The Benefits of Writing Through Your Grief

Writing through your grief, by keeping a journal of your feelings or writing about the loss of a loved one can be very helpful in working through your bereavement.

Many people write letters to the lost loved one as a way of expressing how they feel. Stephanie Ericsson puts this very well:

Writing letters is a way that we can express a part of ourselves that we can't seem to say out loud”

 From Companion through the Darkness - Inner dialogues on grief.

Some people say writing through their grief is the only way they have coped. And those who have written books or diaries and had them published say that it is the best way of keeping their loved one alive and making sense of the whole process. It is a permanent reminder of the loved one.

Writing Through Your Grief Can Be Therapeutic

You don't have to be a great writer, or get published. But writing may help you to sort out your thoughts and to express your emotions. You might like writing poems or short stories, or just a daily journal of your feelings. It might be a therapeutic thing to do, as after a few weeks, you can look back and be proud of the progress you are making.  You can just use a notebook or regular diary, but there are many specialised grief journals available these days with quotes, prompts and suggestions for where to start like the one above or this one:  

Grief Journaling 

Some of the best books on grief are by those who started writing a grief journal in order to cope with their loss.

Our friend, the well-known physiotherapist Sarah Key, suffered the tragic loss of her little boy Freddie at age 3 months. She started writing a bereavement journal and it became a wonderfully frank and honest account of her experience and how she got through it. It’s a painful story, but her brave attitude and strength can give hope to others who are in the same situation.

Research on Writing for Grief Therapy

There has been some research done on the benefits of writing through your grief. It says that, though you may feel pain or sadness immediately after writing about your grief, there are definite long-term health benefits associated with it. Only 15 minutes of journal writing a day, for four consecutive days has been shown to be good for the immune system. This is good news for those in grief, as it tends to be a time when you go down with colds and flu and infections.

Other Ways of Expressing Grief

Perhaps writing through your grief is not for you, as some people may not feel comfortable expressing themselves in words. You might like to turn to art, or music. You might feel better drawing or painting, or playing a musical instrument to get in touch with your emotions.

Read our page on expressing your grief through art, music, dance, theatre and writing. 
Grief Journal with Art, Poetry and MoreGrief Journal with Art by Christine Haldane

Related Pages: 

Grief Poetry and Art Books

Books on Coping with Grief

10 Ways to Cope with Grief

> > Writing Through Your Grief

Sales from our pages result in a small commission to us which helps us to continue our work supporting the grieving.  

Memorial Magnolia Tree

The Magnolia is one of the earth's oldest plants, with a spectacular flower which dates back 95 million years.  What a beautiful specimen to commemorate a life. 

These trees are grown by the foremost magnolia nursery in the country and they will send a variety most suited to the recipient's climate. 

The flowers in spring will bring joy to the bereaved and help to heal their heart.

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