I have found writing my thoughts and feelings down to be very helpful as I navigate this life without my Colin. In the beginning, it was so hard to tell my family or my friends how broken I was. I did not want to burden them.
I did talk with a therapist and that was good. They are paid to listen or just to bear witness to our tears. But at some point, going was no longer feasible for me. It got too expensive and so I looked for other ways to find some relief. My daughter-in-law gave me my first journal and it sat there for a while unused. Finally, one particularly hard day I opened it and wrote/ slashed the word into the page: WHY? Over and over I filled that blank page with my heartbreaking question, the question we all have after such a loss.
Of course, I did not get an answer, but I did experience some lightness. The next time it was another one-word entry all over the page: SORRY! Another feeling we – especially parents — experience.
Over time my writing became more expressive. it became an outlet for my daily thoughts, feelings and yes – even my joy. My journal is my friend. It keeps my secrets. It provides a place to unload and clarity after I read through my writing. It has become a place where I create the beauty I crave. This world can be stark and cold. In my journal, it is warm, pretty, funny. I add so much more than words now.
I could not do it in my beginning. Everything hurt, but I kept on with it. Not always every day. Sometimes just when I needed a friend.
I hope you try journaling. It has been a lifesaver for me. If you can’t write then draw, paint, cut out magazine pictures and glue them in. Write quotes that touch you. There is so much to journaling than just “dear diary”.
I thank my daughter in law so much for my first journal and I thank myself for continuing with the practice. It is just one more way I am helping myself survive without my Colin.