"...I was desperate to put into language what had happened, desperate to translate the events into words on a page in the belief that doing so would help clear my befuddled mind."
~ Patrick McKenna Lynch Smith, Leaving the Life: A true story of love, loss and gratitudejournal


The minds and hearts of grieving people swirl with irrational and rational thoughts, fears, worries, wishes, guilt, regrets and emotions.

Isak Dinesen said "all sorrows can be borne if you put them in a story or tell a story about them."

It helps me to write things down. I use this website for some of my musings, but many people would not be comfortable with something so public.

Right after I lost Doug, someone asked me what I needed. When I was younger, I kept a diary. This time I asked her to pick me up a journal.

I find it is useful for:

  • exploring and seeking understanding
  • noting "crazy" thoughts I'm not comfortable with sharing with people
  • working on getting rid of thoughtworms
  • "writing" to the lost one.

A journal or diary is a safe, private place, where you can capture this "stuff" down in one place. Don't worry about editing - it's for your heart and mind.

It may enable you, at some point, to stop dwelling and start living.

"What is the source of our first suffering? It lies in the fact that we hesitated to speak. It was born in the moment when we accumulated silent things within us."
~ author Colum McCann


Giving shape to a painful experience is powerful because it helps us to see first, how we got through it; second, how we can share it. The experience doesn't stay trapped within us, unspoken, curdling - instead the art of arranging and transforming it reduces the burden....The process of assigning the experience a beginning, a middle and an end, of giving it form, is a way of mastering it.
~ Karen E. Bender, The Accidental Writer (NYT Essay 01/27/2013)

It is alright to wallow in one's journal; it is a way of getting rid of self-pity and self-indulgence and self-centeredness. What we work out in journals we don't take out on family and friends.
~ Madeleine L'Engle



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