Many visitors to Team Ewan have noticed that the ability to comment has been disabled, and many have wondered why.
When I made the decision to disable comments, I knew that this would likely lose followers on the blog and on the Team Ewan page on Facebook, and so far, that is exactly what I've seen happen. But that was a risk I was more than willing to take. So why take the risk of committing blogging suicide?
My reasons are simple. This space has become for me an online journal -- a place to process through my grief and all that accompanies it. A space such as this only has value if it is really and truly honest -- if it does not pretend -- and if I'm concerned about what someone might say in response to my emotional state at a particular time, the honesty of what I write is quite likely going to be compromised. And honestly, I have enough to worry about without having to deal with someone else's opinion on how I am handling my grief.
I could just as easily do this privately, but have continued to do this publicly for a couple of reasons. I have found it tremendously helpful to find other people who are going through or who have walked similar paths of loss -- who can relate to the ups and downs, the unpredictable and intense feelings, the coping mechanisms that may appear strange to others. It is difficult to find people who are willing to share openly about such things. Because I have been helped by the honesty of others, I want to extend this to anyone walking a path of loss who might find my own process helpful. I don't expect that everyone will, but speaking as someone who has found consolation in knowing the truth of what others experienced, I cannot but help to desire that for anyone else who finds themselves in similar circumstances.
Secondly, if this space is functioning as a journal, it does not make sense for me to allow anyone who passes by the opportunity to leave their mark on the pages of some very tender and vulnerable thoughts and emotions. I don't know many people who open the deepest, darkest parts of themselves open for comment to the general public. My purpose for keeping a journal has always been to process through my experiences, thoughts, and emotions -- not necessarily to arrive at fixes or remedies for them. The process can be very cathartic, and oftentimes it can help bring some semblance of order and sense where, if left warring in my head, there is none. I am willing to share openly, but I must also protect my heart.
Another reason I disabled comments is that frankly, it wasn't helping me. I realize it may sound incredibly self-centered to write such a thing, but if you've grieved the loss of someone you love dearly, perhaps you can understand. For a time at least (and there's not an expiration date on this that I am aware of), the bereaved need time to recover and heal -- to protect their hearts in order to be able to find life in their days again. Though the loss of a loved one can never be "fixed" or "repaired", there is a time in which many find it helpful to focus on getting what they need to move on in life and to learn to live with the reality of the loss. Consider someone who has just had a major surgery. There is the assumption that after an appropriate period of time resting, recovering, and rehabilitating, they will rejoin life in whatever capacity they are able. That's where I'm at right now: resting, recovering, rehabilitating. I cannot and will not be subject to anyone else's timeline or expectation of what I should be thinking or feeling (or what I should not be thinking or feeling) -- I can't worry about if someone thinks I'm taking too long or if I should have gotten past a certain "stage" by now. I lost my son, and it may take awhile before that reality doesn't make me fall into tears several times a day every day. I need to do what is best for me right now.
Finally, this space ultimately absolutely cannot be about stats or traffic or gaining more readers. This space has become about my journey through the grieving process. As the one writing and managing this space, it's my prerogative if I want the blog to function this way. One day, it may become something else altogether, but for now I want to continue to blog in a way that ensures that the honesty and integrity of the content and the process is preserved. I realize this may mean I lose readers. And that's okay if they want to leave -- I have to protect myself, but I also find I have to keep writing. It's helping not just me, but others who have lost as well.
A couple of other things:
I have no idea yet if this is a permanent move or a temporary one -- knowing how things are likely to change again, I cannot commit to a permanent or temporary "no commenting" state.
It is not my desire to cut off all communication. If you have found something helpful, want to tell me your story, or ask me a question, please feel free to contact me.