Writing can be an instrument of self-exploration, self-expression, and self-discovery that provides us with a safe space to simply be, without being judged. It is especially useful when there may be things that are unsaid and emotions unshared.
Writing down thoughts and feelings after a loved one has died allows us to express our thoughts and feelings freely and safely. It can also provide us with the tools to explore and discover what’s going on inside so that we can build our inner strength.
Journaling is a common form of writing with which we can feel, honor, express, apologize, say unsaid things, remember, or simply be creative. The key is to follow our heart and to never judge ourselves or our writing.
Our experts today have written about their own experience with grief through books and film. Other forms to consider are writing letters to your loved one, creating a memoir of their life and your life together, creating poetry or haikus, or even creating a work of fiction, as our Founder, Jo-Ann Lautman did in her book Tears and Tequila.
Hope Edelman is an internationally bestselling author, speaker, writing instructor, and coach. She has published seven books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Motherless Daughters, Motherless Mothers, and The Possibility of Everything.
Motherless Daughters is widely considered the beloved and go-to book for millions of women whose mothers have died. It has been published in 17 countries and inspired more than 60 support groups around the world.
Her next book, The Aftergrief, will explore the natural, lifelong arc of grief traveled by anyone who’s lost a significant loved one in the past. Hope lives in Los Angeles, where she raised two daughters and six cats, though not all at the same time.
KTTV’s, Fox 11 (Los Angeles), Anchor Maria Quiban Whitesell teamed up with licensed therapist Lauren Schneider to provide readers with a roadmap for walking through illness, death and grief in their book You Can’t Do It Alone, a grief support guide where the two of them – a widow and a mental health expert – provide guidance and thoughtful advice for anyone dealing with traumatic loss.
Key Book Takeaways:
Bobby Roth is a storyteller and filmmaker – writing, directing and producing numerous acclaimed movies and television shows over his career. He says, “They say storytellers should write what they know. I have done this throughout my life, no more so than in my latest film, Pearl. Fate and irony inspired me to write a story that is deeply personal in a way I never imagined.”
In Pearl, he began writing a story rooted in the greatest tragedy of his life and discovered it was actually a beautiful love story. In 1988, on a Tuesday morning, after their kids left for school, his brother-in-law, who suffered from severe depression shot and killed his sister and then turned the gun on himself.
Pearl was released on August 11, 2020 and makes a powerful statement about a family torn apart by gun violence. Pearl is a young girl whose adoring mother is suddenly taken from her, leaving her to a father she has never known, ill-equipped to parent but with a surprising capacity for love.
Our own Lauren Schneider talks to Bobby in this riveting interview about the impact of grief on teens and how love can heal a family.
Kate Spencer mom died from cancer when she was 27. In The Dead Moms Club, she walks readers through her experience of stumbling through grief and loss, and helps them to get through it, too.
The Dead Moms Club covers how the death of her mother changed nearly everything in her life. Kate speaks to us about how writing a memoir about her mom helped her deal with her own deep grief and helped her overcome the pain.
Journaling Prompt #5 with Gabi Birkner