Until this morning when I received the writing prompt I hadn’t decided on the purpose of returning to writing and was wondering how I would stay motivated for the coming month. Identifying a theme to direct my energy towards, creating a plan or outline would be essential to remain focussed. Getting up pre-sunrise would not be a struggle as I cherish this time for myself and with a newfound purpose to write again feel like I am returning to my old self, pre-death of my husband, actually pre-husband.
Interestingly I have always journaled. From a very young age, I have always recorded my thoughts and stories and have journals dating back to my 11-year-old self. One of my earliest memories was going on school camp and writing in a hand made journal by torchlight in a tent when the other girls had gone to sleep. I still have that journal!
Back to my purpose of this challenge and at the back of my mind I have always thought I could give back to others by writing a ‘Little Book of Grief and the Journey Back to Self.’ Almost 4 years on and it’s something that never leaves you. It may no longer be a daily struggle but it’s there and it’s real and there are strategies to cope and days you just simply fail at coping. And both are OK.
The plan for this book is not just to move through the stage of grief, as there numerous diagrams published by well-respected psychologists and behaviourists available. I don’t plan to compete nor rewrite their work. The lines between these stages are so often blurred whereby you can be operating in one stage one day and skip a few the next that I wonder if they are even useful. My plan is to offer a collection of stories that may help the reader relate and possibly identify a few of their emotions, hopefully inspire with the use of quotes that have worked for me and interview friends that have equally experienced great loss, be that in a long term relationship, the death of a loved one, or trauma and grief associated with their own illness.
A brief outline of my writing plan:
- The realisation
- The initial shock of the event
- A video interview
- The days after
- Creating a Masterplan
- Supporting yourself and / or your loved one
- Creating legacy items
- Finding your Zen
- The final days
- Planning for the final day
- The moment of separation
- Feeling alone
- Immersion in nature
- Fitness – mental, physical and spiritual
- Go on a road trip!
- Just breathe
- The first month, counting the days
- 3 months in – people asking about a new relationship
- Gardening and more gardening
- Another anniversary
- Supporting a cause, offering inspiration (Walking Stars)
- Writing it down
- Supporting your children
- Tine to practice self-love
- Letting people back in
- Thinking about the future
- Honoring the grief
- Wedding rings
This list may change and evolve with each day but for now, will allow me to stay focussed. There are so many stages and experiences in moving through grief, each person on their own path. My goal is to share my story and in the process engage with others providing a new safe space to share the pain, joy and growth that comes with the traumatic experience of grief.