This all started with an anonymous post on Craigslist in which I asked strangers to share their stories with me: stories about grief and loss in any sense of the words. I didn't specify what I meant by "grief." Within 8 hours of putting out the call, I received several emails about heartbreak and addiction and death and illness and injury. So, I put out a few more calls in a few more cities, wondering how many people had stories like these locked up inside of them. The answer to this question was, to put it simply, a lot. I received photos, paintings, songs, poems, films, letters, paragraphs, essays, and more. I learned that storytelling is more than just writing and that these people who were reaching out to me needed a space to tell their stories in the ways that made sense to them. I thought of what I would have written or sang or painted if someone without a name or a face had asked me to describe my grief and send it to them. Then I bought a domain name and created this website.
This is entirely a one-woman operation for which I have lost sleep and sanity investing time and money soliciting, editing, designing, and creating all on my own. I have spent days and nights watching YouTube tutorial videos for designing websites. I have spent hours cooped up in my apartment screaming at my computer, figuring out how to find the right fonts and codes and templates. I have designed and redesigned these pages, trying to find a way to make this place as safe and as sympathetic as it can be. I don't know what it will become, if anything, but I want to thank you for being a part of it.
I would like to thank anyone who visits the site, even just to look for a second. Thank you to the people who responded to my anonymous calls for submissions and to friends who trusted me with their stories. Thank you to these amazing and courageous artists who have chosen to be showcased here for the launch of this space I have created for people to turn to during the hardest part: when they have to keep on living after they have lost. Some are friends, some are strangers, but all of them have reminded me that loss looks, feels, and sounds different to everyone. But above all, the most valuable lesson I have learned is that grief can be beautiful. Thank you all for your support and welcome to The Grief Diaries.