Four years ago when I began journaling about my grief journey, I would never have dreamed that it would lead to the writing, publishing, and selling of the book Grief Letters. In reading that sentence again, note that I did not say the journey ended with Grief Letters. Traveling grief does not end with an accomplishment or the fulfillment of a dream. In a very big way, loss will be part of your life forever – so tell your story.
Just because grief is part of your story does not mean you are doomed to forever taste your tears or feel your sadness. The things in your life shape you and help make you who you are today and tomorrow. This concept goes hand-in-hand with one of my favorite scriptures. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV)
You can trust that God will take your sadness and give you joy again. Know that the pain you feel today can shape you into a smiling person tomorrow. When you tell your story, you not only preserve your thoughts and feelings on paper. You also allow others the privilege of traveling along with you.
Some people have never yet experienced a deep grief. They are uncomfortable with the idea of death and lack the knowledge of what to say and how to address those in the midst of a painful journey. When you share your story, you allow others to see inside a walk that is unique and full of meaning. No two people grieve alike. While there are similarities in loss, it is said that the greatest loss is your own. Opening up about your particular grief can aid you in healing while giving hope to others.
One of my greatest concerns in walking my own grief journey was that all the things that I was learning would be wasted because I could not voice the lessons out loud. They were too fresh and tender. Tears accompanied the words each time I spoke. Yet I was determined to make my journey worthwhile and to honor Alan’s life more. So I began to write.
In the beginning, the words were therapeutic. An exercise I was encouraged to do as I worked my way through a workbook, sitting through a 13-week course of Grief Share. http://www.griefshare.org
As I continued to pour out my heart, my feelings, and the lessons I was learning, I began to see the value in those written words. With the encouragement of friends and especially my oldest son, Austin, I decided to bravely venture into the book-writing process, creating my book, Grief Letters.
Tell your story. Write, not just to pen a book, but to have the advantage and experience of organizing thoughts to better understand your own journey. No one else needs to read your journal. It can be as private or as public as you desire. Pic up a pen, or open your keyboard and begin. May your find healing and better understanding as you place your own words to the written page.
Until next time –
Grief Letters By Karen Bransgrove, Published by WestBow Press. You can order here.
Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869674
Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869667
E-Book | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869650
Also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.