About Me

My wonderful husband died when I was 44 years old. Being widowed this young happens to less than 3% of married people. Writing through this loss one word at time helps me understand what I've lost and helps me continue to grow. It is how I have gradually recovered from such a severe loss. Research shows that you can benefit from taking just 15 minutes a day to write out your deepest feelings as a way of healing. On the right side of this blog, you'll see a tag for Exercises to Try. If you need some help knowing how to use writing to help heal yourself, I suggest you start there.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

An Exercise Worth Repeating, Regularly

I believe fervently that writing about one's deepest and most basic feelings is one of the simplest actions you can take to keep your life moving forward, to avoid getting stuck in unhealthy emotional spaces. In fact, that's what this entire blog is about: sharing feelings about loss in words to both move myself forward, and perhaps inspire others to do so as well.

(It's no surprise to me that so many people are out here writing blogs since they've lost their spouse. In fact, I'd wager than those who are writing about their losses on a regular basis are healing up quicker than they might be otherwise.)

Every now and then I'll post one of these blog entries on my Facebook page. I can't help wondering if those who have never had a spouse die young are surprised by the fact that I'm still writing about his death almost five years later. Do they think I'm stuck? Do they think I just can't "get over it"? Well, I believe the exact opposite is true and as I write I move on through different aspects of grief.


Here's a really simple exercise I like to repeat every once in a while to see where I currently stand in relation to my loss. There are a lot of different ways you can lead into this but it starts with a simple prompt like:

Today my loss feels like:


What is most interesting about my loss now is:


What I'd like to say about my grief today is:


What I'd like to say about my grief today is:

--That even though this time of year is the time that complications from Ken's second stem cell transplant were sending him on a steep and scary decline, I actually had a really great Thanksgiving this year that didn't find me dwelling on what I didn't have, or feeling full of sorrow. I felt pretty joyful.

--I am happy again, but in a different way, in a more measured away, in a holding back and careful way.

--It makes me so much more able to wait and see, to feel discomfort, to embrace uncertainty.

--I'm kind of afraid to need someone again the way I needed my husband.

--It sure feels better with a new man in my life.

--I believe that if you can overcome an intense loss, you can overcome just about anything. I feel somewhat invincible. And I find that weird, because I've been so leveled by loss.

--It's so heartbreaking that Ken couldn't be there with us at yesterday's Thanksgiving meal...it's so heartbreaking that he can't do anything with us anymore...and at the same time, he is so present for all of us. You have to figure out how to live with the loss. Why is it so hard when it's such a basic element of what we all must eventually encounter? Why are we so flummoxed by death?


Your turn. You and loss. Today. Write about it. Don't think too hard. Just a few sentences.


Sunny said...

I completely know what you mean about people having the misconception that writing about it five years later means you have not moved on. For me its been four years and I'm just now beginning to write about it. Loss like that changes you and learning to live with the changes is a work in progress...Never an experience one can expect to get over, like the flu. Rather, with grief one can simply make the most of the coping resources available and learn to grow into the new normal. And that is easier said than done..

Jill said...


I am glad you are beginning to write about your loss and the changes it has set in motion. I will check in on your writing as well.