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.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Twelve Reasons Why I Write About Grief

 Many times over the years I have asked myself why I continue to write about loss. One day, I suppose, I will stop, but I'm not there yet. I don't write because I'm still actively grieving. I don't write because I have no one to talk to about my thoughts. And I don't write for pity. Here are 12 reasons why I keep on writing about grief.

1. Nothing has awakened me to life more than my loss.
2. Pondering grief makes me appreciate how lucky I am to be healthy and alive.
3. Loss is lonely, until you find others who understand. I write for others who have had a loved one die.
4. Loss connects everyone. No one gets through life without experiencing a major loss.
5. I still find it to be an interesting topic.
6. Writing about what loss means to me makes me a happier person.
7. I can't do anything to stop loss, past or future. But I can process it and accept it more gracefully through writing.
8. Our death-denying culture is unhealthy. Embracing mortality can help you live more fully.
9. Writing about how my husband's death has affected me makes me feel connected to him in a real way.
10. Losing my husband at a younger than normal age has altered my perspective on life.
11. Every step of the way, through crisis, illness, and defeat, I've found that writing benefits mental health for the writer, and builds positive connections with readers, even when the subject matter is difficult.
12. I hope that more people, when faced with a loss, will try to use writing as a tool for recovering.


That's why I write The Heartbreak Diary.


Alicia said...

Yup. Especially #s 1, 3, 7, and 10.

5 and 6? Not so much!

Ruth said...

And I am so glad that you do write the Heartbreak Diary!

Jill Schacter said...

@Alicia: Hi there. Nice to hear from you. As for numero cinco, love, loss, death: like so many writers before me, the topic is irresistible. And #6? My stack of journals starting from age 17 are the visible reminders that writing about feelings, for me, remains part of my mental health fitness plan. I know it's not for everyone.
@Ruth: Thank you my friend!

Alicia said...

Oh, the need to write about grief, I understand. Feeling Happier for having done so ... No, that's not the word I would use. I need to write it to articulate it, to process it, but I don't always (or often) leave the keyboard a happier person.

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

I still have stacks of journals, too, including one from when I was nine or ten. I spend an afternoon every five years or so rereading them. I love to see how much I've grow emotionally and in my writing skills.

I think I understand what you're saying about writing about grief makes you happier. It's cathartic to examine our feelings and that makes it much easier set them down for a period of time. It gives clarity of what our fears and grief are really focused on.

Have Myelin? said...

Yeah....it's my grief fitness plan that never ends. (thanks Jill)