(Do not send or mail. This is for your benefit only!)
1. This is What Happened
a. Tell the “Good, Bad, and the Ugly”.
b. Do not censor your words, language, punctuation, etc. Don’t go back and correct anything. Just write!
c. Do not think about how other people might criticize what you are saying – this is your opportunity to tell your experience.
d. Take all the time you need to write how you understand the situations that happened. You may want to start a separate page for each of the four sections of this letter.
2. These Are MY Feelings About What Happened
a. The feelings that I felt when it was happening.
i. How my body felt, for example: nausea, tension in shoulders, adrenaline rush, cold inside, shaking, etc.
ii. The emotions that I felt, for example: anger, fear, confusion, powerlessness, etc.
b. This is how I feel now when I think about what happened.
c. These are my feelings when I think about what happened to me, happening to someone I love.
3. This is How the Events that Happened Have Affected My Life
a. My self-esteem
b. My choices
c. My relationships
d. My health – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual
4. This is What I Ask Now
a. My fantasy or ideal – What I would ask from you, if you could be the kind of person I have wanted you to be. What would I have liked you to do or not do? What did I need or want that you didn’t give?
b. My reality – Given who I know you to be, what:
i. New boundaries are safe for me? What can I do to have safety and peace?
ii. New behaviors can I believe are possible? For you, for me?
If You Get Stuck:
1. Write you last sentence again.
2. Write down whatever thoughts or questions you have, for example: What good is this going to do? What if I don’t remember everything?
3. Pray for help and strength.
Set Appropriate Boundaries
1. Decide on a time limit that feels right for you on this particular day; for example, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour.
2. If you like, set an alarm clock or stove timer so you don’t need to think about the time boundaries.
3. Ask your partner/kids/housemate to take messages for you from phone calls or visitors, or turn your phone off, so you won’t be interrupted while you do your healing work.
4. If you have a regular healing time – let trusted friends know you are not available during your writing/meditation/healing sessions.
1. Find a comfortable space for yourself. Sit in a favorite chair, enjoy some herbal tea, a scented candle, relaxing music, etc.
2. Wrap yourself in a favorite blanket, hug a stuffed toy, or pet your cat/dog while you write.
After Doing Healing Work
1. Give yourself permission to not think about healing work until your next writing/healing work time.
2. Do something enjoyable/fun/fulfilling to you, for example: go for a walk, phone a friend, do a hobby.
It is normal to feel a profound sense of grief when a loved one passes away, or even at the loss of a relationship, job, special item, or dream. I provide a safe, relaxed, and supportive atmosphere for you to explore and express all the varying, and sometimes confusing, emotions that come along with the grief process. As we begin to make sense of the loss and make meaning from it, you will uncover a new direction or renewed purpose in life, and the sad feelings will begin to subside. Rather than trying to forget the pain, you will be able to remember your loved one or your loss, with feelings of gratitude for the past and inspiration for the future as you move forward in life.
Blog postings by:
Nadine Duckworth, M.Ed. Registered Psychologist