Why Bother Keeping a Blog?

I lost my dad two years ago to lung cancer. I held his hand as his blood pressure and heart rate dropped. I was there when he took his last breath.

I still wake up some nights reliving that moment – my heart pumping wildly and a scream half-formed on my lips.

But that’s a tale for another blog post, I think.

My dad had never been a big talker. When he said something, you knew it had to be important. He also didn’t show his emotions often.

My sister, dad, mom and me

Left to right: My sister, dad, mom and me

Although my mother seems to hate all things technology, my dad loved to explore its potential. He had an older model computer with internet capability. He would spend hours playing around with it, despite my mother giving him a death stare every time the dreaded computer was mentioned by him or anyone else in our family.

It wasn’t long after he’d passed away that my mother got rid of the computer. In fact, I type the majority of my blog posts using my dad’s old monitor.

Since my father wasn’t much of a talker, and he certainly wasn’t what you’d describe as ‘touchy feely’, I often wish he would have kept some sort of journal. Since he enjoyed technology, it would have been wonderful to discover he’d kept a blog much like this one or some other sort of digital diary.

Of course, a hand-written diary would have worked just fine as well.

However, I can picture my father sitting in the glow of his beloved computer, typing away while my mother slept in the room across the hall. I can picture him staring at the screen I’m looking at right now, trying to figure out how to phrase his next sentence, much clearer than I could ever imagine him scrawling his thoughts on a piece of paper.

It would have been wonderful to discover such a journal. I would have treasured it always. Whenever I found myself missing my father, I would always have that journal to read. I imagine it would be like having him with me again, if only for a few minutes.

I often wonder what my father thought.

Was he proud of me? What did he dream about? What sorts of thoughts did he have that he didn’t share with anyone else?

Left to right: sister, dad, mom and me

Left to right: sister, dad, mom and me

There are still so many things I’d like to ask him; to tell him. But he’s gone now, even if the questions still remain.

So if you’re reading this and have children, perhaps give some thought to keeping a personal blog. I sincerely think it’s worth it. I’m sure your children will treasure it like I would, if my father had kept one of his own.

And don’t waste a second. Soak up every moment you can with your loved ones before they’re gone.

Note: I love you dad. And even though I know you probably can’t hear me, I miss you dearly.

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22 Comments

  1. I was given a journal on my thirteenth birthday and have been keeping one ever since. I have blogged some of my adult life, writing way more than I probably should, but I still keep those written journals on my book shelf. I guess I have filled about a half dozen of them, but I have lost at least four (which embarrasses me — what if someone READS them??). I hope no one reads them while I am still alive, but I would not mind them reading them after I am gone.

    Sometimes I look back through them and think, man, I was really going through something back then and it worked out, so maybe today will work out, too.

  2. I have one grandchild, a grandson – now seven – whom I’ve seen twice when he was a few weeks old. The reason why I don’t see him, despite living 45 minutes drive away, is that my daughter and I haven’t met and spoken to each other for 12 years. I keep thinking I should be writing a journal so he knows who I was after all possibility of meeting me is gone. But I can’t help wondering if he’ll be so prejudiced against me that my writing will mean nothing to him. And can I keep from rationalising the ‘split’ without either accusing or defending either me or his mother. Life: complicated ain’t it? And the journal is stil virginal.

    • That sounds like a hard situation.

      I’d say go for it. If you decide you don’t want anyone to read it, you can either delete it (throw it away) or bury it so no one can find it. If you decide you do want someone to read it, you’ll have it ready to go.

      Just my opinion though. Thanks so much for your comment and for sharing your story.

  3. Why keep a blog? Because memory is the second thing to go. It’s good to document experiences when they’re fresh. I have various caches of writing, some fiction, some journaling, some social media. My children aren’t aware of any of them now, but I’ve left a trail of breadcrumbs for them to follow once I’m gone. I hope they enjoy the discoveries.
    For those who can, reach past the silent barriers. it’s worth the effort and it’s better than living with feelings of loss and regret.
    Excellent post!
    [post script] Trouble getting this to post? I’m missing a hurdle, I guess.

  4. I have so many blogs floating around the web, and a personal journal app for myself to read back on. I’m no where near having kids but a good thing about the digital world is that I know my blog(s) will always float around for my kids to have a read eventually. Thanks for the read!

  5. Oh my gosh, I am crying. I know you dont believe in heaven but even though you dont, there is nothing wrong with talking to your dad, I talk to my daughter every night when I pray. And im sure your dad is proud of you, from what i have read from you, you sound like a great husband, father, friend, and person in general, so whats not to be proud of.

  6. So sorry for your loss. I can really relate with “Was he proud of me? What did he dream about? What sorts of thoughts did he have that he didn’t share with anyone else?” as my own Dad was a quiet one and didn’t share his feelings openly with others. I have tons of photos (you saw a few on my Father’s Day post), home movies, and I even wear his flannel pajamas, not to mention I’m currently back living in my parent’s home with constant reminders of him everywhere, but I often wish I had something of his thoughts, such as a journal. So I totally agree with what you say to people with children and leaving some sort of personal blog for them. I’ve kept my own journals for years and have kept a separate one especially written for my 22 year old daughter since I got pregnant.

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