Expressing Grief in Healthy Ways
I'm sharing a practice that I have found to be helpful for me on my journey with grief. When my daughter died, I wanted some way of writing down my feelings for her and capturing memories that we shared together. I was very intentional about picking out a journal, and I chose an Italian leather journal that was actually made in Italy because my daughter, Keira, loved foreign languages and foreign countries, so this had a lot of meaning to me.
I use this journal to write down our memories together of things that we did and reflect back on those. I also write in it on dates that are hard like her birthday, Mother's day, or the day she transitioned. When that date comes up, it's particularly hard for me, so I write to her in this journal.
I also record signs in this journal. So anytime I have a sign from her, or a dream, or something synchronistic, I'll write it in the journal too. And what I have found to be just amazing is as I go and reflect on how many beautiful signs there are, and this is like a testimony to our new relationship with her being on the other side.
I highly encourage you if you're not already doing to pick out a journey, a journal that is meaningful to you, and dedicate that journal just for your loved one. And you can write in there your memories that you had together when your loved one is alive. You can write signs that you're receiving from them. Jot down anything that you'd like to on dates that are challenging, or even celebrate dates that are celebratory. So that's the first journal.
I also wanted to mention, during a reading that I got from a medium, my daughter came through in that reading and referenced a tan journal. The medium did not know that I did this and for that to come through in the reading was so beautiful for me because it just gave me validation, even though I already know my daughter knows that I write in this journal for. Your loved ones know that you're writing and sharing that with them. Get a dedicated journal just for them.
The second journal that I have is a journal for me and in this journal, I write my feelings down. On the journey with grief, there are many emotions, and grief to me is really a ball of emotions. It's not just one emotion. You know, I think a lot of people think that grief is sorrow, which it is, but there are many emotions in the ball and grief. Everything ranging from love and joy to anger, depression, sorrow, blame, shame. It's really a tangle of emotions. And what I found helpful is that writing down how I'm feeling allows me to release the energy so that I'm not holding on to it. It's not the only thing I do for expressing grief in healthy ways, but it's a very meaningful way for me too.
I often won't realize how much that emotion is really impacting me until I write it down. And I'll write in it whenever I have time, just jotting down in this journal how I'm feeling. What I realized on my journey is not many people understand grief unless they've experienced a loss themselves. And it's difficult to talk to other people. Sometimes it feels like it's unacceptable to express it or people don't know what to say. And writing down my feelings has been very helpful in processing them.
Begin Your Own Journaling Practice
I hope this is helpful for you. Again, two journals: one for to write to your loved one and capture memories, signs, anything you would like to share with them; and the second one for yourself and writing down whatever you're feeling. Nobody has to see this journal. The second journal is just for you and it is a great way to allow those emotions to move through you because suppressing grief can be very draining and lead to self-sabotage. Journaling is a healthy way for me to express grief, and hopefully, it will be for you too!