And Now Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming…

4 Feb

I’ve been quiet the last couple of days since posting the entry I wrote about my friend Erin’s death. It was a long, heavy piece that stirred up a lot of memories and emotions not only for me, but for so many others who knew Erin, as well.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to publish the entry. I didn’t want to dredge up old, painful memories – it seemed morbid and unnecessary and I was afraid that I would unintentionally open old wounds, even sixteen years later. But ultimately I decided to share it with all of you because of my own personal insecurities. I think it’s human nature to wonder if anyone will remember us after we’re gone…whether we’ll be missed or thought of fondly or just forgotten. Hoping that someone would do the same for me someday after I’m gone, I felt it important to put her story to paper, so to speak, and remember her.

What I didn’t expect was the overwhelming response I received because of what I’d written. I have received so many comments, emails and Facebook messages from people all over the world – some of whom didn’t even know Erin. The blog somehow found its way to Erin’s sister and ultimately her Mom, Marie and dozens of friends reposted the link and shared their own memories of Erin and that day.

Now, I don’t write this blog for the numbers. Really. I don’t. I don’t write these blog entries with the hopes of making money off of them, though I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to that. I do it for fun and as a creative and emotional release. I don’t get thousands of hits on this blog on a daily basis – or even a weekly basis, for that matter – but I do a fair amount of self-promotion whenever I write something. Typically I’ll send out three Facebook posts and three tweets for a new piece and hope for the best. On an average day I might get 120-140 views. My highest-read entry until this past Sunday was the entry I wrote about my body image issues, which got 195 hits the day I published it back in June. I published “Remembering Erin” at 1:30 in the morning and I sent out two links – one on Facebook and one on Twitter. By 11:30 on Sunday night, 645 people had read the story with about 100 more visiting other entries, as well. Monday was more of the same – 263 people read about Erin and another 30 have today, and I haven’t promoted the article since I published it 1:30 on Sunday morning. That may not sound like much, but let me put it in perspective for you – almost as many people have read Erin’s story alone in these first four days of February than read all of my entries for the month of January. She may have been gone for sixteen years, but people from all over the world have read about her. They know she existed. They know she was loved immensely. And her friends and loved ones came together to remember her. Who says you can’t accomplish much by the time you’re 22?

My blog stats on Sunday evening. Before the end of the night, another 300 people would visit my blog to read Erin's story. I couldn't believe the traffic.

My blog stats on Sunday evening. Before the end of the night, another 300 people would visit my blog to read Erin’s story. I couldn’t believe the traffic.

If you’ve followed my blog at all over the last 9 months or so, you know I don’t always write maudlin entries about death and feeling fat. I often write frivolous things about “Frozen” or men twerking at Flashdance, but every once in a while I do try to give you some substance, and I appreciate each of you who continue to read whatever my twisted brain decides to give you on any give day. Thank you for making me feel that what I write is worthwhile, and thank you for remembering Erin.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…

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2 Responses to “And Now Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming…”

  1. atlantisflygirl February 5, 2014 at 12:00 am #

    You know, your post about Erin hit so close to home for me. One of my closest friends in high school later took his life. I was living in another state when he did it and when the third person in our inseparable trio called me and told me what happened. Although natural death and suicide are totally different, your experience mirrored so much of everything I felt. It was so hard and so painful.

    • jasonhbratton76 February 5, 2014 at 12:03 am #

      That’s tough. I’m really sorry to hear that. Yeah…suicide and “natural” death are so opposite of one another, but…it didn’t seem “natural” that she died at such a young age. It just didn’t make sense. I’m sorry you had to go through that.

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