Loss is a part of life. This year, I’ve lost friends, family, and pets, and some days the sadness permeates everything. Other days, we laugh and smile. As with all things, in time, the balance between sunshine and dark shifts the scale towards sunshine.
Grief is often best when shared, at least during the earliest stages. As a blogger, the challenger is when and where to blog your grief.
The first instinct you may have is to blog your grief and loss across social media channels. This is natural. You want to let your friends know what’s going on. You want their support. You want them to feel your loss.
While sharing your life is healthy, is your blog the best place to share your grief?Depends.
Blaring it out across all the social webs might be a good idea, and your natural tendency, but some losses are best shared with those who care the most about you. Sometimes wide-spread notes of something personal and private can back fire, bringing a never-ending flood of positive, and sometimes negative, responses.
If you turn to your blog to share your grief, and it is a personal site, do so. It’s your private space. Share as you wish.
If you decide to publish on your professional site, one focused on your business, professional services and products, that’s not a good place to expose your grief publicly. Possibly. It is all about context. If you’ve set a precedence for sharing who you are opening with your clients and readers, such sharing is appropriate.
Consider limited your social media network exposure to your loss to those closest to you, not everyone following you, if possible.
I believe there is a division between church and state when it comes to social web publishing. Keep what’s privately, truly personal, personal and private.
This is another self-examination blog exercise, one you may not need today but may in the future. So prepare for that future.
In “Blog Exercises: Share Your Fear” I asked you to blog your fear. In “Blog Exercises: Taking a Risk With What You Blog About” I asked you to step out of your comfort zone and share what is important enough to you to risk losing your audience, often with the result of earning the loyalty of that audience.
In each of these, I challenged you to share your personal feelings, but also talked about preparing yourself in advance for such sharing. The same applies to sharing your grief and loss.
Make a plan today on what you would do if the worse happened. You do not have to write out the post or announcement, but consider how you will handle the event.
Identify which social web channels you trust to share such personal information. Evaluate if you’ve created such a trustworthy space on your site.
If you cannot identify a social channel you trust, that might give you pause. Do you need such a channel? Maybe. Maybe not. It’s something to consider.
Loss can come at any moment. You may wish to blog it immediately or later, when you are ready. Whichever you choose, think through the process now in regards to your blog and social media channels when your mind is calm and your heart is not fractured by pain. In the moment, you will have a plan in place and be able to deal with your public response appropriately.
NOTE: While playing catch up with my goal of one year of blog exercise posts, five days a week, in honor of the 10th Anniversary of WordPress, I will be publishing more than one a day. Thanks.