After a life changing experience, people express their feelings and emotions in a variety of ways. For Brenda, writing became an outlet for her emotions about the loss of her husband at just 24-years-old. However, Brenda’s writing flourished into something beyond a blog filled with thoughts. Now three year’s later, Brenda is an award-winning writer and is working to develop her new identity even further.
I continued blogging the day after my husband Kevin died. I was numb, in a state of inner panic, and shaken by what a world without him meant for me, a 24-year-old widow. Since that day three years ago I have moved on from a blog that contained our joint married world to a blog that captures my daily reflections of recreating my life as a single soul journey.
Some days I believed that writing kept me alive. I was writing out emotions that I was unable to verbalize aloud. Over time my blog writing morphed from day to day mutterings to stories of others’ lost dreams, the discussions amongst the grieving, and dreams capturing hope for my future.
My writing and outreach through social media allowed me to connect with a grieving community and led to my first writing award for a freelance article I wrote about my journey through U.S. health care.
The accolades and promotion in the grief community have continued and this past August I was a workshop speaker on the topic of “Blogging and Grief” at Camp Widow, a conference for widows. I am currently finishing my first book, a memoir titled “Keepin’ it Kevin” which details my relationship with my husband and the love and loss that I experienced. I plan to have it completed by the end of this year and am seeking a publisher to share my story.
Instead of pushing away from a life that I did not want, I work every day to accept that this second life can be, and already is, flourishing with love and success. I cannot change my situation or my circumstance, but I can move forward in such a way that embraces others in their grieving process as I continue to work through my own.
I am proud of the woman who is emerging from the painful loss. At times I worry that Kevin would not know this person but I have come to acknowledge that today I am the person that was underneath the mask of self uncertainty that I wore before. Kevin believed and encouraged the sharing of our story, and I am doing that in a way that not only benefits my own healing, but encourages the forward motion of other’s.
I love my ability to reach out to new people in a way that allows them to share their grief in an open and honest way. It is through these connections that I have sought deeper healing in my own grief through therapy, friendship, and writing. As I struggle to accept that my story is worth sharing, I battle against the demons in my head that tell me no one wants to keep hearing the sad tales of life. I keep writing them though, because every time I work through more of the sad I see the woman who is embracing her life fully and realistically.
Brenda Boitson is a freelance writer and blogger whose topics include travel, events, and businesses in central Pennsylvania. Most recently, however, her writing has shifted in focus to the loss of her husband in October 2008 to a rare form of cancer. Widowed at just 24, Brenda is now an advocate for sarcoma cancer, and is working to change how society discusses grief and accepts those grieving at an early age. She is an award winning Yahoo! contributor and writes for Local Nation by Wyndham in addition to her blog. She is currently working on completing her memoir detailing how she and her late husband met, fell in love, battled immigration, and then Angiosarcoma.
To find out more about Brenda, visit http://www.crazywidow.info.