Yesterday, I learned that I was selected as one of BlogHer’s Voices of the Year 2011.
I am extremely flattered and honestly, kind of awed to be in a group of VOTY 2011 writers that includes some of my bloggy idols, like Alice Bradley and Kate Inglis. (Sometimes I think the fact that bloggers are real writers – just like folks who write books, or magazine pieces – gets lost in the conversation around the medium in which we publish.)
As honored as I am to have been chosen, the recognition is obviously bittersweet, given that the blog post for which I was selected was one I wrote in the past year about Henry’s death, and specifically, about what it was like for me as a mother to face what happened to my beloved child’s physical body after his death.
However, many mothers who have also lost children have gotten in touch with me since I wrote that particular blog post, thanking me for opening up about this painful topic because before reading it, they had felt like no one understood what it’s like to think about these terrible things in the aftermath of the worst tragedy with which life can present a parent. One thing that helps just a little when your child dies is knowing you’re not alone, and that the feelings and thoughts you are having don’t mean you’re losing your mind. That’s what I’ve found anyway. So I find some comfort in the fact that what I wrote about my own hurt might give someone else going through the same thing some validation for a specific piece of this unholy grief.
Thank you to every single one of you who has continued to hold me and Jon and J,E, C and G up with your love, kindness and support through the past 14 months. And thank you so much to the BlogHer VOTY 2011 selection committee who honored me, and also my son’s memory with this really special recognition.
And I that y’all continue to remember Henry, and who we was, and who he wanted to be when he grew up -even though his physical personhood no longer exists. You can do that by continuing to publicly support my ongoing advocacy for a full criminal investigation into the terrible circumstances of Henry’s death, and my activism to change the way law enforcement, prosecutors and Medical Examiners too often ignore and discriminate against drug overdose victims and their families.
You can also remember Henry by making a gift of any size – whether that’s $5 or $500 – to Henry’s Fund, the non-profit organization our family has established to provide direct financial aid for teenagers struggling with drug addiction.
When any of us works to create healthy, positive change in our own families and communities, Henry lives.