Writing Your Story from the Heart of Grief

Writing stories of your personal search for lasting love is a way to

  • open your heart to the legacies of those you remember
  • find and hold them again in separation
  • balance the pain of missing them
  • discover how lasting love enriches your life

Sharing your stories with others or encouraging them to write their own helps them find lasting love and similar rewards for the hard work of grieving. We never capture all that another's life means to us in words. Their characters are deeper than we can fathom. Our lives together are too richly textured. They touch us in ways that elude us. And our abilities to reflect and express ourselves are limited. In thinking of what to write, focus on something that is especially meaningful and representative. Strive to say what you need to say in less than 2000 words.

If after writing one story you are moved to write others, by all means do so. Keep them someplace safe. Share them with others when and in ways that suit you. And please consider submitting more than one story for posting.

Take and use any one or combination of these questions that works to get you started remembering and writing:

  • Do you ever feel that your loved one still loves you? What are the circumstances? What is it like when the feeling comes? What memories surface? How is the experience meaningful?
  • Do you ever express your continuing love? What prompts you to do it? What do you say or do? How is doing it meaningful for you or others?
  • Have you worked your way through unfinished business or ambivalence in a relationship and found love to cherish? How did you do it? What was the experience like?
  • Does something touched by your loved one (a thing, a place, an occasion, food, music, an activity, an experience, another person, or a social setting) give you a sense of continuing connection? What memories does the something hold? What place did it have in his or her life or in yours together? How do you feel connected? How do you cherish it now?
  • Do you hold one memory especially dear? What detail do you remember? What is it about it that makes it so precious to you?
  • What do you do to cherish memories? Are there unusual or especially effective ways that you access memories, keep them alive, preserve them, extend them, share them with others, or explore their meanings?
  • Did a loved one leave you a practical legacy? Do you keep a promise or covenant? Do you access and use advice and counsel? Do you do something in a particular way? Have you followed in their footsteps? Have you made one of their interests your own?
  • Are there ways that you find your roots in a loved one's life story? What do you cherish in cultural or family traditions they passed on or moments of deepest connection with them?
  • Did a loved one teach you how to care deeply about a thing, a place, food, music, nature, family, friends, community, or your self? What is the lesson in soulful living that you learned? In what experiences did you learn it? How have you embraced the lesson in your life?
  • Did a loved one teach you a lesson about hope and resilience, faith, perseverance, courage, joy or adventure? What is the lesson of the spirit that you learned? In what experiences did you learn it? How have you embraced the lesson in your life?

Submitting Your Story

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