Writing is a form of self-compassion.
If you would have asked me 10 years ago if I would ever write a book, I would have laughed and told you I was more likely to complete a triathlon or hike to the base camp at Mount Everest. But, here I am-a published author.
Some people ask how I was able to write about the death of my daughter but the reality is that I needed to write. I think it was the act of writing, not just the words that helped me through the toughest part of my life. Even before I thought of a book, I spent time writing in my journal. I scribbled out my deepest feelings and I let my seething anger out onto the paper along with my fears, guilt, and anger.
You may not be able to share your thoughts and emotions with others but it is important to let those feelings out.
Journaling is one way of allowing yourself the space for healing to take place, whether or not you’re ready and willing to express yourself to others. The act of sitting with a journal and pen makes a statement that you are ready to take a step forward.
Journey to HEALING: A Mother's Guide to Navigating Child Loss isn't all about my daughter Katie. I wanted to create a book about my journey, but write about it in a way that others could identify with my journey and could take bits and pieces of to help them on their own road through grief.
After bouncing ideas off of my publisher at Author Academy Elite, I decided to interview other bereaved mothers who walk this path so that I could share their insight as well. This really made my book even more relatable and I’m grateful to my publisher for guiding me in that direction. They really helped me create a resource that was better than I ever could have imagined.
When I sat down to write, I felt like Katie was sitting right beside me, weaving her words into mine. It was so healing.
Since my writing journey began, I have had other bereaved parents ask me if I think they could write their own story. I say, without hesitation-YES! Do it! I cannot think of a better way to honour your child who is now in heaven. And when you have a team to support you, it is far easier than you think. If you can follow an outline and make weekly calls to your team, you can write a book! Goodness knows, if I can, so can you!
Writing your story can be the first step in the healing process, no matter what you have been through. Maybe you write your thoughts in a journal that nobody ever sees, maybe you write your story in a series of letters to your loved one in heaven, or maybe your write a book of poems.
Writing is a safe way to begin your journey.
Here are a few prompts to get you started with your writing:
1. Today, I am having a hard time with…
2. My favourite memory of my child or loved one is...
3. I am ready to feel…
4. Besides writing, another way I can work toward feeling this way, is to…
5. The word gratitude makes me feel... Today, I am grateful for...
And once you get going, just keep writing! Write every day if you can. Create the habit by trying to write at the same time every day. You may get 2 words one day and 2 pages another. But the more you do it, the easier your words will come.
Whether you think you will write a book or just want to work on your healing, grab a pen and a notebook and start today.
Before I decided to write a book, I participated in a 5-day challenge through my publisher that really helped me clarify the ideas in my head. If you want to participate in this free mini-course, click here. It was a really cool experience and opened my eyes to so much!
I'd love to see you write your book and I'm sure your child would too. So, what are you waiting for?
Go for it!