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Journaling About Multiple Losses – Some Tips From Experience

Seven days after my daughter and father-in-law died on the same weekend, I started my 2007 journal. Putting my thoughts into words was helpful. Eight weeks later, when my brother died, I continued to write. Six months later, when my former son-in-law died, I realized I was writing to survive.

I found hope in my journal pages and they eventually became a book. Life is stressful and confusing after you have suffered multiple losses. You may not think you have time to keep a journal, but I encourage you to do it. Journaling will help you do your grief work and reconcile your losses. These journaling tips worked for me and I hope they work for you.

1. Feelings first. Multiple losses create dozens of feelings. Your journal is an ideal place to ventilate, name your feelings, and see where they lead. Feelings are messages from your subconscious and conscious mind and you need to listen to them. Recovery is possible only after you have faced your feelings and the pain that comes with them.

2. Focus on one. Multiple losses force you to examine your relationship with each of the deceased. This emotional task can take years, especially if you have suffered multiple losses. My daughter’s death was the most shocking so most of my journal entries were about her. I wrote about her strengths, weaknesses, and accomplishments. After I reconciled this loss I wrote about my other three losses.

3. Record events. Each loss creates secondary losses and they can be as big a burden as death itself. Listing these losses in your journal will help you cope with them. Pay attention to your secondary losses because they are far-reaching. Make sure you date every journal entry.

4. Write without thinking. This tip, called stream of consciousness writing, comes from Kathleen Adams, MA, author of “Journal to the Self.” She compares journal writing to emptying a purse, a process that allows you to “sift through and see what has been forgotten, what has been overlooked, what can be discarded.” You discover new things about yourself when you write without thinking.

5. Track grief work. Recovering from multiple losses takes longer than recovering from one. But the stress of multiple losses may obscure your progress. I did not realize the extent of my progress until I read my journal entries. Instead of being stuck in grief, I was moving forward, and I made a list of the proactive steps I had taken. Your journal will help you make a similar list.

6. Transform yourself. Multiple losses, especially the death of a child, changes you forever. You are a different person. Judy Tatelbam writes about this transformation in her book, “The Courage to Grieve.” “So deeply are we moved by the impact of severing a love relationship,” she writes, “that we are bound to change in some way.” Tatelbaum thinks mourners can be “creative survivors.” I am a creative survivor and my journal helped me become one. Your journal can lead you to a new life.

Journaling about multiple losses is not easy. You will cry, get your feelings under control, and cry again. Still, journaling is worth the time, pain, and self-examination. Months from now, your words will reveal a new and stronger you.

Copyright 2009 by Harriet Hodgson

http://www.harriethodgson.com

About The Journals

 

In people’s life, memories are precious things because people, places, and moment come and go forever.

To not forger the events that go on everyday, people often write journals. What they write are eternized for future generations to read. The type of journal depends on the taste of writers. Some people write on whatever they have available, others are sad to leather journals.

 

 

Journal writing is a very personal endeavor, but some suggestions will allow a journal to become more than just a written story about your life.

 

The first step of journal writing is to write. It may seem obvious, but it is easier said than done for many people. Often, a person may be at a loss for words to describe an event. The key here is to just write. Emotions and feelings will allow a person to share or vent, depending on what happened.

 

This is very cathartic for many. Writing permits a person to say what he or she was thinking, whether or not the words were spoken aloud. Once written, these words can be analyzed at a later time and may provide insight. Words written are keys to unlocking memories of old.

 

Another step that will further enhance a journal, whether it is a leather journal or scrap of paper, is to add pictures of the written memory. In a sense, the journal then becomes a scrapbook. People that read their journal later will see the people or places that they were talking about. The picture association will help to relive something or someone that might have been forgotten otherwise. Even the best of minds may forget something that is unforgettable at the time.

 

Letters, cards, and notes can be put into a journal next to an entry. This third step consolidates what others have said and the reaction the writer had to receiving it. Thus a journal becomes a documentary of what has happened. It will become more alive to the writer as well as a future reader.

 

Journal writing enables a person to record and remember. It is vital to have memories of the past because it teaches lessons. History comes alive because people have left records. In this way, someone today can learn from someone of yesterday. Journals serve as a medium of communication for people everywhere and it is a great way to connect with ancestors and their stories.

 

 

If you are looking for a leather journal or leather journals, look no further than Rustico Leather. Art Gib is a freelance writer.

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