Say My Name (Alternate Title: Blogging Ethics)

You may have noticed that my blog is anonymous. I haven’t posted any personal pictures nor used the names of myself or my family members.

I’ve noticed that yours isn’t anonymous. You post pictures of yourself, your baby, your living children. You post pictures of urns and gravesites. You share your name, your child(ren)’s name(s). Some of you beautiful readers are grieving other family members or older children. You, also, post personal pictures and names. Details that outline exactly who you are in this complicated world.

When I decided to start a blog (having never blogged before), I wanted it to be somewhat of a “public journal.” I didn’t want to have to edit my story for other people. I didn’t want friends and family to read my personal thoughts and judge me (but somehow felt ok if strangers read my personal thoughts and judged me??). It’s impossible to tell my story without involving others–my husband and my daughters are part of my story. My midwife is part of my story. My friends and coworkers are part of my story. How can I respect others’ privacy while blogging about them? I truly do not wish to hurt anyone’s feelings and I know if certain people found my blog, feelings would be hurt.

As it is, if a friend or family member ran across my blog they could probably guess it was written by me. I have included actualities in my blog–the date of my delivery, my profession and place of employment, my general geographical location, the fact that I have a 4 year old daughter born in May, just to name a few.

In some ways, staying anonymous is probably “safe.” On the other hand, it would be amazing to share more. If you are a “loss mama”, you know the healing affects of saying/writing/using your “angel baby’s” “lost baby’s” “dead baby’s” name. We write it in the sand at the beach. Set up memorial foundations in his name. We hang stockings and sign Christmas cards with her name.  We display his name in our home, along with pictures, blankets, and urns. Some moms get commemorative jewelry with their baby’s name or initials on it. We name stars after our sweet ones and make donations in our baby’s honor. We give the name of our baby when ordering a coffee (I haven’t tried this yet but definitely plan to!). Whatever chance we get, we speak that beautiful name.

And no,  Juliet, I don’t believe “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Romeo and Sarah does not convey the story. Names are important. My husband and I had a difficult time coming up with names for both our daughters, we wanted their names to be perfect, to have meaning. And they are. Both our daughters have perfectly gorgeous names that I would love to share with all of you.

 

As a blogger, what challenges have you experienced with judgement from friends and family?

How have you been able to respect others’ privacy without compromising your own story?

What about respect for your baby/loved one who has passed?

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15 thoughts on “Say My Name (Alternate Title: Blogging Ethics)”

  1. I began my blogging and knew I wanted to be open about all aspects of my journey. I never once thought about not saying her name on here, or my name, or family members names etc. I think it’s a personal preference. This is MY journey. I will say and do as I need to in order to heal my heart. That being said, I’m not going to go saying things about family members that are “super” secrets or something like that. My family all read my blog, my friends all read my blog, strangers who follow my IG read, people I probably don’t know read my blog and I’m ok with that. It’s a personal thing, if you don’t feel comfortable sharing such information that’s fine. You convey your feelings very well without using her name. That being said, when (if) you are ready to share your beautiful girls name/photo/details of her story, we are here to listen. I love reading of other peoples children, and I would love to be able to write your sweet girls name somewhere if the opportunity presented itself.
    Seeing Kenley’s name written down is SO healing to me. I haven’t yet given her name to the coffee shop for my cup…I don’t know why. I can give other babies names…just not my girls. It’s too painful for me. Hopefully some day it won’t be, and I can hear her name said out loud by someone in an innocent way.

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  2. As a blogger, what challenges have you experienced with judgement from friends and family?
    I have gotten nothing but support. My viewpoint has helped people realize that what they have said that has offended/hurt my feelings, especially pertaining to my infertility struggle. Some family members don’t read it, especially after losing Asher, because it makes them so sad.

    How have you been able to respect others’ privacy without compromising your own story?
    I never use anyone’s name.

    What about respect for your baby/loved one who has passed?
    After losing Asher, I had to share him. I couldn’t note share photos of my sweet boy. I felt compelled to let everyone see him and know of his existence.

    My blog is fairly anonymous. I never use my husband names and I don’t think I have ever mentioned mine. Prior to losing Asher, I never shared a photo of anything but my dog. No one’s faces. I broke that rule a few times sharing pics of my Husband and I with him. But my name is still fairly hidden. I did that more for my husband and his profession. But I share it on my personal Facebook so people know it’s mine, but if someone stumbled across it online they wouldn’t know much about who wrote it. 🙂

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  3. I started my blog when we were struggling with infertility. I have never said my name or my husband’s mostly because of his profession. I never use names of my friends or family. I also never showed photos with anyone’s faces. But when we lost Asher, I had to share him. I had talked about my pregnancy on my blog and I wanted everyone to see him. He was here if only for a short while. Now I’ve started to share photos of Hubby and I with Asher. But I still keep names hidden. 😊

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  4. I think the decisions to say your baby’s name, to give pictures, to provide any windows into your non-virtual life, are completely personal. For me, I’ve reposted my blog on Facebook and have encouraged friends to share it, in hopes it will reach somebody who is experiencing the same heartbreak.

    With that being said, though, I have censored certain aspects of this whole process. For example, I haven’t written a blog about how I’ve unfollowed 1/3 of my friends on Facebook, because they:
    a) Are pregnant
    b) Have a baby and/or post baby pictures all the time
    c) Complain about being parents
    d) Complain about stupid things that don’t matter
    e) Haven’t asked me once how I’m doing, or checked in with me

    That’s something I think about a lot, but don’t want to offend anybody by being…well, by being honest. So, by being anonymous, you can be completely honest with your thoughts.

    This blog is for you, and for other people with similar heartbreak; even without knowing who you are, I’ve found solace in your words, and validation. You’re a fantastic writer, anonymous or not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Melody’s mama, thank you for your kind words. I TOTALLY have done the exact same thing with Facebook. Isn’t social media brutal? All those adorable g-d pregnancy selfies. And the complaints, oh the complaints of sleepless nights (us “loss mamas” have sleepless nights too but it’s not because our babies cry, it’s because our babies DON’T cry). They complain about spit up and sore nipples. They complain about endless loads of laundry and inexhaustible crying. Bring it on. All of it. I’ll take the crying because I never heard my baby cry. She never nursed at my breast, give me sore nipples. They don’t have a clue how lucky they are, do they? Hugs, hugs, hugs to you 💗

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  5. My blog started out a secret. I shared our first names, but never our pictures. I told 3 people about it, but 3 turned to 7 to 16 to 25 to everyone I’ve ever met from my past and present, except for people from work… Gawd, if they ever find my blog!!! I honestly worry about it if I’m ever involved in a future job search too (you know I let the F-bombs fly), but some tell me it won’t be a problem, because most of what I write comes from a place of love… who knows? I’m like Randi – 100% honest and unfiltered although I’d never share some horrible family secret. I’m also less hard on people who “try hard” but often fail, as I think they’d be sensitive to criticism. Otherwise, I’m speaking my mind. Usually not a problem because my rule is that anything I say on my blog I have said (or would say) to the person’s face, which I will say a lot, so it leaves much on the table for me to write about! I’ve not encountered too many problems with my approach… I’ve lost some friends over my blog (being too negative, angry, whatever…), but I’ve gained many, many more. Whatever you do, it has to be the right decision for you, and it’s okay if it requires further contemplation. I agree with those who say you’re a great writer regardless and we’ll speak/write your daughter’s name if/when you’re ready!

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  6. I rarely mention my sons names more because at the time of writing it hurt too much. The irony being before we lost them we were adamant they would also have their individuality.

    Some of my family know but don’t read. It is hard for them to read some of my words. My friends know of it but don’t read too unless they point fellow club members my way.

    For me telling their stories (even the ones they didn’t get to live) keeps their memory alive not only in my heart but that of the readers of my site.

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  7. My writing on child-loss started as a journal with absolutely no filter. Later, when I started blogging, I had the fears of how people will read & judge me. There are things that people have told that I never wanted to hear. I’ve confronted a few of them. If I write about those, they’ll know it’s them. Aarghhh… I shouldn’t be worrying much about those right? The worst has already happened to me! That’s when I stopped worrying. I have some of those posts that’s been lying in my drafts for months now. Some have already seen the light of the day. Others will too. That’s the kind of change you see in yourself over a time. It took some time for me to prioritize myself & my Ayden & write what I want to write.
    Initially, I just shared the blog with just 6 of my closest friends. Then eventually it increased. Some of them whom I never wanted to share with, found the blog through other channels, and now I’m not worried about what they’ll think after reading. Once, my husband’s cousin read what I had written & called me & apologized for something that she thought was written about her. It was indeed about her!
    The only thing that I’m still not comfortable with is sharing Ayden’s pictures. I’ve posted his hands, legs, a photoframe, etc. but never had the guts post of a full pic of him. I don’t know – it’s just the way I feel at this point. I might choose to post later maybe, if I change my mind.
    You write beautifully. It’s your comfort, your words, your mind. Choose what’s comfortable for you, momma. Hugs ❤

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  8. I share too much information about myself and my family, of that I am certain. I can’t seem to keep it quiet. I know there is probably a safety issue there, but I do it nonetheless. I do try to keep my location private, but I’m sure someone could figure it out. As for family and friends, I remember once writing on one of my blogs not realizing anyone of my friends read it. My friend read it and was angry! (I was complaining about her daughter, didn’t use the daughter’s name, but t he friend could tell it was her! oops!) I had no idea she was reading my blog….

    Liked by 1 person

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