Journaling Through a Loss

Journaling Through a Loss by Jan Farr, Volunteer, Kansas City Hospice House

The healing process of grief involves work, time, and energy. One way to channel your energy into healing is journaling.

Journaling is the process of expressing ourselves, growing, learning, and finding new meaning in our lives.

Journaling is powerful

The power of writing can take your thoughts and feelings to a deeper understanding. Writing calls upon both our conscious and unconscious and helps us discover ideas, patterns, and connections we wouldn’t otherwise.

I began journaling when Jim, my late husband, was first diagnosed with cancer in 2004. My journal became a precious healing gift to myself and connection to my soul.

Through journaling I discovered more about the “us” living on in my heart. Writing helped me surrender my feelings and enjoy memories. I wrote to clarify issues and to express my gratitude for the privilege of accompanying Jim on his final journey.

How do you start?

Just start. Try writing about how you feel and what you’ve discovered. Do you feel lost, angry, alone, depressed, grateful, hurt, overwhelmed, challenged or hopeful? Are you frustrated, resentful, tired, hurt or more courageous?

Know that your journal is a safe, forgiving place to express yourself. Reading your own words helps you honor and respect your own feelings.

Develop a writing ritual.

Anyone can journal. You only need pen and paper or computer. Be creative. Feel free to add pictures, quotes, song lyrics, drawings — whatever expresses you. Carry a notebook with you to remember ideas.
As for rules, there are none, just some suggestions:

Try to write at the same time every day, but explore ideas as they come. Write for 10-20 minutes a day, or on most days.

Write quickly, without thinking. Don’t worry about editing, spelling, grammar, or punctuation. Just get your ideas on paper. Surrender to the process and let your inner self guide you. Allow ideas to flow freely and follow them wherever they lead you.

Put a date on your pages to help you monitor your progress down the road. Keep your journal private so you won’t feel inhibited.

Try journaling and be pleasantly amazed of the healing benefits in your own discovery zone.


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