Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Confronting Overwhelming Grief Through Writing

Although this article is not written specifically about child loss, I thought it was a great example of how healing writing can be.  So many people ask why someone would want to blog about their child/children that have died.  They don't understand how healing power of journaling/blogging.  One of the greatest misconceptions surrounding death is that writing a book, keeping a blog, journal, a website, etc is too painful because it is such a reminder of your loss...but the truth is, the blog is not the life is the reminder. I think of my daughter daily, I carry her in my heart always.  To write about her is not the difficult lose her is.  This is why I love the quote....
"If you know someone who has lost a child, and you're afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died--you're not reminding them. They didn't forget they died. What you're reminding them of is that you remembered that they lived, and that is a great gift." ~Elizabeth Edwards

What about you?  Do you find writing to be healing? 

Confronting Overwhelming Grief By Writing Through The Great Pain


36 months ago, I started formulating a fiction for tweens, Belle in the Slouch Hat. It is just a story about a young girl who searches for revenge after her brother was killed in the Civil War. I consciously started the story for my grandchildren; and I needed something to fill an emptiness in me as a result of the loss of my much loved mother, and another special woman during my life. They died within two months of each other.

Anytime someone we love dies, we have to grieve; there is no way to avoid it. Everyone must undergo the sadness and agony in their own individual way. My option was penning.

Once losing those I treasured, it felt as if something was obstructing my pain and guarding me from the harshness and sadness connected with death. To this day, In my opinion it had been the Holy Spirit helping me through probably the most hardship in my life. You many decide upon to call it something else, but I believe it was the Holy Spirit. Eventually after that, the reality of the deaths set in and I had no choice but to go through the next phase of losing someone you love, the grieving process.

At age sixty-one, I sat at my computer; I started to craft, and I started to get better. I started off writing a novel minus the full appreciation of what I was engaging in. I didn\'t stop to contemplate the amount of hours in which I would so willingly give to it, nor did I stop to think there was a correct way of doing it, all I know was I had to write. Sometimes it was down-right physically, mentally, and emotionally painful; other times, I felt drained of every once of energy in my body. Occasionally, my sense of meaning and my most treasured beliefs about life were challenged.

There seemed to be basically no schedule for when I needed to finish; and no one could determine to me when it will be finished. It required considerable time; not a day, not only a month, not just one year, but two full years.

Aside from the initial three pages of my book, I didn\'t have an order, or a plot ot follow, I just wanted to write. I even built an imaginary barrier around me and didn\'t want anyone to find out just what exactly I was writing, except my better half.

The more I wrote, the greater I needed to write. Writing provided an avenue to cry, to laugh, and also have a journey. Unconsciously, I had created my own, personal support group with the individuals inside my story. For me, it was a safe setting to express my inner thoughts and work through my grief. I also found a means for me to commemorate those I loved.
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