For the first time since I started this letter, I’m not available to compile a proper one. My mother died unexpectedly, and as you read this, I’m in Cape Town sorting out her stuff and saying my goodbyes.
The words “broken families” and “dysfunctional relationships” get thrown around a lot, but you know, I don’t know many people with fully functional families. Complicated, messy relationships seem to be far more common. It’s the great emotional divide: some people find it hard to understand not feeling deep love and affection for your parents, even if buried under layers of frustration; some find it hard to imagine what a solid filial relationship is even like. When I blogged about my mother
– something I’d never felt free to do while she was alive – I felt scared to hit “publish”. But so many people wrote to say they were struggling with similar feelings. It confirmed my belief that talking about the real, ugly truths of our lives is so important. It was a relief to me to write it; I believe it has helped at least a few readers to see it out there in public. So I’m more committed than ever to my policy of truthfulness. Even though it is unprofessional. Even though it has nothing to do with craft. Oversharing is now officially my brand.
Not normally in this newsletter, though! You’ll still get the news and links you signed up for; I’ll save the soulsearching for my blog. Now that I’ve got that off my chest, here are a few good things worth sharing.