I wanted to explore with you the notion of ‘Grief Journaling’ which can be a truly liberating way of expressing your thoughts and feelings at any given time.
Whilst friends and family often give us as much support as they can in the early days of grief, it is quite common for that to tail off after a period of time as people go back to their own lives and/or they see you trying to rebuild yours. But we know that grief is an invisible pain – because others cannot see it, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. So it can leave us feeling that we don’t have anyone left to hear our sad story that we often want to keep repeating to keep the memory of our loved one close to our hearts. When we bottle up our emotions, grief turns inwards and that can result in causing ourselves more negative harm, both physically and psychologically.
Writing in a grief journal whenever you feel like it can offer a great source of comfort and relief when nothing else can. Some research even confirms that after one-to-one talking therapies, it’s actually the next best thing! It can become your best friend, your confidante and companion and can offer you a means of outpouring your emotions in a safe, comfortable way and without any judgement.
I tried both journaling and writing poetry and would sometimes be literally crying as I wrote but I do know that it helped me to go through the pain that I was feeling, and although my sadness continued, I would always feel just a little lighter after my writing release. Re-reading what I’ve written, remains a testament to how I felt at the time but most surprisingly of all, I found it a creative form of expression that manifested through deep pain that I recognise now, as being a very positive way of releasing that energy.
How to write in a grief journal
Try and keep your journal with you at all times – you never know where and when you may feel inspired to write.
Allow yourself to write anything that comes into your head. Don’t judge it, don’t think about the grammar, punctuation, whether it makes sense, etc. Remember – this is your journal and no one else ever has to read it.
If you are finding it difficult to think of ideas to start with try these …
I am having a really hard time with … I remember when … Today, I am really missing …. The first time we … My happiest memory of you is … What was good about today is … What I want to say to you is … Today my grief feels like … I feel most connected to you when … I find it most helpful when … I can honour you by … I will always remember you for …. When I start to feel overwhelmed by guilt, despair, sadness, pain, I will repeat this statement to myself: …. To be more compassionate to myself, I will try ….
I hope that you too find that grief journaling helps you on your healing journey ..