I am truly hoping that the folks that need to read this…Do.
There is an ongoing problem in the Grief community that needs to be addressed so I will stick my neck out and do so. It’s in regards to theft, plagiarism, and from my perspective a distorted illness. Thankfully, it does not occur very often, but when it does, IT HURTS!
There are many Grieving Mommas who have found a ‘niche’ for themselves to work through their own personal grieving process and honor their Beloved Child. Some write as I do because we have found it helpful for working through our own grief. I have great difficulty expressing my pain verbally. God led me down this unexpected path as a way for me to express what I cannot otherwise. Some make beautiful ‘Gifs’ for hundreds…truly hundreds…of other grieving parents. They write out beautiful brief expressions and search for the appropriate background and then post them. Others will use the name or picture of our child for the ‘Gifs’. Still others, will pour out their hearts in prose or poetry. Many of us spend endless hours, well into the night, working on such things. Many tears are often shed in the process; we are baring our soul, our heart. It often takes a lot out of us to dig deeply within ourselves to accomplish such tasks. But, it is always worth it in the end.
Then there are the rewards. We sit back afterwards and review what has come forth after much soul-searching, and often discover things we have expressed to be that which we were unaware even existed within. We didn’t know the pain it would cause to surface when we began. But we are grateful that it has been uncovered and revealed. When folks respond with hugs and tears and by making statements of how much what we have labored to do has blessed them, spoken to them, enlightened something that was within themselves…we often shed tears because we then know that we are not alone. We then are reaping the fruit of the harvest. We then feel very blessed that we did not labor in vain and that somehow expressing our pain has blessed another.
Then there are the thieves…Yes, thieves! There are some…not many…but enough that will take our work and copy it. Some will take what one has labored over for hours and simply change the name of our child to theirs…or take our child’s picture and replace it with theirs. Some will take a post or a ‘gif’ and remove the name of the artist and replace it with their own…or with the name of their site. Not only is this thievery, but it’s outright disrespect. What hurts the deepest, however, is feeling as if one more part of our child has been stolen from us. I cannot describe the deep hurt this causes. It’s a wound that reopens other wounds, tearing off any healing scabs that may have had a chance to form. It’s cruel, selfish, and clearly sick behaviour on the behalf of those that would stoop so low to do such things.
When I first began on Facebook in search of support in my desperation, I was one of those folks that didn’t like ‘articles’ and such that were presented. I thought they were doing such things for personal glory and I wanted God to be glorified in all things. I still want Him to be glorified in all things. I had no understanding at that time as to why these people were signing their work. I was blessed by most of what I read to one degree or another, but it still troubled me. I wasn’t envious as some sadly are, I simply lacked the understanding because all of this was so new to me. Then, I began to write an article here and there. Eventually, I found it easier to write things out here on WordPress. I could add pics and write longer articles than what I could simply post. In addition, I could somewhat detach myself a bit personally from the ‘comments’. To those I unwittingly judged through my ignorance, I sincerely apologize and ask your forgiveness. I understand now ‘why’ our work must be signed. It’s not simply because an artist, author, poet, etc., has a ‘right’ to sign their own work…but it’s because of the thieves that exist. My personal work because of my book is copyrighted. Yet, because I do it to give Glory to God’s redemption and to honor my son, I freely share it. Receiving the feedback that it has in some way assisted another on this journey of grief is my humbling reward…and it is truly humbling.
So, this is for the Thieves…CEASE & DESIST!…your sick behaviour!
This is not at all for those who ‘share’. Those that share our work doubly bless us. When you ‘share’, we feel honored and cared about. We know our child is being honored and his/her legacy lives on. We do this because of our child and those that ‘share’ are helping us to keep our child remembered.
It’s the thieves who remove our child’s name, our name, the source of our work that is adding to our grief. They need to be called out and exposed! We can show them the respect and address the matter privately at first, even though we were disrespected. Sometimes, things are simply oversights, too. I recently posted an article, and I take great care to post the name of the source, but because I had been distracted in the process I left off the name. Another grieving Momma asked if I had written it. I was very grateful that she pointed out my clumsy oversight and immediately corrected my err. Days on which we are very busy or lost in our own personal grief fog can cause such things to happen so I like to give the ‘benefit of the doubt’. However, when someone is repeatedly doing such things and a pattern becomes evident, it needs to be confronted.
When I happen across something I recognize as another’s work that was posted elsewhere that does not give the proper and appropriate recognition to the source, I contact the source. I let them know what I found. When I see a post and I know that the person who posted it did not give recognition, I will search for the source and place it in the comments. I don’t do it to embarrass the poster, but rather to acknowledge the labourer. So if ‘Jane’ posts something that I know was written by ‘Martha’, I will simply post: ‘I’m so glad ‘Martha’ wrote this’…or something similar in the comments. Others may not notice it, but I know the ‘poster’ will. I attempt to show Grace and give the poster the benefit of the doubt that it was simply an oversight on their part. In the past, on occasion, I have also contacted a moderator of a site when I have seen a ‘poster’ share something to which they are receiving numerous praising comments as if they themselves wrote it, when they had not. That way, the moderator can then keep a watchful eye for any patterns of the poster.
I reiterate, it hurts and feels as if another part of my son is being taken away from me when such things happen to me. It royally ticks me off when I see it happen to another. I’m not attempting to be the ‘policeman of the internet’ when I do such things. I simply believe that if I happen to run across such violations, God brought it to my attention for a reason therefore I cannot turn a blind eye to it and simply shrug my shoulders and ignore it. As I have stated in the past, I believe Albert Einstein’s statement that: ‘Coincidences are God’s way of remaining anonymous.’
1 Timothy 5:18
“For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.”
(((HUGS))) Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at:
Articles on WordPress.com: https://wordpress.com/posts/bereavedparentsblog.wordpress.com.
Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/
Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))