When confronted with grief on any type, journaling can help to open your heart and mind to the experiences. Writing down what you are feeling and thoughts you are having can help you to process them and come to terms with what has happened in your life. Even if you think you are not a good writer or have clear or concise thoughts, you can begin just by writing. You can write using “stream of conscience”, which is just your thoughts in a stream without rhyme or reason to them. This is a good way to get to the root of what you are feeling. If you are not sharing your journaling with other people, you feel more free to write your true feelings down.
Journaling a few minutes a day just to get started can be a good therapy (and let’s be honest- a whole lot cheaper. Although I’d never be the one to suggest you don’t get help if you need it. It’s there – seek it out).
If you are stuck and not able to write your thoughts, you could find some quotes on grief to write about. There are many available online. Look through some and choose one that you connect with and write about it. You could write about what you feel about the quote whether you agree or disagree and why. This could open doors in your mind for learning and growth.
Another option is to write a letter to someone who has passed on. Even though they will never read it, you can feel as if it is a one sided conversation and share your thoughts. If you feel like there is unfinished business, this is a good way to work through those feelings and come to peace with your situation. Further, you could create a scrapbook journal with pictures, quotes or momentos that connect you to the person. Creating has been proven to be healing in times of grief and distress and you will be left with a wonderful scrapbook that documents your memories and insights.
Here’s the part that’s amazing. Let it out – no holds barred. All the things you haven’t said, couldn’t say, have been holding back – just get them out.
You can’t heal when you’re holding on to pain.
The feeling of release when you are able to write down your true feelings without anyone seeing them and judging you is a healing experience. You will be better able to accept your feelings and can even be of assistance to someone else, if you choose to share in the future. And above all, you will be able to recognize your growth in the experience and your growth as a writer. When you are having a more difficult day, you could read back on past entries and realize how far you have come.
“That’s the way writing often starts, a disaster or a catastrophe of some sort, as happened to me… And I think that’s the basis for my continued interest in writing, because by writing I rescue myself under all sorts of conditions, whatever it may be that has upset me, then I can write and it relieves the feeling of distress.”
~William Carlos Williams~