{image is the cover of Brooke’s book, Marya the Brave, covered in pink paper and decorated with flowers and butterflies because, well, yeah.}

Yesterday morning, I began writing a post here. I’d written 500 words or so (about the length of this whole post) when I inexplicably hit an as yet unidentified button on my keyboard that somehow managed to annihilate everything I’d written and take me to the WordPress homepage. I assume that it goes without saying that I’d yet to save a single word.

Thing is, I was writing about anger. About how hard it is, in the wake of Noelle’s passing, before which it became so desperately important to me to leave nothing unsaid to, well, leave anything unsaid. About how hard it is not to express my anger (slash frustration slash hurt slash disappointment slash just plain ugly words burning the back of my throat like acid) regarding some things that happened in the wake of her death. Not to sound too woo, but the mass destruction of the post felt like a sign. As did what happened next.

We went to Brooke’s school for a book presentation. The kids had worked for months on their stories, submitting to endless revisions in which they were prompted to add more colorful language, employ metaphor and simile and imagery and well, they generally worked their tails off to create some pretty incredible stuff. I’m hoping that Brooke will be game for sharing her story here, but that will be for another day.

In addition to reading their own books, two of the kids also presented on Crash, a book that the two of them had read together in class, and, in so doing, told us about some of the perspective-taking exercises in which they’d engaged to learn more about the characters. One of the activities was creating a Facebook page for Crash and then, using profiles for the other characters, interacting with him on his page.

I thought the exercise was pure genius. The kids were doing far more than exploring their reading, they were learning how to conduct themselves online.

In one of Crash’s status updates, he said something pretty nasty about Jane, a girl in their school. The kids had responded to him (in character) to tell him that you really shouldn’t post things like that. They told us that they’d learned that when you post anything anywhere, you always have to remember that it will be online forever.

As I sat there listening to the presentation, my thought was that I was so grateful that our kids’ teachers are tackling these topics. That they’re finding creative ways to incorporate them into traditional subjects, and that they’re beginning the process of arming our kids, who can be so damn vulnerable online, with information about how to be responsible online citizens.

But there was more. The kids were telling me something. They were reminding me – remember, whatever you post is there forever.

I say these things all the time. I talk about them ad nauseam in the context of over sharing when it comes to our kids and their right to online self-determination.

But I wasn’t thinking. I was feeling.

Once I started thinking, here’s what I decided ….

There are so very many things that should, indeed, never be left unsaid. Gratitude, appreciation, assurance, understanding, compassion, empathy, LOVE.

Find a way to express them all. Leave it all out there. Every last bit.

But the anger?

Well, sometimes it’s best left, at least for the moment, in the back of your throat where, while it may burn for a while, unlike on the Internet, it won’t last forever.

8 thoughts on “unsaid

  1. “Well, sometimes it’s best left, at least for the moment, in the back of your throat where, while it may burn for a while, unlike on the Internet, it won’t last forever.”

    Yes, the anger will leave and the love will always be there. I’m sorry, you’re in so much pain.

    Love you,

  2. I see the hand of God. I thank Him for the gift of YOU. This lesson on spewing anger, hurt, etc could not have come at a more appropriate time for me. You matter…. Your voice is heard, assimilated, and spread. What starts as your advocasy of our children, becomes healing salve for others in pain. Thank You

  3. writing your thoughts down be an happy or angry has been old school for me, it helps me get it out and own it, but it usually has been done on a blank piece of paper that I would fold up and put in my bible or journal, then when the ‘burning’ part would subside I would reread and when I felt relieved I would rip it up and throw it away! I personally think its’ great to put your thoughts to words on paper, not matter how angry but this age of computers and social media is scary, like you said once it is out there you can’t take it back! Thank you for sharing your world, blessings to you and yours

  4. A wise person once told me that when you have something good to say (gratitude, love, compliments) put it in writing, so the person you’re talking to can savor them. When you have something not too good (correction, concern, anger, etc) say them calmly, face to face, so the person has a place to hear your tone of voice and respond, and when the conversation is over everything may be resolved.

  5. As usual, you have such a talent for putting into words what we all feel. I am so sorry for your pain. I know it’s going to take a while to breathe again without it. You are an amazing example to your girls how we still can function, do what we need to do and do it without having a meltdown when we just want to crawl under the covers and tune out the world, in hopes of making the pain go away.

  6. Oh, Jess…thank you.
    I have been so torn in my emotions lately – scared, angry, hurt, frustrated…I am a person that needs to take days, sometimes weeks to process my thoughts and feelings before sharing them with anyone.
    I have sat on typed words for almost two weeks now, and I haven’t shared them with anyone. This…YOU…have made me reevaluate what I am thinking and feeling. I have sorted and organized my words and my heart.
    In doing so, I am able to realize that the love, gratitude, joy, and peace is SO much greater than all of those words that came out of a brief, five hour period.
    So, I thank you again. For helping to put things in perspective. For reminding me of what is truly important. For being you.

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