Can Writing Be Healing?

If you are reading this you are no doubt on your journey through the grieving process. I want to suggest no matter where you are on that journey, remembering there is no right or wrong way to grieve nor is there a time limit that writing can be healing.ist1_8072944-hand-and-pen

Well you might say, “I’m not a writer” – but I challenge you to just jot your thoughts in a journal or a spiral notebook or what ever works for you.    Writing is a process just as grief is a process and remember no one has to read your thoughts if you want to keep them private, but in the act of doing sometimes we learn alot about ourselves, how we view our life, our loves, our challenges and our future.

I write in my journal often, I don’t plan what to write, I simply write about my day before I go to bed.  I find that if I let the pen lead I tend to write from my heart and not my head.  When I’m thinking too hard about what to write it is more contrived then when I even write words that express the day.

I wrote many things just after my husband died, I wrote about the week he was in the hospital and after he died I wrote about being mad that he left me and how that made me feel.  I wrote about my struggles and pondered what I would do next. It made me slow down and sort through my mixed feelings.

If you read the August newsletter I sent out, I asked for writing submissions from anyone who wanted to share a story  relating to their grief process.  I challenge you to share because often times you can help someone else who might be experiencing what you are going through.

The story I choose for September will receive  an autographed copy of the book “The Shack” & as a bonus a writing journal.

Email your submission to:

Include (optional)  your name, small photo and email address if you want the readers to be able to contact you.  You can also say “Anonymous” and I will leave off your name.

Please include you mailing address with your submission. Send by August 31st if possible for consideration for September.


2 Responses to Can Writing Be Healing?

  • John,
    I thank you for opening your heart and sharing your tender feelings. So often I don’t hear from a man’s perspective how grief affects them, so again I thank you.
    I understand the pain of your loss because I too lost my spouse and can share that time eases that tender pain, but it never goes away even when we move forward with life as I have. I have learned to find a place for my feelings and memories and I continue to speak my husbands name and I believe you will too. I know you are grateful to have the support of loving children and friends, their strength will see you to better days.

    I am so sorry for your loss.
    I send blessing to comfort you John,
    JoAnne Funch

  • Twelve weeks will have passed Monday since the dearest person in the world to me; the person with whom I spent almost thirty-two years with as best friend, husband, admirer and helper to, passed from this world into the next to be with her Lord. Death held no fear for her, she seemed more concerned for those she left behind – her three beautiful grown up children and her two gorgeous grandaughters. The newest of whom arrived thirty-two hours before Kathy died, but she had Liana Kate with her beside her death bed for a whole day before passing through the river to the celestial city of God. She saw and spoke to her mother who welcomed her and saw Jesus and called to Him in the distance.

    Dealing with the loss of a relationship as close as we had has been the most challenging thing I have ever faced. Emotions have always been easy to control for me so to have to deal with tears and the raw searing pain, the heavy ache of the heart, the sobbing when thoughts of her suffering surface, has been very unusual to have to face up to. I have had a little blank booklet beside my bed and I have written to her each day telling her of my love, devotion and how I have been feeling. I have only in the last couple of days not felt the need to have to write so.

    There is some interesting research done by Harvard University on grief and gender differences. It seems that men suffer quite differently to women. Men describe spousal loss as like being dismembered. So it is described like being torn limb from limb. So acute must be the emotional pain for us that it is likened to an extreme form of physical pain and suffering. I know there is a huge loss of a social network. My darling had a huge array of friends from church, craft, school, work and from our years living interstate and overseas. That support network that regularly brought visitors and friends to our door has stopped and there is loss there for men. So men have much more to lose in terms of that social support structure as well as the usual stuff women tend to assume if they are homemakers – such as banking, cooking, shopping etcetera. Not that I did not do my fair share, but as the primary breadwinner time has always been tighter. So all that has been lost as well as the spouse.

    How am I coping 12 weeks on? I guess this last week I have felt it easier to smile and have felt the burden of grief less. I have been back at work for six weeks now – I am a school teacher in a large Melbourne independent church-connected boys’ school for which it is a joy to work. Spring has sprung and the days are warming up and I am riding my bike regularly to work and lifting some weights. Being home alone now with grown-up children living elsewhere is a challenge still. Finalising the estate is happening gradually also.

    I have received so much love through this sadness and ‘time of trial’ as I call it. We are members of a church which has rallied to our aid in ways that have been very humbling for me. I am quite an independent man and a self-reliant type, so to have been told that on my late wife’s birthday last week that there were many many people praying for me and the family to carry us through, was a very beautiful thing. Meals have been regularly left on the door step since the diagnosis back in December, and there were beautiful visits from the most kindly of people to our home while may darling was still here.

    I hope my little refection might be helpful to some widowers. I have posted my eulogy on my darling’s blog.


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