Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Weird? Well, Life is Weird.


When it comes to An Inch of Gray, several good friends have asked, although not using these exact words, if it feels weird “getting popular” on the back of my dead son. I, too, have thought about that, but my answer is, um, NO.

Not at all.

There are several reasons I don't find it weird:

1. With my healthy (and perhaps delusional) sense of self-esteem, I believe that if any of my amazing readers and I had run into each other, say, at the Dollar Store or in Target before the accident happened-- blog or no blog-- we would have hit it off.

The circumstances through which many of us were brought together are not ideal (!) but the community we’ve formed is real and significant and important. I also know that while one year ago I wasn’t looking for "popularity,” true friendships have been born out of this tragedy, even among people so far flung we won’t get to meet until, well, you know.

2. Jack would love it! He was proud of me and proud of my writing, even though he didn’t think I was very funny, and he didn’t want me to write anything personal or embarrassing about him on the blog. As a preschooler, he also thought I should run for president someday. He changed his mind about that.

Remember how my sister’s eulogy of Jack said one of the things she learned from him was to “Share Others’ Joy?” Well, while I’m not experiencing gobs of joy right now, it's clear I do gain something very significant from writing this blog, interacting with readers, and seeing something special at work here. I think Jack would be very happy about that as well as getting to see the list of readers in the sidebar grow.

Through writing, I’m able to process important feelings, which helps keep me from having too many meltdowns like the one I had at McDonalds on Saturday. Picture a crying woman waiting for her chicken sandwich. She takes a step forward, at which time her Large Diet Coke flies through the air, spews over the feet and legs of 5-6 customers and crashes to the floor. Follow this with frantic mopping with one measly napkin, copious amounts of weeping, and finally an ungraceful stagger to the car. What kid wouldn't want his/her mom to have a positive outlet to keep the wailing at bay?

3. I felt called to grow through writing and blogging long before the accident, but I wasn’t sure what form that would take. Last August, I shared with Jack at the kitchen table that, out of fear, I had turned down the chance to sell my painted furniture in a friend's store on a permanent basis. I was pretty bummed. I lamented that the woman who had accepted the job had surpassed me in blog readers in 2 short weeks when I’d been blogging for 4 years! Not really sharing others’ joy? I know.

“Aww, Mom, why are you telling me this? That’s really kind of depressing,” he said. I told him I didn’t want him to let fear of failure, or even fear of success, make his decisions for him. I wanted him to learn from my (many) mistakes. So one year ago, I was hoping to accept new challenges and grow through writing almost exclusively about chalk paint, dumpster diving, and decorating, and that would have been lovely. Oh so lovely. I was convinced that was the next step.

But that is not the direction life, or this blog, has headed.

So now, instead of letting fear make my decisions about my writing, or worrying that there’s something odd or unseemly about the way it has spread, I embrace it with a grateful heart.

Grateful that this blog was already in place because I can’t fathom having had the energy or gumption to start one after the accident, and grateful that I had already witnessed first-hand how love and support could flow through the blog world.

Grateful that through Twitter and Facebook and blogs, news of our loss and Jack's impact has spread far beyond our little town.

Grateful for friends, new and old, met and unmet, praying for us and rooting for us as a family, even though it might be painful to do at times.

Grateful that so many people have been willing to open themselves up to what they read here and ponder the hard questions in life and delight in the mysteries too.

Grateful and humbled that somehow through a mom's simple words on a screen, our story-- our most unwelcome, shitty, yet ultimately hopeful story-- could somehow help someone else, even just a little bit, even while it is helping us.

Grateful.

Thank you!

THANK YOU for your willingness to be in this with us.

88 comments:

Pam@OurAdventuresInHomeImprovement said...

Well, I sure am GRATEFUL to be able to read your blog and am so glad you continue to share your stories.

God Bless,
Pam

Anne said...

Anna,
I am thankful that you have your blog as a outlet.I think it is good to share your feelings good or bad.Reading your blog has forever changed my life.I don't know you.And may never meet you.But I pray and think of you all often.My daughter is Jacks age.She will be starting her 7th grade year tomorrow.And the forecast is rainy and stormy.I will be hugging her a little tighter tomorrow.Please,please know you will all be forever in our minds,hearts and prayers FOREVER.
xx
Anne

Anonymous said...

Always thinking and praying for you all. I thought of you a LOT as my own little guy was in the hospital these past nine days - I don't know why, but driving back and forth every day, I'd feel overwhelmed and wonder how I could face a possible lifetime of dealing with my son's challenges. And then I thought of you, facing a lifetime of dealing WITHOUT your son. (not that I'm comparing, but I'm trying to say you give me strength - I just am not saying it very well. : ) )

One day at a time....

Love and hugs,
Lisa G. in CT

LauraC said...

What you wrote is powerful, and, I believe, only possible through the work of the Holy Spirit. When God chooses to use us, it is a blessing, even though it is (often) through circumstances we would never choose.

Anonymous said...

Anna,

None of us know what tomorrow will bring. For those readers who have not suffered a tragedy, your posts remind them how precious every minute is to them.

For those of us, who have had an unbearable loss, your writing eloquently captures the depth and breadth of our feelings and thoughts. It is certainly one day at a time, sometimes one moment at a time, but many of us remain hopeful and faithful.

Thank you for sharing.

Tara said...

Your blog has helped me through my own grief of losing my big brother in a tragic accident just a year ago. Thank you for being here.

Gena said...

...promise to keep you and your family close in my heart and in my prayers....hugs...

Mediterrangirl said...

I am so grateful for your blog Anna. It's helped me open my heart more. I think of your family and your grace often. Your writing and your story have helped me process my own grief of not being able to have a second child and to be grateful for our son, every single day. Thank you for sharing your life and for sharing Jack. Love and hugs.

mgh said...

Definitely in this with you. Been thinking of you so many times a day. Even more than usual as I mark the days of this month... and watch the stores stock the school supplies. So many extra prayers for you as such a difficult anniversary approaches. I'm glad that you are finding gratitude even in the midst of spilled coke.
Love you!

Kara said...

Anna, I sometimes find myself telling people about my friend, Anna, and then feel silly when I explain that I only know you through the blogosphere. Your writing is amazing, but what you share has had such an impact on me in so many different facets of my life. I feel like I have been able to better understand what my friends who have suffered a profound loss need, and I feel that I have been able to remember to be grateful for every minute with my kids. You make me laugh and cry with your authenticity. Hugs to you!

Amy Cunningham said...

Love everything you said. Keep.writing.

spedhead said...

No Anna thank YOU. Your family's tragedy and your beautiful heart wrenching yet still funny writing has taught me so much. Honestly life is not the same. And I know if I met you at target we would hit it off!

SouthLakesMom said...

Once again, Anna, you've written something that a) is meaningful to us, b) is powerful in your sharing, and c) Jack would be very proud of. Although I was privileged to actually KNOW Jack (he was the 1st grader who always had another question, not necessarily related to what I had just read in library), I have really come to know who Jack was through your love of him, expressed in this blog. Thank you for sharing him. Don't ever stop.

Ellen aka Ellie said...

You are welcome.

Meredith Self said...

What a beautiful and brave picture of you guys. And ouchie, too.

I am super grateful for your real blog...and for you!

oxo

Wanderlust said...

What a beautiful, generous heart you have. That's why people keep coming back.

Megan said...

I feel the need to add that you are a very talented writer and that is what has made you popular. Yes, tragedy may have brought people here, but your words keep them. It is a gift to be able to share your thoughts and ideas through writing. A gift to captivate an audience and to touch them. You have that gift. I know that you have touched and changed so many people's lives. People who really really needed it. And even though I have not suffered through loss like you have, you remind me what is important, what to value and how important it is to be present.

Robin Gaphni said...

Thank you Anna. I've only recently discovered your blog and I so appreciate your honesty. Like you, I've lost a son and I know how writing can help. I am sure that Jack is very proud of you.

Keep on writing. We are all grateful for your words.

The Empress said...

Funny how the same twists and turns that put you on so many blogging maps mimic the twists and turns that led me here.

I came over b/c of an oil rub stain I had heard you posted on, from another blogger. That was two weeks before you lost Jack.

I stayed because I felt like I knew you instantly.

I never thought that I'd be permanently pledged to you, because on the day I heard about Jack on your blog, I promised the wind and GOD above, I'd be here for you every day since.

xo

Anonymous said...

"Picture a crying woman waiting for her chicken sandwich. She takes a step forward, at which time her Large Diet Coke flies through the air, spews over the feet and legs of 5-6 customers and crashes to the floor. Follow this with frantic mopping with one measly napkin, copious amounts of weeping, and finally an ungraceful stagger to the car."

Oh, no, Anna! I'm so sorry!

"Grateful and humbled that somehow through a mom's simple words on a screen, our story-- our most unwelcome, shitty, yet ultimately hopeful story-- could somehow help someone else, even just a little bit, even while it is helping us."

More than a little. Because you are a woman of GRACE. In every possible sense of the word.

Cynthia said...

You are an amazing, amazing woman, and this picture pains my heart so much. At the same time it is so beautiful to see your genuine smiles and endless love! xo

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

I am constantly amazed and inspired by your courage to share your story - the good and the bad - uncensored and straight from the heart. I am honored to be here. You have touched my heart in ways you will never know. For that, I will be forever grateful!

claire plante said...

Anna,

Thank you! Your writing and grace have really enabled me to feel so much more gratitude in every area of my life. Your writing is truly a gift to so many.

Love and prayers always - I think of you all the time.

Claire

Renee said...

No...thank YOU for allowing us to be in this with you. What a great outlet and a great way to minister to those going through similarly tragic life circumstances. I'm honestly not sure how you do it, but I'm so glad you do.
Thank you.
Love, hugs, and prayers,
~Renee

Laura said...

YOU ~ are a rare gift.
Your sweet Rare Bird must be so very, very proud.
xoxo

Stimey said...

I am so glad you have this outlet and support. And I know your words help others.

Mrs4444 said...

I am so glad I had you in my reader (before and now), as you are a beautiful person and a wonderful writer. It's been a while since I was here, and while it breaks my heart to see a photo of your family without Jack in it, I am happy that your hearts have healed enough to allow it. Loved this post.

Anonymous said...

I just love you so much. And I totally WISH it were possible to run into you at Target. But I am afar, geographically. Near HERE, though, and in my heart, and thinking of you and your family all the time. It's a wonderful thing that An Inch of Gray is your outlet. I'm grateful for it too.

love,
jbhat

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I usually read and run, but today I'm stopping because I want you to know that your writing touches my soul. A rare bird sighted makes me think of Jack, and you and the whole family. I had never read your blog prior to September, but I am drawn here again and again like a magnet.
I agree with a previous commenter: your writing is full of grace. Your struggles with God and with faith are Real and raw and honest, and I believe that He honors that. When I am here, I am convinced that Good triumphs over Evil.

Anonymous said...

So, so grateful to you, Anna ... thank you for letting us know your family. I was one of the people who came after Jack's death, and I spend an entire weekend reading every single previous post. What I saw was a funny, loving, smart, bonded family ... and of course, I read with a catch in my throat, because I knew what would happen. But as the year has unfolded, your blog and your words and story have made it so abundantly clear that love is stronger than death, faith is stronger than death, and Jack's spirit is out there, touching, whispering, healing.

I've never been religious and had a bit of a crisis of faith as a teen. Now, I'm in my twenties, single, live in New York, and curse a lot. But I've started going to church (my mom, then my grandma, passed away in 2010-11, so although it is completely different, I've known recent grief) and I donated to Samaritan's Purse in Jack's memory and honor. And whenever I get their mailings, of course, I immediately think of Jack when I see the return address. Jack is helping people like me assess, think about what's really important, and do their best to give back.

Thoughts and prayers always—and when I "grow up" I truly want to be a mom and person just like you.

xo,

A New York single, semi-cynical but getting better,

Anna

DeeBee said...

Your blog is the most honest account of grief have ever encountered. In the face of loss so great there are still moments of normalcy and moments of laughter, and then there are those moments of collapse in the face of it all. I especially appreciate our willingness to express the anger that comes with this kind of extreme grief. something very good had come out of something very bad. And you made that happen.

Lisa said...

Love you all so so very much

Kelly said...

Thank you for writing. Im so glad I found your blog, and I love that you dumpster dive. Me too :)

Jessica said...

Thank you! I've always felt kind of guilty for reading - like I was intruding on your private grief and with each post the high number of readers must be yet another reminder of how your life isn't "normal" anymore. It's nice to know you welcome everyone.

Anonymous said...

A year ago I started reading your blog -- it's the first blog I ever read and it's the only one I subscribe to. I'm so glad you write, Anna.

Anonymous said...

Your blog has helped me in so many ways- thank you!!

Headless Mom said...

I think that you've put it perfectly. You're a writer-Jack was, and IS proud of what you do.

Although, I could use a furniture tutorial or two. ;-)

Princess Kate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Princess Kate said...

Please know that your "simple words on a screen" are touching my life in such a profound way. Jack is a part of my life now. I come here every day to check on you AND check myself. I love you and your family and I hope it is some small comfort to know that JACK is changing lives every day ALL OVER THE WORLD. Love you all and am always praying for peace and understanding.

Arnebya said...

And I am grateful for YOU. I am grateful that you have this outlet, grateful that you continue to share here, allow us to grieve with you, share your life, your family's continuing struggle, as well as the smiles and good times that are sure to be amid the sadness and in the future. Thank you for being so open and honest and true. Thank you for showing Jack not to be afraid. Thank you for learning from that fear and pushing through it. I read your words -- your always eloquent, heartfelt words -- and I come away strengthened. Thank you.

Theresa said...

Well we are grateful and blessed to have you - and although this blog is not want you had anticipated it would be at this time last year - we are thankful for you sharing your fondest memories of your so dawg gone handsome and precious son...Feel the love all around the world. We all are sending it!!! xoxo

Kristina P. said...

It is very fascinating how bloggers become "popular" after an accident. I think there is a real community of love and support, but I also think there is a curiosity aspect of it.

There is a very popular blogger who got very popular because of an accident. Her income and livelihood from blogging is because of this horrible tragedy. It's funny how things work.

I always loved your blog before. :)

Anonymous said...

This post reminds me of the book, "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Vaskomp,i.e. being grateful to God even during the hard (unimaginable) parts of life.You are so real and I thank you for that. Praying for you.

Stacy in Birmingham Alabama

Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants said...

I continue to learn through you. My mind can't even grasp how I started reading about your loss and now I am experiencing my own. We all know how quickly things can change but until they do it can't be comprehended. I wish I articulate (at this point even feel anything) like you do. I was grateful for you in the beginning and even more so now. Just this morning I remembered your words about leaning into the grief that is was the most important job of your life. Thank you for sharing your heart!

EatPlayLove said...

Anna I was drawn to your personality and vibrance years ago and there's no way I could stop being a part of your journey now. Self expression is so important to us, I believe as mothers. I just touched on that in my 5th anniversary blog post.

I must admit, when I see a piece of furniture by the curb, I THINK OF YOU. Every single time. I envision you sitting next to me and saying, think we should throw that in the back of the car?

Nindi said...

I follow several blogs but yours is the only one I check daily even more then once a day. I am so exited when I see a new post. I look forward to reading every word. I love your honesty your authenticity and your emotion. I have shared your blog with so many friends. You are so inspiring.

Anonymous said...

@Laura, aka, Ms. Smartie Pants

Of course, I didn't know your dear husband, but I'd like to think he'd be proud of you for continuing in the face of loss, or as you and Anna would say, "leaning" into the grief. I can't even imagine your loss, and I'm very sorry.

If it is not presumptious, since I don't know your religious beliefs, may God bless you, and hold your heart safely and lovingly within His own heart.

Skye Harmony said...

I am glad for you that you already had your blog and it gave you an outlet to write. I'm thankful you are still here sharing your thoughts and keeping Jack's memory alive. I know writing is really putting yourself out there and that can be scary. Thank you for continuing to share.

p.s. I am local and if I ever see you having a bad day like that McD's incident I will come to your rescue with napkins and a hug!

Anonymous said...

Anna, i'm grateful for your words for sure. i have made many changes and often remind myself to "not sweat the small stuff" when it comes to interacting with my kids (it doesn't always work, but i do draw upon your aura when I need the reminder). so, for that, thank you!
Jack's accident has had another effect on the way I make decisions and it's a conflict: I sometimes feel very torn between 2 strong messages of "carpe diem!" and "OMG, something terrible could happen that I wouldn't even imagine!" I've wondered if this is something you have written about and how you reconcile these feelings?
I love your writing and hope to continue learning from you!!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

So, so proud to call you my friend. Blog or no blog. But thank god for blogs since that's how we met!

Anonymous said...

Dear, sometimes on anniversaries the anticipation is worse than the actual day. Do something meaningful to you and yours. Take good care of you.

Melissa Manning said...

I've never posted a comment here before, but I am a regular reader of your blog and definitely one of the people out there (Chicago) who pray for you and wish the best for your family. You have all handled an unthinkable tragedy with grace and honesty, and that is inspiring. I thank you for sharing both your grief and your fabulous memories of Jack.

Gina said...

@Kristina P. ....if you are speaking of Jennifer Perillo....these are two very different situations and two very different people. And I am not so much sure if it curiosity as much as relating because we all have experienced loss on some level in our lives.

A Speckled Trout said...

Anne Lamott tells the story of doing a header off a ski lift. The lift has to be stopped and she is hurt and embarrassed and is helped by ski patrol to their cabin until help arrives to take her down the mountain. She's sitting there feeling like a fool and wanting to cry when up through the floorboards she can smell pine. That, she says, is grace.

Sad as it may be, I love the honesty in which you write of this journey you're on.

It, too, smells like grace.

Sharon said...

Hi Anna,
I liked your comment about how you felt that if you were to run into one of your blog readers that you would "hit it off." I've often thought that even though we have never met (and lives miles apart) that if we lived in the same town, we would be friends. You are my kind of girl, smart, funny, family oriented and an excellent mother (who is also exceptionally beautiful inside and out). As long as you keep writing, we will be here. <3 u!

IrishRN07 said...

I can't tell you how much your blog has meant to me. I'm so grateful that you have been brave enough to share your story --and Jack's story. What you write touches people so deeply because it's true and genuine. It's honest and real. To borrow Glennon's word, it's brutiful. We need more of that in this world. We need to learn that beauty can bloom out of tragedy, that in some strange way, the pain of it all makes the beauty more heartfelt. I hope you write a book. (hint, hint, nudge, nudge.)

OSMA said...

Many times things will happen where I think, "Oh can't wait to tell Anna about this," like we just had lemonade together last Tuesday. Reading all the comments above, I know I am not alone in this. Your warm, unassuming, stripped-down-to-natural-grain posts draw the same in return. This place, An Inch of Gray, feels like a family checking in. You have allowed us to know and love Jack, know and love your family and carry you all around with us real time. Real life, real sorrow, real love.

I am grateful for being changed by you.

xoxox

sherilee said...

I've been reading your blog since the accident, when a friend of a friend of a friend posted a link. Since I had not read previously, I had no idea that you "got popular" after such a horrible loss... but your writing has been real and true, and your processing of grief has been courageous. I am grateful you've been willing to share such an intimate and horrifying loss with the world, and I join the many people who have said they are changed by knowing you, on whatever level, through this blog.

Mama Mary said...

Your writing is so eloquent, Anna. It is so real and raw and readily accessible for anyone who reads it. I too, like the previous commenter, I started reading after the accident. At first I was drawn to your story, but then I was drawn to you, your family, Jack and your light despite the darkness, all through your words. Your words help others just as much as they help you. I'm still keeping faith that we will meet in person some day! : )

Lady Jennie said...

I love you Anna and would definitely have read your blog before Jack. I just hadn't met you yet. My friend Genieve said "strangers are just best friends you haven't met yet."

Anyway, just want to say again that I love you - spilled diet coke & snot and all! :-)

Cindy S said...

Anna,

I head down to the Outer Banks tomorrow for our annual trip from MA with my husband and two boys. I first commented on your blog last year shortly after we had both been evacuated from our OBX homes due to Hurricane Irene. I've read you since then (we actually spoke on the phone once when I was trying to work the Bieber angle via friend at People).

Anyway, I want you to know that I've been thinking of you so much before this trip. And what life was like for you this time last year, how an hurricane on our vacation homes seemed a big deal, and then how perspective would soon change so dramatically. I want to thank you for sharing your words and I want you to know that you have forever changed not just the way I will appreciate each moment with my boys in the OBX this year but how I continue to treasure each moment with them in the REAL life world as well.

Thank you,
Cindy

Jen G. said...

Thank you so much for sharing your heart. I only wish we could meet someday, this side of heaven. Hugs to you...
Jen G.

PS--Am just curious--how did the Stella & Dot fundraiser end up? I have two pieces of jewelry now that will forever remind me of your sweet Jack :)

Katie @ Cayenne Paper said...

I am:
1. grateful to have stumbled across your blog
2. grateful to have thought about my life's priorities as a mother for the first time while reading through tears
3. grateful to answer the question, "Who's Jack?" about the blue bow magnet on my van- from VA all the way to Louisiana
3. grateful for not being afraid as God called me to promote Operation Christmas Child at our church last year in Jack's name only to collect over 400 shoe boxes (our highest number yet)
4. grateful for aspiring to collect even MORE this year
5. grateful to see blue ribbons to give me hope on a blah day
6. grateful that I can call you my friend, even if it's through blog land

Thank you, thank you, thank you, odd bird. We love you! ;)

Katie

anymommy said...

Beautiful, Anna. I loved you from afar when Jack was still with you and I was very grateful (for you and for myself) that you had this space to keep writing and talking and struggling after he was gone.

Anonymous said...

This is a great post Anna.

Sure, it would have been easier to write only about painted furniture - and you still should if and when you want to - you have great ideas! That makes me want to go back and look at some of the older posts. Great stuff.

But those posts cannot help so many people in such a meaningful way, as what you have accomplished over this past year by having the courage to share your grief and your love.

In September I will be volunteering for one of the grief related organizations you mentioned in your posts this year. I am excited. Thank you Anna!

Heather said...

I stumbled across your blog today, from Young House Love. I have spent all day (at work!) reading and feeling your words. I appreciate the rawness and realness with which you express your feelings and current "state of being." I have never experienced a loss such as yours but Jack's story has helped remind me, as it should remind ALL OF US, that life is too short to take for granted and that small problems are just that ... small. I also admire your ability to rely on your faith to help you through this tragedy. It really is only through God that things like this can be endured. I will keep you and your family in my prayers as you continue to learn to live with this loss. Because that's what we all have to do, learn to live.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

If there was anyone else God could have chosen to help others I would be very surprised by that. It's not about being popular, you would never have wanted that but being popular is exactly what we needed!
I am so glad to have you in my blogging world.

tracy@sellabitmum said...

Well I am so grateful that I've met you. xoxo

Miss Mustard Seed said...

You're such an amazing writer and that's why your blog is what it is. It has been so amazing watching your bravery as you put your grief and healing out on the WWW in such an open and honest way.

Recovering Church Lady said...

Anna, I am so glad that the blog and our cyber-friendship was already in place before the awfulness also. I will never forget the first day I saw messages of condolence and I frantically searched for information on what had happened to your beautiful family. You had my undivided attention in prayers for many days and my prayers for you continue to this day.
You are walking through this year in amazing grace and truth. Blessings.

kate said...

Thank you for writing. I think of you and your family, especially Jack, quite often. I hug my kids a little tighter every night and tell myself never to take them for granted, and have been doing so since I started reading your words almost a year ago. There are many people who are grateful for your strength, please know that. Xoxo.
Kate

Kristin said...

The word weird has never once entered my mind while reading this blog. Your honest and wise writing is so clearly an act of love and bravery. Anyone who can't see that needs to open their eyes.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Anna.

I've thought about it too. Namely, that I'm benefitting from your writing, your blog, as a result of this tragedy. I can't say I don't feel guilty.

You had a brilliant blog before - I've read all of it - but the truth remains that I only discovered it through Marinka's 'Motherhood in NYC', when she blogged about Jack's terrible accident. I do feel so sorry that I had to discover you under such unhappy circumstances.

I can't imagine your pain, nor your family's, but as always, I'm wishing you peace and feel happy that this outlet can help you clear your thoughts and receive the support you richly deserve.

Best wishes from the UK.

xx

Mariah said...

I'm sorry but that whole thing about having a popular blog because Jack is dead is horse sh*t. Please pardon my french. I'm sorry about that. But this blog is right and good. And I referred my friend here after she lost her son in an ATV accident last Easter because I couldn't console her in a way that she would understand. Thank you so much for sharing EVERYTHING. You have helped me so much to grow in my own faith. Thank you a million times for sharing your story, and Jack's.

Mexmom said...

I am grateful I found your blog, not in the best circunstances I know, but still love the fact that you write it.

Lisa said...

Thank YOU for writing. Your writing inspires me to be honest and graceful during the difficulties I face. Thank you for continuing to share your story with us.

Courtney {a thoughtful place} said...

I can't tell you how amazing it's been to read what is in your heart as I have faced this last year without my brother. The Crap-iversary of losing him is next Monday. Ughhh. So happy that you have found such a supportive community amidst such a tragedy. Hugs to you.

soveryvienna said...

Blogging can certainly be cathartic, and lead to unexpected places. I think of you often.

Anonymous said...

Anna-You are popular because you are sharing your beautiful heart and mind. I have not lost a child, rather I am watching my child live with illness...no concrete diagnosis. I came to your blog to get a sense of how someone else is able to cope with a situation that seems so...unfair. You've made me, and so many others, feel less alone and more hopeful. You are blessed with a talent and you are letting it shine in the face of tragedy.

Anonymous said...

I, too, think we would hit it off if ever we were to run into each other! Thinking of you....

j.sterling said...

anna... you know we don't know each other in real life, but i have to tell you that it was really fucking weird to look at that picture on this post and not see four people. i know that might be a horrible thing to say, but i can bet you know what i mean- and i'm sure you felt the same way. i think it's because those pics look like so many you've posted before-
thank you for continuing to share. all of your posts touch me in some way. whether they're breaking my heart, making me smile or what- i'm grateful for you, your words, your heart, your ability to share during this time in your life.

love and hugs to you an your family.

Meg said...

Always grateful for your beautiful writing, but sorry beyond all measure for all you have endured.

Deb said...

Anna, it's true that Jack's tragic passing may have brought additional hits to your blog, but I think it is important for you to know that while tragedy may attract visitors, it does not keep readers. Writers do that. Your writing is honest, unpretentious, wrenching, and unfathomably funny in the face of terrible grief. Also, you write well. Your posts have a beginning, middle and end--which means they have a point, and are not just random ramblings about the day. There is also a give and take here that keeps your readers invested in coming back. On many days you inspire, carrying your readers through your own loss. But on other days, you make yourself vulnerable and give your readers the privilege of carrying you.

I say all this because I feel it's important that you can see your gifts as your own, as something you had before you lost Jack. I think you do know this (as you say, even Jack was proud of you), but it never hurts to hear it from someone else! :)

Katie said...

You truly are on an amazing journey -- Thank you for being willing to share your story!

Rachael said...

I have been reading for awhile, and you are amazing. You have such grace and you have been so honest. Sending you loves of love.

Kyra B said...

"Getting popular on the back fo your dead son?" NO! You are trying to do your absolute best to carry on and make sense of that which does NOT make sense. I have been reading your blog, crying, and wanting to give you such a big hug. You are a mom, a wife, an "open book" to so many. You are doing YOUR absolute best...And truth be told, you are bringing Jack into the lives of so many people who never had the privilege to meet him. Your words resonate with me in so many ways; as I approach September 11th, the date when I lost my very best friend and cousin, I still can not reconcile the fact that bright, funny, warm and witty people are taken in a heartbeat. You, Anna, are doing what you need to do for you, for your family and for Jack. Carry on and know that you are respected and admired by SO many people who will never meet you...But for whom you and your family will forever be in our hearts. Warmly and with a big hug (albeit via cyberspace). Kyra

ViolinMama said...

New reader here, and thank you. Thank YOU so very much. Praying for you all, wishing for the right words - but feeling so much love!

Donna Carlton said...

Anna,

I read your blog ALL the time and actually find myself a little sad when you don't post for a few days (you have spoiled us) I find you to be such an incredible inspiration that I am ABSOLUTELY shocked that some sick-minded person would be mean to you!! Obviously someone is ill and challenged. Please do not the ugliness from the poster to creep into the beautiful person you are!!!

I have never met you, but I feel like you are friend (weird I know!!) Its just that you are such an awesome person and your spirit so uplifting I wish I did know you!!!

PLEASE PLEASE do not let that loser deter you in any way. Your writing is inspirational and you hep to lift the spirit of me and I'm sure many many many others.

God Bless you. Stay strong. All my love.