JOURNALING THROUGH GRIEF: The Power of the Keyboard

How Writing In Grief Keeps Your Thoughts In Order

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When I was a little girl, I took great pleasure in writing funny poetry.  I would compose hilarious stories with weird and wacky characters.  I adored writing and it gave me an outlet to be funny.  After my husband died, I had to make sense of my grief.  The only tried and true method of organizing the pain in my head was through writing.  As a child, I adored writing in notebooks with brightly colored pencils.  Notebooks and paper calmed me and made me figure out any pain I had in life, and put it into prose that I could analyze.  I could pull all the threads of my ideas and weave them into an essay which calmed me down and yes, I added a few bits of humor, which made me laugh. 

Writing is one of the oldest methods of expressiveness.  People diarize or journalize to relieve stress.  Meditation is definitely not my thing.  My mind wanders and I hear the chattering monkeys as I try to bring calm to my soul.  But when I go to my computer and write down my thoughts or ideas, I can make sense of my emotions and try to put the pieces of trauma into different compartments so I can process them carefully, one at a time.  I can label my emotions and acknowledge the trauma of grief, and after a bit of time, I begin to feel calmer. 

My penmanship was never good by any stretch of the imagination.  I got notes back from grade school teachers saying, “I like what she writes when I can read it.”  Do you remember the movie The Jerk?  Steve Martin drops a note into the bath and starts to unsuccessfully read it.  That is what my handwriting is like.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6fPm41JIdM

Find the medium that best suits you for writing.  If your handwriting is great, go for a journal.  But if you are like me, you might want to utilize your computer instead.  Or, you can keep notes on your phone.  It doesn’t matter which vehicle you use, as long as you are consistent with writing.  Writing helps make sense of the unfathomable pain of grief.  Writing constructs a narrative to help you sort through the trauma.  Writing slows down your brain and helps to relax your shuffling thoughts.

Please do not judge your writing.  Just let the words flow.  I channel my prose as a conduit to self-reflection.  I can look back at the progress I have made and wonder at the steps I have taken toward finding my path forward.  Writing is my method of making sense of the grief I endured.  Profound loss leaves one flailing and out of control.  Through speaking about my pain in my journalizing, and blogging about it, I have found my voice again.  

Here are a few prompts to get you started on journaling:

  • One good thing about today…
  • Tomorrow I will try to…
  • If I could talk to you today, I would say…
  • I am compassionate with myself because…
  • When I go to bed, I think about…
  • If I could tell you one thing, it would be…
  • I cry when I remember…
  • I can honor you by…
  • I feel most sad when…
  • Some of my grief triggers are…
  • In the next week, I want to…
  • I believe in my ability to…
  • I can reduce my sadness by…
  • My best coping mechanism is…
  • I know this feeling won’t last forever because…

My name is Laurie, and I am a proud writer!

Please feel free to contact me via my website: www.lauriegrad.com. If you would like to sign up for my blogs follow this link:
http://lauriegrad.com/newsletter-signup/

And if you would like to buy my book: https://www.amazon.com/Jokes-Over-You-Come-Back/dp/1981137866/

Laurie is the author of the book The Joke’s Over You Can Come Back Now: How This Widow Plowed Through Grief and Survived. She can be contacted via her website: www.lauriegrad.com or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/laurie.grad/

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