Intentional Ways to Write Through Every Grief So Your Tender Soul Heals
When my dad died, the last thing I wanted to do was write, much less eat or anything else. Here’s what I’ve learned since then. If I were to do it all over again, I would set aside time to sit with my journal and write through my pain, anger, and grief. I did institute this practice when my cat died. You can laugh, but when you have pets from times they are kittens or puppies, they become a part of your family.
My cat was like that. When he died, I went out and bought a grey journal to match his grey hair. I wrote for weeks in that journal. I wrote about how much I was going to miss him and his purrs. I wrote and wrote and wrote until the grief passed through me.
Does it mean I have forgotten about him? No. It means I allowed myself some time and space to recognize what that cat meant to me for 12 years.
When it was time to put him down, we had a service come to our house. This sweet older woman showed up at our door. She was perfect for this kind of work, walking us through the steps. After our cat had passed, she asked if one of us wanted to carry him out to her car. I said yes. It was a beautiful way for me to have some closure — to set him in her vehicle in a safe place. She even said she would drive carefully so as not to jostle him. Maybe others needed to hear that. I knew he was gone. He wasn’t going to feel anything, but I appreciated her saying that. It soothed my soul.
I wrote about all of that too.
The reality is, we can grieve over many things. It isn’t just death. We experience loss in many forms. Your college-aged child has left home. You move from one city to another. You leave a job for another. Your elderly parent moves in, and you recognize you are losing time for yourself. Divorce. A traumatic childhood. You get the idea.
Here are some steps to help guide you into writing through your grief:
1. Consistency: Pick a time every day that you will sit and write. If you need to set a reminder in your calendar, do it.