Did you know I have to have a filter set up on my Instagram to keep certain hurtful words and comments from my viewing? That a friend has my login info so that she may sort through my DMs to hopefully keep me from seeing the more negative ones? And still sometimes, I stumble upon them before she does.
Since the day Sloan died I have been both lifted up with love and support, and judged harshly, for the act of sharing. I think it’s sometimes easy for others not to consider the effect of their words on this platform. There is a human being behind the Instagram handle you followed. I have feelings. The availability of my posts, words, photos, and writings does not equal your entitlement. My transparency does not give anyone the right. I am not required to inform or teach, it is not my responsibility to raise awareness or provide anyone with the intimate details of my sons death. I CHOOSE to do so, without owing anything to anyone.
What people don’t seem to realize is the act of sharing, of being transparent about my loss, is a feat. I am human, and I am still vulnerable to my own trauma. I am still deeply affected by what has happened in my own story, and I am not immune to the painful judgements of others. Every bit of this enormous and traumatic part of my life that I share publicly, is exhausting for me.
I spend every single day wishing I could change his story, alter our reality, move details around to bring him back. But time cannot spin backwards and death does not offer do-overs. It is a blinding truth in my life.
I ask you all to have consideration for the people behind the accounts you follow, (and even the ones you may stalk secretly). Remember that while you may know everything they’ve shared, the story is theirs and you haven’t lived it.