It was a turning point in this journey.
"Learning to Love Again"
The days continued, the nights stretched on.
February 23 I was surfing the web, and I came across an image. Not a pretty or even funny picture. But words. Words that went straight to my heart.
Words of affirmation, confirmation.
A stamp of validation.
Words that I did not write, but sounded eerily familiar.
I found no author's name, no credits given. Using the plagiarizing button, there was nothing found in the search.
So, yes - I copied and pasted it from Pinterest, sharing it to my Facebook page. In hopes that someone else walking this journey would find as much solace in the words as I did.
As of this morning 87,000 times it has been shared from my page.
I have copied, pasted & shared so many things in these years - words, images, videos.
Some have authorship claimed, others do not.
I have had my own works copied, pasted & shared a multitude of times as well.
Never have I been a part of such a "fire-storm" or "shit-storm" in my life. OMW.
Yes, I know - "Haters will hate."
I also know that being a widow or widower does not a "nice person make". :(
A week ago tomorrow it was brought to my attention that these words were written by Kelley Lynn.
(At that time there had been 8,000 shares of this IMAGE from my page.)
When I found this out, I gave her the credit that was due her. I commented with her authorship, I gave links to her website, to her blog post from which this came.
"I Will Never Move On"
Those that contacted me directly, whether on the image shared, or in a private chat message - were told that I did not write the words, the only credit to me was in SHARING it. Her name being credited, her story being told, her website being shared.
Finding out the harsh reality.
No matter what I did, it was never enough.
Friends and followers of Kelley's soon bombarded me with rude & hateful comments, as well as demands, that I rectify this situation. Going so far as in demanding that I contact those who had shared it from my Facebook and tell them to attach her name to it as well.
I sat here staring at the computer screen thinking one word: "Unfuckingbelievable".
A couple of days later, Kelley and I talked. What began as a simple conversation turned into a deeper one.
I apologized for this "storm".
I shared my blog post with her, she shared hers with me. Eerily similar, but definitely different.
I offered to delete the post from my Facebook. Even tho they meant so much to me.
Her response: "Kelley Lynn to Margaret Mccoy : you certainly haven't offended me. You did nothing wrong. This,is the 2nd time this has happened to me. It also happened couple years ago with a comedy video I did where someone pulled a few seconds of it, posted on their instagram and didn't attach my name. The video went viral and my name was never attached. Now these words. I wrote this in my blog in 2016. So it's not even new. Lol but again someone pulled one paragraph and purposely left my name off and started this monster. That person is at fault. Nobody else. I thank you for trying to rectify it. That's all I'm trying to do also. Minimize the damage."
The storm continued.
Comments that were hateful, mean-spirited, snarky. Deleted.
Private messages that were even more so. Answered. But their minds were made up, so my words meant nothing. One even went so far as to tell me that my grief did not matter to him, nor to anyone else. All that mattered was that Kelley receive the credit for writing the words. - - Which by the way, was done multiple upon multiple times.
My daughter stepped in and wrote this:
"Imma jump on here a minute: I am her daughter and coming to her defense for a moment...
I’m guessing everyone who jumped on Margaret Mccoy for posting this without giving “credit” on the original post (which was an IMAGE... obviously not something SHE wrote) has NEVER shared something that spoke to their heart in hopes of comforting someone else... right? If I was to cruise y’alls pages - I’m sure you’ve properly cited EVERYTHING you’ve shared. Ever. Right? 🙄 She shouldn’t have to edit her OP at all because she never said she wrote it that I can see. That’s just a lot of assumption from a lot of people who apparently have nothing better to do with their time than play internet police. How about y’all BUILD each other up? She HAS however given credit in the comments quite a bit! Kudos to the author Kelly Lynn for writing something that spoke to so many. And shame on y’all ALL who left snarky little remarks or straight up accusatory comments on here or anywhere else. GLASS HOUSES, PEOPLE!"
Kelley's response: "Margaret Mccoy and I have been chatting over the past few days, and bottom line is - we are BOTH victims in this whole mess. I feel terrible that people are messaging or posting nasty things to her, and ive received some of the same from opposite end, etc, from people who saw her name on the post and then accused me of stealing HER words lol. Its silly. The quote came from a blog I wrote TWO years ago .... and I dont steal. Margaret has done more than enough by adding my name and letting people know who messaged her, that she didnt write it and never claimed to. I thank you so much Margaret, and thank you to your daughter for coming to your defense. We all hope that these words , which are supposed to be validating, do not cause any more added drama. Thank you to everyone who has shared my words forward with good intent."
The storm calmed a bit for a few hours.
95% - 99% of the comments and personal messages now said basically the same thing: Thank you Kelley for writing these words, and thank you Margaret for sharing them. I have heard story after story of great love, debilitating loss, and the hellish nightmare of living this life & walking this journey of grief. Blessings have been given to both Kelley and to myself. Encouragements of "Please don't stop writing, either of you! Please don't stop sharing! We need this!"
But with every storm there is a quiet ... and then another wave, another round.
I'm tired. Weary of heart, mind, emotions.
I have cried tears of frustration.
I have laughed with confusion.
Shaking my head at the haters that hate.
No one taking the time to read either of the blogs - hers, or mine. No one taking the time to check the original post to see that Kelley was INDEED given credit, multiple times.
No one realizing that no matter what I do - there WILL be copies of this floating around without Kelley's name attached.
Just a thought - what about those who have taken a screenshot and then shared it?
What can I do about those?
Who would have ever thought, or in the worst nightmare imagined, such Jr High School drama over words that were written to help heal her own heart, shared because they did help with the ongoing healing of my own heart?
OH. MY. WORD.
Bullshit at it's finest.
So I come here now, with these final words on this.
I am bowing out of the widow/widower support groups. Because many of the hateful comments are coming from those in the support groups. :(
There are many new on this journey, they do not need to be dragged into such a shitstorm or pissing contest.
The saddest part to me?
Kelley and I are not angry with one another.
Never have been.
The best part of all this has been in getting to "meet" Kelley, spend some conversation time with her, read her blog, and know that she just absolutely "gets" this heart of mine.
I will forever be more careful with sharing anything.
If I share anything at all.
Haters should be ashamed of themselves for fueling such a storm.
Before I close, I would like to say thank you - -
1. To Kelley Lynn for writing these words. For sharing them in your blog. For being so open with your love, your loss, your grief, your life now.
2. To Kelley Lynn for being understanding, forgiving, and patient as this storm continues.
3. To those who have shared this. Yes it would be ideal if every share had Kelley's name attached to it. However, these are powerful words that strike a chord with, sadly, many hearts and lives. Widows & widowers need to know that they are not alone, and they are not crazy. Family & friends need to realize just a little of what we deal with - perhaps it will cause them to not only appreciate what they are not living with, but also give us a bit more allowance in finding our footing now.
4. To the one who posted it where I saw it - without credit of authorship given. Thank you for posting it. You should have given Kelley credit. It is HER story, HER love, HER loss, HER life now. But thank you for posting it so that I could find it on February 23, 2018. I needed to read these words. Sadly, I did not know Kelley Lynn, nor her writings at the time. Thank you that I do now!
Ending this with the words of my sweet daughter:
"I’d say quit worrying about it. you did what you should have from the get go. I see nowhere you claimed authorship. Don’t sweat it and if someone messages you hatefully- block em. Or let me know and I’ll talk to em. You didn’t say it was yours at all. You’re good.
I mean it- some people are just unhappy people- period. And will take whichever avenue they can to wreck someone else because it makes them forget about them. Seriously. Send me a screen shot of their message that’s hateful and I’ll deal with while you block them. Nonsense. Turn that frown upside down because you are ALL good.
Don’t let it get to you anymore. No reason to. Let mean people be mean people if they wanna. 🤷🏼♀️ you just do what you gotta do
I did a side by side comparison. Hers was similar to yours/yours similar to hers but nowhere does it seem even remotely the SAME.
Trying to understand the behavior of some people is like trying to smell the color nine.
You can take it, lol, no credit needed.
Everyone getting up in arms about it is retarded and petty
Don’t stress no more over this incident.
If they negative- block em.
Trash took itself out- woohoo
“Those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter..”
I’d go correct anyone who attributed it to Dr Seuss..lol
It was actually FDR’s adviser."
Pretty smart girl I got there ;) ... My Sweet Home Alabama girl. I love you sweetheart.