This morning I received this comment:
"why the hell would you post a picture of your dead baby online? thats just horrible."
I wrote a post in response to this comment, but later deleted it. I think I sounded defensive, having written it while I was upset. Later, after I received a beautiful supportive comment, I realised that my post gave the impression I was asking everyone to stop by and make me feel better. That made me feel very uncomfortable.
All day I have been thinking about this comment, and I have been tempted to press 'delete' on all my blogs. In the 2 1/2 years I have been blogging, no one has ever left me an unkind comment. But it seems my charmed existence is over. I have been telling myself that lots of people get bad comments. It had to happen to me one day. It really is very common, so why worry about it? Aren't I strong enough to handle it? Do I have to have everyone agree and be nice to me, in order for me to continue blogging? And the answer to that is no. I have handled adverse comments from people in other areas of my life. It really isn't a reason for deleting my blogs. I can take people being critical of me but when my children are involved... that is different.
It is easy not to dwell on that part of the blogosphere that extends past our Catholic or mothering community. I can pretend all my readers are like-minded people. But that's not true at all. Anyone can read this blog. Until this morning anyone could comment anonymously. Anyone can share my family and I won't even know about it... unless they leave a comment. That's the nature of blogging. I knew this when I created my first blog. But I adopted a positive attitude. Maybe I closed my eyes to reality.
This comment can't hurt Thomas. He is no longer here. But I have other children. Their lives and photos fill this blog. They are out there in the not-always-very-nice blogosphere, where anyone can read their stories. And all of sudden, I don't like that idea very much at all.
I understand why many bloggers post anonymously, why they have online names, and don't post photos of their families. Perhaps I should have done this too. But it is too late now.
So I have been thinking and this is what I've come up with so far... It is my job as a mother to protect my children, and how can I do that when I have no idea where my children's stories are ending up? I haven't yet pressed 'delete' because everyone will wonder where I have gone. I just wanted to explain in case one day you try to log in to Sue Elvis Writes and my other blogs, and discover they have all disappeared.
And if they do disappear, I couldn't leave without thanking all my readers and commenters, and all the beautiful friends I have made online, who have encouraged and supported me over the past couple of years. It truly is a wonderful experience blogging with you.
What's the next step? I hope I can make the right decision.