Grief is an emotion that needs a witness in order to heal.

What that means is that you need to find someone or something that deeply hears you.
That accepts you and sees you in your grief, with love.

Having a witness provides you with an avenue and
means for releasing the sorrow, the grief, the anger, the
burden, the worry and fear, the loss and the tears.

Holding it inside so very close to one’s heart without a witness keeps you locked in loneliness and “whispers the o’er fraught heart and bids it break.”*

Having a witness helps you to see your way out of the darkness.

Grief is an emotion that needs some form of expression.

The form of expression and even the witness can be words on a page, a poem, a story or song, paint on a canvas, singing to a tree, carving a stone or talking to God.

I know two women whose husbands were tragically killed in separate motorcycle accidents. One opened a store after her husband died. The other woman launched a non-profit. After my father passed from cancer, my brother became interested in learning about alternative cancer treatments. During the next ten years he researched and then launched serving to disseminate information for those diagnosed with late stage cancer, offering alternatives and hope.

You can plant a garden, pen a book, shoot a film, or build an empire and create some thing, anything, to serve others in their time of need and to remind yourself that in your grief you are not alone. In journaling you do not die with your feelings of loss, but slowly they are transformed so something beautiful may grow from your pain.

*”Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak whispers the o’er fraught heart and bids it break.” William Shakespeare

Stay tuned for Part III

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