I posted a grief writing prompt for the first time in quite a while yesterday. I mentioned at the time, that I hadn’t forgotten about those of you who follow me for this type of content. But I also wanted to say a little more about this.
At the turn of the year, I began offering daily grief writing prompts. I kept it up for 52 consecutive days (with maybe a few missed in-between) before I realised something. It was too much for me. The daily focus on it had become a drain. I had committed to offering up these writing prompts to those grieving. I had received feedback telling me people found them helpful and I felt I ‘should’ keep going for those of you who needed it. But in doing so, I had neglected myself and forgotten that too much of something good can actually be a bad thing. Grief is a part of who I am now. It is some of my personal life and some of my professional life. But grief doesn’t define me. It’s not all of who I am or of what I do. And more than that. Sometimes when it comes to our emotions we need to think of ourselves first. This was one such time for me.
In June this year it will be three years since I last heard my husband’s voice. Three years since I last heard his laugh, which for those of you who were lucky enough to know him, was pretty distinctive. Time is altering my grief continuously. I cry less and smile more when I think of him now. But nevertheless, writing as I am now, never fails to invite my tears to flow. There is comfort in that. But thinking daily of grief in that way, was not what I needed. So I made the right decison for me.
Writing to help you process grief is such a powerful tool. But you need to be ready, pace yourself and remember that to focus on it exclusively to the detriment of other areas of life is not the goal. It has to be balanced and proportionate. It must allow emotional processing at a level that feels manageable.
So I’m here to say this. Use writing as a tool to aid your emotional healing, whatever your difficulty. It will serve you well. I will never stop advocating for the benefits of it. But remember not to let it become your sole focus. You will still find grief content and compassion here. But it will be at level that is manageable for me. And that’s what I am advocating for you too.