Writing can be one of the tools in your toolbox for building a better life. For me, writing is a way to transcend loss. To find meaning in my life. To open a path that wasn't always cleared. It helps me make sense of who I am now and where I am heading.
Reading back through my latest journal, I found the following entry from late March 2010. It shows me how far I've come in relation to the profound loss of losing Ken. (My husband had been dead then for four years and two months. I have been writing about this loss for years now, including writing about his sickness for years before that.)
This piece of writing shows me that I am on a precipice of something new. I am moving to a different phase of the grieving process. I am recovering. I am feeling better. I am changing.
Here's the entry:
What the loss of you feels like today:
It feels old and tired, on it's last legs, out of breath, sagging, ancient, exhausted.
It feels boring, a waste of time, a weight on my shoulders.
It feels like a broken record going round and round on an old stereo, in an empty room, with the door locked and there is no key.
It is colorless, soundless, weightless, invisible, powerless.
It has been done before, overdone, redone, reworked.
It feels like ancient history brought to my door here in the present.
It feels unescapable, unshareable, unspeakable, boring.
It feels like a hangover.
It feels like something I need to shake off, shrug off, lose, get rid of, eliminate.
It feels like a curse.
It feels like a blanket wrapped around my face.
It feels like a path to another world, another life, a way out, an exit, a prompt, a stimulus plan, an inspiration, a wake up call.
It is palpable.
It is a work of art.
It is the most significant event that has ever happened to me.
Ask yourself: How does my loss feel today? Ask the same question in six months, in a year, in two years.
Ask yourself now, and find out the answers by writing them down.