Have I really written 100 entries? This seems almost as incredible as reaching the one year anniversary of the fire. I began posting this blog about six weeks after the fire, but it soon caught up to real time. Friends and family had been e-mailing and wanting to know everything that was going on with me, the kids, especially Jacob, the house, and I couldn’t keep up with it all. Writing a blog to update everyone in one swoop seemed like a good solution. I also realized how little people know about the post-fire process. It’s so overwhelming and seemingly never-ending – the house insurance, the contractor, the rebuild, the health insurance (unless you’re very lucky and suffered no ill effects), the temporary change(s) of household, and the emotional roller coaster this ride can be. There were dozens and dozens of decisions to be made in those first few months. I wished that someone close to me could have held my hand, literally and metaphorically speaking, to lead me through it all.
We’ve all heard how writing or journaling can have therapeutic benefits. It’s certainly helped me to put down in words everything I’ve been going through – the confusion, frustration, sometimes despair, and even a rant or two. More importantly, writing publically has helped me stay connected me to many people just when I’ve needed it most. Through the blog I’ve kept in contact with far-away family, friends, and acquaintances. I hope some people have benefitted through learning about my experiences or those of my son and his difficulties with depression and then his post-traumatic stress. As is often the case when going through some kind of catastrophe, people with similar experiences feel a bond and have shared their own stories. They say “misery loves company” but I lean more towards “troubles shared, troubles halved.” This blog has certainly helped me alleviate some of the stress of the past year.
Now that the first year anniversary of the fire has come and gone and my son continues to make progress in managing his depression, the original raison d’etre of writing the blog has passed. When do I decide to stop blogging? Or do I? Should I try to publish it as, say, an e-book in the hopes of reaching more people? Perhaps I could start a new blog on an entirely different topic? My adventures in travel? My passion for soccer? My love of Judaism? The trials and tribulations of a single empty-nester? Blogging has revived my desire to write that years of graduate school had crushed. No deadlines, no grades, just write. After nearly a year of writing, I’ve gotten the habit and don’t want to stop. Not yet.