Introducing: Wish You Were There

WIth this post, I’m beginning an experiment with a subcategory of this blog that’s more personal than my usual posts.

I know.

How can you get even more personal?

I’m a gonna try. And I’m going to house these entries not on the homepage of Going Down the Road but under a tab called “Wish You Were There.” They won’t show up in any RSS feeds or on my list of recent posts, either.

They’ll be under the radar, not because I’m trying to be all secretive, but to spare those of you who don’t want to see personal stuff amidst travel stuff. Plus, I like organization.

What’s with the Title?

You know that “Going Down the Road Feeling Grand” is a small tweak on the traditional blues song, “Going Down the Road Feeling Bad.” Check out the Woodie Guthrie version if you don’t know it. “Wish You Were There” is my small tweak on the Pink Floyd song (obvs.).

These posts are about missing my deceased family members as I travel the country and have so many experiences they would each have wanted to hear about.

Why Now?

A few months ago, a friend I’d met on the road asked, delicately, if my first husband had died—if that were the loss I skirt around while writing here.  Oops, no, I didn’t mean to give that impression. I talked with him on the phone yesterday afternoon.  

Then a friend who’s been with me through some of my worst times sent me a link to Anderson Cooper’s new podcast about grief, and so far it’s spot-on for me.  Which is kind of funny seeing as how I’ve read Buddhists galore on loss, but some guy from CNN (that’s all I knew about him before I started listening) is speaking exactly what I’m feeling.

Both friends got me thinking about writing about grief, which I’ve thought lots about already. I have a manuscript outline in draft (doesn’t everyone), but writing a book is hard. Blogging turns out to be easy.

What’s This About, Again?

You guys know the common wisdom that says: you rush through a life filled to the brim, busy busy, and then, as soon as you slow down, your head and heart are laid bare.  Maybe you experienced loss previously, but now there’s time and space for that loss to expand and be seen. 

And on the road, man have I been missing my family, especially the ones who died recently, my mom and my sister. So many experiences I write about make me want to mention them, but I refrain so that my blogging can be more travel and less navel-gazing.

In these “Wish You Were There” posts, I’ll be writing about the people who’ve died, whom I miss, whom I wish I could write home to instead of writing this blog. (Which I love writing! But, telling my family would be awesome, too.)

Important Fine Print

One caveat to start me off: I know other people have lost more loved ones, and still others in more tragic ways, loved ones who were closer to them. People have been left with less family; they’ve overcome hardship that makes mine look like a day in the park (my life is a day in the park).  But, everyone experiences grief, and this is mine.

That photo up top is my aunt Carolyn and her sister, my mom. They were really close and really happy as sisters. My sister and I were not close or happy, for the most part. But that’s a story for Wish You Were There. (See how I’m getting into this?)

If you’re interested, I’ll figure out a way to let you know that these posts are up. If you’re not, this is the last you’ll see of this category (if you’re even seeing it now; I’m still figuring out the behind-the-curtain work for this). You’re welcome to join me on this experiment, though.

8 thoughts to “Introducing: Wish You Were There”

  1. I love this! Grief is a crazy wild journey that is not for the faint of heart. I often wonder how you are doing, your thoughts about your family, etc. I am here for you always!

  2. It’s funny seeing this after thinking about Kim a bit over Xmas with that pug stocking being out and also the Wibble ornament on the tree. If I, a person who didn’t really know her and who pissed her off royally with my bad opinions, was thinking of her then obviously you are too! I have no idea how to find these posts as it sounds like they will be well hidden, but I’ll try!

    1. I’d totally forgotten I’d sent you pug paraphernalia and that you two knew each other through the message boards. I’m curious how you pissed her off, although you probably didn’t have to try hard. Those boards were something we shared and enjoyed together and I’d forgotten that!

    1. I haven’t figured one out yet but I’ll let you know when I do. Good to have you on board, Shannon.

  3. I’ll be watching for these, if I remember. And grief isn’t just for people. It can be for a way of life gone – like new love or our children when they were little. Great topic!

    1. Thanks, Renee! If you’d like to write a guest post, I’m always excited about additional stories here.