Self-Care Therapeutic Writing

Grief Unexpected

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The fall season brings happy thoughts and excitement filled plans for many.  It’s a time for apple picking and visits to pumpkin patches.  Family recipes resurface, and the oven is turned on once again after a summer’s reprieve to outdoor grilling.  However, for others there is another half to the season.  Memories of family members who have gone on before us begin to return often unexpectedly.  Not because of the drop-in temperatures, but due to the upcoming holiday season.

I’ve had dreams of my younger brother twice in the past few weeks.  A realization that the anniversary of his death and birthday coincide with plans for turkey and cranberry sauce.  A victim of gun violence himself, one cannot help but remember the families of the October 1, 2017 shootings in Las Vegas.   Please keep these individuals in your prayers as they continue to heal.  Thoughts of my late grandmother go hand in hand with her peach cobbler even though she left this earth long ago.  The sacrifices she made for her family are what I hold on to.  And what black mother is not known for her sweet potato pie?  Passed down generation to generation from one child to the next.  It was my brothers final request of our mother days before is death.

Writing down your thoughts is a very therapeutic way of dealing with grief and sadness.  Whether it’s a journal entry or list of things you and your family did as a child does not matter.  The importance lies in releasing the emotions being felt and not clinging to them.  What memories did you share with your family?  Do you still follow them or were they lost long ago?  Were there moments shared over coffee or a meal?  My mother and I often shared a pot of coffee in her kitchen since she lived nearby.  Especially the day after a holiday or other special event when there was cleaning that still needed to be done.  My brother and I did the same.  Introducing me to chai tea latte’s as summer time ended.  I can still see him taking that first aromatic sniff from his cup.

Remind yourself of the happy times you shared with those family and/or friends you now grieve.  Write about those times, laugh, cry and cherish the memories you’ve held.  Til next time…

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