sharing her grief and sense of displacement she is also helping others travelling a similar path. When a person of note allows their frailty and vulnerability to be exposed, it normalises responses. We recognise we are not alone and become aware that suffering is transitory as is life itself.
When we grieve it embarrasses others. Oh yes, people are fine in the immediate aftermath but then they want to move on and they want you to move on. They are embarrassed, they no longer know how to respond to a person in pain. We fail to understand how deep the wound is. We also forget that you never stop grieving the loss of a loved one you bury the grief and adapt to the changes. Death and grieving are taboo subjects in this so-called enlightened time.
What Marion is achieving with her blog is commendable, she is letting others know it is OK to grieve, to not feel right about the way things are, to accept help when you are unable to cope with life changing events. For Marion, it is a win-win situation. Her self-worth is validated by her fans who are supporting her, assisting her with her healing and by sharing she is reaching out those in a similar situation.
Her blog this week hit a chord with me on several levels. My Dad passed away in January 2015, I am still grieving, not outwardly but inwardly. There is not a day that goes by when I do not think about Dad and miss him. I don’t talk about him much because its 20 months and I should have moved on, not be maudlin. Christmas is coming to be followed by my birthday, the anniversary of Dad’s passing and my parents wedding anniversary all within the space of three days. It will be hard. But I put on my party face and bury the hurt. I cry in private, there are the little things that trigger a memory; a smell, a song, a desire to talk once more, to hold his hand and tell him I love him. I am crying now as I type these words.
Also, I like Marion am not a fan of Christmas. For me, Christmas is a time for children and mine are grown up and my grandchildren are thousands of kilometers away. I found her words more eloquent than any I can craft and I will close with her comment on Christmas;
“I am not a fan of Christmas. It is a disease of the expectations with people spending money they can’t afford to impress relatives they don’t even like. I don’t mind the religious bit and I enjoy carols but all the commercialism offends me. I wonder how many divorces there are in January when the credit card bills come in. It particularly hits the hardest at people of low self-worth who buy popularity or get blackmailed into parting with cash by rapacious relatives. Bah! Humbug!” M C Beaton November 2016 https://www.facebook.com/notes/m-c-beaton/marion-here-christmas/1532621506764482
Thank you Marion, and may you find some peace and comfort over the coming festive season and new year, but whatever you do keep writing. Your blogging friend Linda.