If I saw you on the street or in the supermarket, you and I would be fast friends.
We would talk about the weather, how the price of stamps keeps going up, and that funny segment on Jimmy Kimmel last night.
We would laugh and talk like nothing bad has ever happened to either of us.
You would never know that just that morning I cried in the shower for 10 minutes as I realized that my loved one’s birthday was coming up.
You would never know the depths of my loneliness and how I didn’t want anyone to know how much I missed my best friend.
You would never know because I wouldn’t tell you.
Don’t feel bad. I wouldn’t tell anyone.
Those feelings are just for me...and my grief journal.
Why I Write in a Grief Journal
To start off I need to make a distinction. A grief journal is not your normal journal that you started when you were younger.
We all had one, right? That notebook with the first few pages spent going into dramatic details of every inch of your life. Then as time goes by, the entries get smaller and smaller until eventually they die out about page 10, never to be touched again.
This is different. This journal is for me and my grief. A place for me to share and reminisce about people who are no longer with me.
Losing someone is probably the biggest heartache a person can endure and we all handle it differently.
I know I am extremely private about my grief, I think, for 4 main reasons.
I don’t want people to know how sad I am because I worry that they will worry about me. (Believe me, I know how that sounds!)
I don’t want to try to help people understand what I am feeling.
I don’t want to be censored or understood or solved. It is what it is and I want that to be okay.
I don’t want people to understand the depth of my pain because it is embarrassing and scary to be that vulnerable with someone else.
That is why I started my grief journal. For Me.
I needed a place of non-judgement where I could “throw up all of my feelings on a page” and then close it and live life.
I know I have to move on but sometimes I physically can’t if I don’t work through some of those feelings.
I needed to find a place to put my memories of my loved one.
I wanted a private place where I could write the most mundane things that probably don’t mean anything to anyone else but to me they mean the world.
I didn’t want to forget.
Am I going to forget how they smiled at me?
Or how we laughed so hard that we ended up crying on the floor in a jumble?
Or how we stole those popsicles when her mom wasn’t looking?
How will I remember those things in 10, 20 years when I am making new memories every day? I can’t forget those precious moments so into the journal they go.
Being guided through the memories in the grief journal makes it easy to remember and record the special moments.
I am trying to move on but I don’t know how.
This is the main reason for my grief journal.
I don’t know how to move through the sadness and pain.
I know I am supposed to and some days I even want to. But then there are days when I physically can’t and don’t want to and I just want to stay in bed and cry.
Those are the days when my grief journal is invaluable to me.
Those are the days when I can go to my own private place and record how I am feeling and maybe start to heal just a little bit.
Now this grief journal hasn’t solved all my problems. In fact, sometimes I cry all the way through writing in it but when I am done, I don’t feel so alone and so final about life.
That is when I feel like everything might be okay...one day.
And that is how I am able to talk to people on the street and in the store. I can keep living and talking but while at home, I know I have place to deal with my grief the way I need to--with my grief journal.
Learn more about the grief journal here!
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