Dear wonderful WordPress Family,
Katie and I came to the blog in February 2019. This time three years ago we were hesitantly throwing about the idea of starting a blog. We thought about posts we wanted to write, the themes we wanted to use.
Katie and I have had many great ideas over the years. When we were kids, we started off building forts from pillows, making numerous funny videos, singing together, laughing together. Over time, building forts became clearing our house out to put it up for rent. Making funny videos for Katie’s Facebook became being part of online conferences, in-person conferences, pop-up stalls and more. Yet our proudest achievement is what we have created with The Grief Reality; our beautiful community.
Our intention from starting the blog was only to write and lighten the load.
I have always been a writer. From tall stories about dark-haired heroines meeting elves and hiding from evil people underground, my pen would create illustrious landscapes where I could roam and romp with all of my imaginary friends. I wrote stories about Sam and Sarah, magical twins who had to find their way home, or Esmeralda, a girl who was on a journey to finding her mum.
I never wrote with the intention of being read, I wrote only to escape.
Three years ago today, it only piqued my interest a little bit that someone on this site could in fact read what I would say. I resigned myself to the promise that it would only be a few people; probably one who would be our uncle after he stumbled his way to our blog. The importance was not that I would be read, it was that I would be able to share my pain.
Three years ago today, people started to expect Katie and I to stop dominating the conversations with our loss. It was never said out loud for us to stop, but for some people, Mum’s name was becoming a favourite book that was sitting on a shelf, starting to collect dust. Yet for us, her presence was still warm like her favourite spot on the sofa after she got up to go to bed. We wanted to curl up in that haven, and feel the warmth from her life forever.
So we began to write.
We poured our lives and souls into the depths of the internet; typing away like we were in our own personal Marvel montage. I remember getting excited that 27 people had viewed our words. Those 27 people will never know the inspiration that they invoked on me, as I leapt forward, encouraged to share my story, coping mechanisms and love for mum on my journey with grief.
In lockdown in 2020, we opened our blog up to you. The gorgeous people who cradled our pain, validated our emotions, and held our virtual hand as we opened up about the life we were living.
You were our secret friend in our back pocket, giving us confidence as we went through a world without mum, university, a pandemic, moving away from home. It felt right that the people who shaped our blog should have a hand in shaping it back.
So we opened As Told By You. Since being a child, I had always written about heroes and heroines fighting their internal demons, yet here I was; confronted with almost 80 heroes who inspired me with their stories.
Gently, you emailed in, messaged or commented, trusting us with your stories. I have had countless conversations with you all about the beauty of your poetry, the intimacy of your words or the tears that prick my eyes when I read the depths of your love. Between us all, we have created an expanse of knowledge, comfort and advice that I know I would have adored when I first started writing as part of this blog.
When we started The Grief Reality, we promised ourselves to help the version of Katie and Evee who felt alone, when they needed love the most. We wrote list upon list of post ideas, colour coded from advice, information or personal experience.
I didn’t realise that in doing this, we, and you, would help the current versions of Katie and Evee so deeply. You have given us courage, and we cannot thank you enough for that.
So here is to a new year of As Told By You. If you get the chance, please re-read the beautiful posts already uploaded. They are so comforting to us, and I hope you will find comfort in them too.
If you feel inspired to share your words, your story and your loved one, please feel free to email us ( firstname.lastname@example.org ), comment below, or message us on our social media: Twitter: TheGriefReality, Instagram: TheGriefReality.
It really is an honour to be a part of this community, and to hear all of your stories. You are all heroes to us.
You are never alone,
Katie & Evee