When someone dies grief can affect you emotionally physically spiritually and socially. What does it take to make it through the maze of emotions? After the numbness fades the pain intensifies and then what to do? One way of coping is to write about your experience. During my workshops I encourage participants to write a letter to their loved ones, those who died and those who are still alive. We have written poetry together. A poem is a great outlet. Even people who aren’t poets can write a list poem. List poems are a series of short sentences about the person. I have also asked folks to write short stories. Stories about actual events are very cathartic. When working with teens they enjoy writing song lyrics.
Some great songs that were written about loss are as follows: Tears in Heaven, Brighter Side, In the Arms of an Angel, Everybody Hurts, My Heart Will Go On, Butterfly Kisses and Dance With My Father Again. I’m sure that all of them were written by someone struggling to cope with the death of a loved one.
Just this week a colleague who had been missing for three weeks was found at the bottom of a cliff. She had driven her car off the cliff after asking a neighbor to take care of her beloved pets. This woman’s death affected so many people. So many people who didn’t know that she was capable of harming herself. She was always so sweet…bubbly and extremely friendly. No one suspected what she was battling. I don’t know either but whatever demons they were finally took her down. I immediately thought of Fray’s “How to Save a Life” and it made me sad to think that no one had tuned into this woman’s pain and that she felt so isolated that she didn’t have anyone in her life that could help her.
People who are grieving often feel like they don’t know what to do…they may feel as if they have no where to go and it is not uncommon for them to experience a period of confusion or an overwhelming sense of being lost. If you are feeling this way please seek help from a professional. You could also talk out your feelings with a trusted friend but please do not let your emotions bring you to your knees. Remember your loved ones who are still depending on you. Honor the person you lost by being the healthiest person you can be.
In the meantime, consider writing down how you are feeling without the special person in your life. Make it a letter to him or her. Or you could write a list poem. If you are feeling ambitious write a short story or even the lyrics to a song.