Rockin’ in the free world?

Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct (Photo credit: Alan Perryman)

I’m new to the blogging game, but I do find writing about M and my subsequent life after his death to be therapeutic. It even crossed my mind that by sharing my thoughts and experiences I  might find some kindred spirits out there in the ether – which is why I recently  submitted a link to my blog to one of the only online widow’s support forums, and one which has given me great comfort since my loss.

It would appear, however, that I was wrong.  Unwittingly, I was in breach of the site’s code of conduct for posting the link – an accusation I accept and can only apologise for. However when I received the following email from the site’s founder, I’ll confess I reached my for dictionary for a definition of the word ‘support’ :
“I have just removed  your post from my website.  I didn’t set up Merrywidow to promote  badly-written blogs by people who don’t even have the courage to use their own name, but, judging by the response you got, I’m not surprised you wanted to  remain anonymous.  Don’t bother trying to post again, as you have been  banned from the site, and next time you want to sully a messageboard with  moronic drivel, try picking one with a readership with a lower IQ.”
I was clearly unaware that when  it comes to writing about the loss of a husband there is a strict code of  conduct that must be upheld, a standard not only of content but of writing which the site’s founder monitors assiduously (presumably to protect the sensibilities of  her  many readers and contributors). For this, we must be grateful. God forbid that  anyone, such as myself, should infringe these boundaries and, by doing so,  express their grief in their own terms.
Still, I shall continue to plough my own furrow – an outcast in widowhood.  My only consolation is that it is what M would have wanted, even if does the site’s founder does not.

21 thoughts on “Rockin’ in the free world?

  1. Good for you, mate.

    And good for the others in similarly dreadful positions, who may some day come across this blog on their travels and find comfort in it (as well as the odd bit of gallows humour)…


  2. What a lot of self-important, patronising vitriol. I spend quite a lot, no, too much of my time on internet forums (fora?). This is the nastiest, most vitriolic thing I have ever seen connected with any of them. And, for what it’s worth, I see nothing in their code of conduct saying ‘no links to personal blogs’. Have you had a look at Mumsnet? They have a whole network of bloggers, people blogging about all everything under the sun. And people are generally allowed to talk about their actual lives, with or without their true identity in bright lights. Keep writing. C.

    • Thank you C. I really appreciate your support and comments. For someone in a fragile state, I confess it knocked me for six. (Even for someone not in a fragile state it’s pretty hard to understand.) XX

  3. Speechless by the Merry Widow’s Response. I’m not surprised it dented you for a while. Keep with it, love, your words will reach out to others who aren’t able to rein in their grief in such a tidy manner. You are amazing.

    • Thank you Abs. Every time I read it, it takes my breath away. Cannot imagine what compelled the woman to launch such an attack. As you say, clearly I’m not reining my grief in appropriately for her. X

  4. Actually, I should clarify. The response you got from the other website is the vitriolic bit, obviously. Your upset is totally understandable. Note to self: proof read before submitting, and don’t multitask. C.

  5. Maybe it is time you expanded your online blog and began a new widows forum? One that is truely inclusive, supportive and open to allowing everyone to express their grief however they choose. I suspect you are
    not the first and will not be the last ‘blogger’ unnecessarily evicted from merrywidows who still need the support an anonymous forum can provide.
    Sending you all my love as always x

  6. I’m not a member of that forum anymore, although it was a great help. On the funny stories section i posted ‘panic at the panto’ it got loads of hits and only one reply. When i looked at others’ funny stories i could see why, ah well. It’s your grief and you own it, i’m up for starting a rebel widow group! x

    • It was a great help to me too, which is why I’m so sad at the way I was treated. I like your thinking about the rebel widow group. I think there are many more like us out there! Keep rockin’. X

  7. Aren’t we all in the same boat? Yes, everyone deals with things differently, but bloody hell, some people can be martyrs can’t they? Perhaps the merry widow person (slightly ironic, I think!) is of the camp that sees us widows as wearing black and constantly snivelling into a tissue, never to find joy in anything again? I lost my husband two years ago on 31 May, and I am constantly telling people I refuse to lose any more of my life to his cancer.
    Well done you xxx

    • Great comment. “I refuse to lose any more of my life to his cancer”. Some people seem to find any other approach unpalatable, but hell, surely there are no rules? Thanks for the comment and the support. Xx

  8. Oh my good god! I am appalled on your behalf.
    I am Vickie – I am very good friends with M’s friend C (and her sister S). Bugger names. Who gives a crap about names! Call me crapbag. We don’t need them!
    I have just been told about your blog today by S.
    First please may I say that whatever the etiquette may be I don’t know it (perhaps I should apply to the Merry Widows?) so i will just say this: I am very sorry for you loss and for your daughter’s and for M’s too. Secondly I will say that your blog is one of the best written things I have read – well, ever really. It is so far from drivel it is practically a jacobs cream cracker. Hang on, I’m confusing drivel with dribble. Anyway – it s fucking brilliant in a horrible heartwrenching way. I thank you for sharing. I want you to write a book so I can buy it and lend it to people. But mostly I want you to not have to write it any more.
    I don’t know how, but I hope you find yourself soon. Be brave. Keep writing.x

    • Hahaha!! That is a great reaction! Actually, since I wrote that post I’ve heard from loads of people within the widow community who have been on the receiving end of Kate Boydell’s vicious tongue. It seems she has quite a reputation for being a ‘professional widow’. No one else is allowed an opinion on the subject it seems. What a sad and strange choice of subject to want to have the monopoly over… X

      • I came across some professional breast cancer patients when I first started blogging. I suppose you get that in all walks of life. I was tempted to join the board and share my blog 😉

      • It is fascinating what adversity brings out in people – some are wonderful and find great strength in each other, others see it as some kind of personal mission to conquer and dominate. Unbelievable that you found this in your battle with breast cancer too. What is wrong with people?! Share the blog! Go on! Share, share! X

  9. Of all the words I have read when searching for answers Tto unanswerable questions – the statement of ‘I refuse to lose any more of my life to his cancer’ is probably the only words I need to remember. They are the words that I am pretty sure my husband would be proud of me to say as it encapsulates his approach to cancer. thanks for the ‘lifequote’.. As for getting expelled !! We need the greatest support when we are struggling to find ways of asking for it or even the bravery to ask for it and a good support network sees through the mistakes we make on the way. THANK LOADS for the title ‘Wife after Death’ and all your posts. I am one of those not brave enough to do such a thing but I am inspired by those who are.

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