Tears streamed down my face when I read about a woman who had lost her only child chart her journey through journaling. This post is really worth reading on Life Goes Strong, entitled Writing for Life: How Journal Writing Helps Heal One Mother’s Grief.
Writing really was therapy in this case, for Tamara Thomas, and the process took her through the stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining and acceptance – and the tasks of mourning: to accept the reality of loss; to work through the feelings about that loss; to learn to live without the person you’ve lost; and to create a new relationship in your life with the person you’ve lost.
Of course, the process doesn’t happen chronologically, and the stages bounce around, but it’s only when you’ve gone through all the stages that you can finally withdraw your emotional investment from that loss and learn to ‘move on’ – whatever that may mean.
One big thing I learned from reading Tamara’s article was the Scream Book. She put all her angry, bloody thoughts in it – and it played a key role in the early stages. She was also able to look back on the ‘progress’ she had made by revisiting earlier pieces that she’d written – and she gained a new ‘family’ by sharing her process with the world via a newspaper column.
While grief is intensely personal, sharing through writing is a powerful way of coming to terms with the loss.