“Have you considered writing?” This question was asked in a grief support group one evening. The facilitator of the group told us that writing was a wonderful way to help with the grieving process. I smiled softly to myself because I have been journaling most of my life.
I had always journaled so it was natural that I would journal during the grieving process when Russell, Shawna, Tylee and Blake passed away. Journaling gives me an outlet to pour my heart out with the pain of grieving. Writing can sometimes help me sort out my feelings and emotions. Writing helps me slow down and ponder each thought as it comes along. If I didn’t take the time to write about what I was feeling, I think it would have taken me longer to process all the jumbled, mixed-up and frightening thoughts that just kept coming. I could safely write whatever I was feeling. When I was angry for the events that led up to the horrific ending to their lives, I could “yell and scream” on the pages of my journal however I wanted to, knowing no one would ever see what I wrote and I wouldn’t be judged or criticized. I trusted my husband knowing he wouldn’t read it and I could always hide it away in a safe place. Sometimes, when I was in such agony, I would write in big, bold, black letters all in capitols, with lots of exclamation points and underlined so many times, over and over in the same spot, I’d rip my paper! Then I’d put my head down and cry. I got it all out and I was healing.
I also got some little, purse-size notebooks that I could carry with me. These were used for writing letters to Russell, Shawna, Tylee and Blake. For the most part, the letters are about happy thoughts and memories. Or what I was doing that day. Trips I took. Just fun, everyday stuff. This really helps me because I thought that all of them would “see” my letters to each of them and know I was thinking about them. I thought they would like to get letters from home to “read” about what was going on down here on Earth. I felt that they all just went Home to Heaven before me and I am just keeping in touch until I join them.
Even though writing helps with the grieving process, the grieving process never ends. It changes, but never stops. That’s why it is so important to find an outlet to help you grieve. It doesn’t have to be writing, however.
My husband hates to write. I was lucky to get letters from him when he took off to Basic Training when he joined the Air Force!
He finds solace and comfort when he can get away and enjoy God’s beautiful creation. It truly helps him to heal and grieve in a healthy way. He loves the solitude as he takes a hike each morning. He may even talk to his son or grandchildren. I don’t know for sure, but I know he loves it when we can get away, go up the mountain and camp for a few days.
Journaling is also a way for me to pray and talk to God. I tell Him all about my fears, anxieties and how much I miss my family. I thank Him for His presence and His peace. I write Bible verses that have spoken to my broken heart. All this has brought me Hope and Healing.