Instead of riding-out grief, many folks are choosing a more proactive approach called writing-out grief. If you have 15-20 minutes to spare and can tell a story, you can do this. You certainly don’t need to be a writer.
The goals of writing-out grief are: 1. Tell your story; 2. Release some feelings; 3. Take positive action.
- Your story: Every session begins with a starting phrase. With your loved one in your heart, write the first thing that comes to mind. Here’s a list of phrases to get you started: I remember asking, I remember buying, I remember… finding, giving, hiding, laughing, making, opening, picking, reading, seeing, trying, wishing. Choose one and write. Don’t filter through stories; just go with the flow.
- Feelings: When your story is done, flip the page and write the answer to this question: What beneficial and challenging feelings did this story trigger? You might answer: happy and sad at the same time, nostalgic, team-oriented, alive, adventurous, bitter, angry, peaceful. Don’t judge yourself; a full array of emotions is a healthy part of grief.
- Action: The beneficial feelings you listed will help you realize what’s missing from your life (like laughter), things you want to try (ethnic restaurant), passions you’ve forgotten (drawing), places to visit (arboretum), groups to join (meditation), or people to meet (new neighbors). Explore this question on paper: What action can I take to add more beneficial feelings into my new life? Then schedule a time to make it happen. You might just find yourself taking Pickleball lessons next month or attending a drumming jam this weekend. The sky’s the limit; good for you for embracing life!
If you enjoy writing-out your grief, invest in a notebook or journal. Don’t be surprised if you start to feel better; writing is a healthy way to navigate grief.
The Urban Family
For additional grief support visit: https://www.urbanfuneralhome.com/resources/grief-healing/