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Write Your Way Through The Grief


Bereavement Relief

Posted On: Oct 08, 2016

Write your way through the grief

When dealing with grief, it is important to get your feelings out – not necessarily to another person, but rather, just at all. To bottle up your feelings is to ask for a whole host of problems and issues.

One of the best ways to express your feelings is simply by writing them down. Writing is a more deliberate exercise than speaking, so it gives you the opportunity to say exactly what it is you need to say, even if no one will ever read it. Words get their power from being written (or spoken), not from being read (or heard).  You might be surprised at how much better you feel after a soul-searching writing session. Here are some further suggestions on writing while grieving.

Write a letter to the person you are grieving

In dealing with a loss of a loved one, many people are racked or haunted by things they left unsaid to the person who has passed on. But what you may not realize is that you CAN say the things you need to say to that person. Just write them down in a letter. Let it all hang out. Bare your soul. If you need to express anger or sadness at them, even if that anger is just over them dying, do it. Don't hold back. Don't feel like you need to be fair.

Are you skeptical that writing such a piece is effective? You might be asking, “How can writing these things do any good if the person isn't hear to read it, after all?” But if you do it anyway, I think you'll be surprised. Because at the end of the day, those things you need to write, feelings you need to get off your chest, they're for you. It's for your benefit.  And that's how such an exercise is beneficial. You don't have to believe it to be so, just give it a try.

Keep a daily journal or diary

Working your way through grief is a long and arduous process. It does not happen overnight, and what they say is true: in certain ways, you'll never be the same. It's just about finding purpose and at least a modicum of happiness over time.

Writing every day will help you do that. It can be about literally anything and everything on your mind. Some people use a journal to chronicle their mood day after day. Some people use it to put memories of their loved ones to paper. Some use it to talk about their day. Some people use it for all three purposes, and others. It's completely up to you, and if you keep it up for some time, you may be surprised at how much you've healed over the weeks and months when you go back and reread those early entries.

Set it on fire

This tip is optional and should be carried out judiciously, for both practical reasons (you don't want to end up burning down your house) as well as emotional ones (if you don't feel like this would be cathartic and healing to you, don't do it).

But once you've written your emotionally-charged letters or your journal entries, burning them afterwards can be a incalculably powerful metaphor for moving on with your life and starting a new day, a new chapter, in your own story. It also underscores the amount of control you do indeed have over your life, whether it feels like you do or not. So don't be afraid to make grand gestures like this one; just make sure you don't hurt anybody.