Journaling Can Help You Get Through Grief

28 November 2019 • Grief Support & Loss

During a time of grief, it is recommended that you talk to people you trust and are close with. Some people even feel comfortable talking to strangers. However, there are people who prefer to keep their thoughts and emotions private, but still want to express them in some way.

That is why writing in a diary or journal is a popular activity during the grieving process. Since blogs have been around for decades, many people choose to type rather than write by hand. Blogging is a great option, too. However, if you want to keep your entries private, make sure to adjust the settings on your preferred blog host. Almost every blogging platform gives users the option to make their account private. 

Having said that, nothing can beat the feeling and the act of putting pen to paper. Let's take a look at how journaling or private blogging can help you during your grieving process. 

Release Bottled Up Emotions

Writing in a journal, diary or personal blog can allow you to release bottled up emotions. When a loved one dies, we can get caught up in the actual process of dealing with death, such as funeral or memorial service arrangements. If you're very close to the person who passed on to the next life, such as a spouse or parent, then you were most likely the one in charge of organizing services.

From hosting guests at services to sorting your loved ones financial accountsand estate, there are numerous things that keep you busy during the postmortem period. This hectic and exhausting schedule won't allow you to stop for a moment to breathe, to step back and have time for yourself. This leads to suppressed emotions. 

By writing once a day, or however often your like, you can release these intense emotions. Don't think like a seasoned writer and worry about literary merit. This is a journal and is not meant to be judged by an editor. Don't worry about punctuation, misspellings, or broken grammar rules. What's important is that you let the words out. 

Self-Discovery

Writing in a journal is a form of conversation with yourself. The more your write, the more you'll learn about your deepest thoughts and emotions. The more you open up, the more you'll be honest with yourself. Journaling or blogging is like talking to yourself in the Grand Canyon. The echoes give an illusion that you're replying to yourself, but it distinctly sounds different, as if it's another person. That's what journaling does; you are able to hear your own voice.

What does that voice tell you? What do the words in your journal mean? By reading and re-reading your own words, you might discovery some hidden aspects of yourself. This is an important part of the grieving process, because a lot of times we forget to care for ourselves. We are so focused on our loved one that we forget to ask ourselves, "Are you all right?"

Have a conversation with yourself and explore the deepest parts of your soul. 

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Protect Your Mental Health

Earlier, we mentioned the negative aspects of bottling up your emotions. Suppressing emotions can have further impact on your mental state if you do it long-term. This is especially the case if you are diagnosed with a form of mental illness. The best advice we could give in that regard is to communicate with professional experts, like a therapist, during this stressful period. They will be able to help you navigate through your grieving process.

One of the most common recommendations by mental health experts is to start writing in a journal. This allows you to release those suppressed emotions and decrease stress. That is because when you're not expressing your thoughts and feelings, what you'll end up doing is thinking about them repetitively. Don't allow those thoughts to linger in your mind. Put them on paper. You'll see how much of a difference it makes on your well-being. 

A Record

A journal is one of the oldest and simplest type of recording device. Many people would rather not keep a record of a dark time in their life, especially if it's a painful tragedy like the departure of a loved one. However, some people find it useful as a form of reference to be used in the future. When you accumulate more experiences in life and become a bit more used to dealing with death, you tend to become a source of comfort for others around you. By using the journal you wrote during your grieving periods, you can look back at the many lessons you've learned and jotted down. You can then share this wealth of wisdom to friends and relatives.

They may need comforting during their own grief and they would be lucky to have you around to help them. You can use these journal archives for yourself as well; a sort of reminder about how much you've grown over the years. You might have also written down wonderful or humorous memories with your loved one. It's nice to go back to your old journals and read about those precious moments. 

Simply Therapeutic 

Writing a journal or personal blog is simply therapeutic. That's arguably the essence of journaling. Expressing yourself releases stress and allow your mind to run wild. There is no judgment or anxiety involved because your journal is private. Out of all the reasons to start writing in a journal, this is probably the most undeniable. So, go ahead, pick up a pen and start writing in a notebook or moleskin. It won't hurt to try. 

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