How To Journal Through Grief – Part I: Writing is Cathartic

Give sorrow words

The grief that does not speak

whispers the o’er fraught heart

and bids it break   

                              —William Shakespeare

 

Writing is cathartic. It relieves stress. It lifts you in times of grief, and unburdens you from your woes. It helps release what no longer belongs in your life.

An actress friend of mine once said, “Pain is pain, whether it is a pin prick you suffer or a broken leg. At the end of the day, it’s still pain.” She didn’t differentiate between the degrees that people suffer. Her heart was compassionately open to all levels of anguish people endure. And so, too, grief is grief, and loss is loss; whether you have lost a beloved, whether you are in-transition between jobs, moving from one home to another, whether you have lost your health, your wealth, your sense of purpose, or are grieving the devastation of war. I tell the people in my classes to write. I cannot explain the phenomena except to say it works. I tell them the empty blank page is like God or Goddess, that all-loving, non-judgmental compassionate One, who is able to hear your every word and thought, feeling and prayer. Capable of turning tears into strength, sadness into laughter, sorrows to joy.

When people write about their stress, their illness’ and loss, recovery time is reduced and healing is quickened. Even if writing feels uncomfortable, at first, after an initial period of writing, grief subsides.

When you release and express emotion onto the page: raw aching heartache, sadness, irritation, anguish, anger, sorrow and grief, you will find relief and write your way to freedom. Your written words hold seeds of brilliance for what ails you. They contain access points for healing loss and finding joy. You change from the inside out. Through acceptance you heal.

Stay Tuned for Part II

*This post is excerpted from Journaling for Well-Being & Peace


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