I've read over and over how much it helps. I've given it a try but have thrown it to the side. My journals seem to turn into letters to Jerry that leave me sobbing, not sure how much that helps.
If you journal how has it helped? Would you recommend I keep trying? Do your journals end up as letters that will never get read or have you set a different tempo for them?
I feel as if all of my previous positivity is slipping away, and I'm grasping at straws to hang on to being positive and having a healthy outlook.
Misty, I do journal and have off and on for most of my adult life. I used to write about my feelings and it was a healthy way to release anger and frustration or make sense of confusion. The final year of my husband's life he was in Hospice. The journal I kept that year I titled "The Trips I Could Never Take". Each Sunday evening I went some place in my imagination and spent the next few evenings googling it. I fed llamas in the Andes; went helio-skiing in Alaska; picked olives in Italy; swam with whales in the Pacific Ocean; visited the highest waterfall in Iceland; rode the Atlantic in the Mayflower with a many, many times great-grandfather. Just to name a few of the exciting places I was in my imagination. Pure escapism! It took me away from the exhausting days and nights of a final illness that lasted far too long.
However, when my husband died a little over five years ago, I discovered my well was empty. There was nothing I wanted to write. After several months, the emptiness became overwhelming and I wanted to change. I decided to shift focus and I chose the word "joy" to explore that year because there was absolutely no joy in my life. My very survival depended upon finding some solace and laughter. I collected famous quotes and some Scripture passages that resonated with my heart. I wrote them into the journal in a variety of bright colors. I added cartoons and pictures and pasted in stickers. The journal became filled with color and butterflies and rainbows and jokes. Everything either spoke to my heart with positivity and brought a smile or laugh or it didn't get put in. It really was an amazing year of restoration that got me headed back to good health.
A good friend who is a published author told me I was doing my journaling wrong and my thoughts should pour out of me. I told her there was nothing left to pour. This way of journaling was filling me up once again. Other people were nourishing me and focusing on joy was restoring my soul. Yes, I do pick a new word each year and yes, I do go back every now and then to look at these journals and yes, I share them with others who are hurting. My way might not be right for any one else, but I offer it here as an idea for you to try. Bottom line: do not give up writing! Blessings to you, Barb
Bless Your Heart Barbee...
Barbee, that is such a fantastic idea! I'll give your "Joy Journal" a go. Thanks
I'm going to start tonight, hopefully, I'll stick to it. Nat I'm glad you've found something helpful!
It's all about the process. As each of us processes grief differently, each individual journals differently.
No right way; no wrong way. It is just our own, personal way to help healing and accepting what is.
My husband passed in May and I start writing him letters in September. Like you, I vent and tell him thing that are happening with the kids and their lives. Then I print them and put them in a box I have in my bedroom. His Christmas card is in there too. It helps. Even though I normally cry the whole time I'm writing. I feel better after I have talked to him.
I've been journaling since Marcus's death in January. A lot of the entries are simply getting things out of my head. Sometimes they're a recap of my day and what I found to be hard or what I found to be helpful; or developments of things as a result of the accident. Sometimes the entries are responses to memes, posts, videos that I've seen on grief. I spend a lot of time reading devotionals and meditating on the bible, so I write about what I find there, too.
Only once have I written a letter to Marcus. It was recently. It just came out of me that way, so I let it.
I keep my journal on my Google Drive, so I can access it from my phone, my laptop, my work computer. It's always with me, and no one asks questions when I'm typing on those devices versus me whipping out a paper journal.
Oh - one other thing! I attended GriefShare (the 13 week course ended last week) and I am making a conscious effort to read and do the journal topics in my workbook, as I couldn't do them at the time.
Thank you Shelly, I bought a cute one but haven't started yet.
I have journaled off and on most of my life. Much of my married life I did not journal, only when he was away on a trip.
Then when he died, I took it up again. It was a companion if you will. My beginning entries are more directed to Ed than not. In the last year I have not been writing regularly at all. I haven't given up as yet but it isn't so important.
I actually have thrown my older journals away. I have no children so I don't think anyone would be interested.
That being said, after my mom died, I took all of her journals and I am reading them now.
This is not to say anything other than writing can be a solace when you need it!
Susan, you'd be surprised who might enjoy your old journals. LOL, maybe I'm just nosy but I love coming across things like that!
Oh no. They were awful. I wish I could say I was an insightful teen but I was not.
I may keep the current bunch - the last 4 years. At least for now because it is good to go back and see how much I have changed!
Also I am just so aware of my "stuff". The hardest thing after my mother died was to empty her house of 50 years plus of stuff! My parents kept everything. I have sworn not to.
keep them Susan!