There are many literacy-based ways to express and heal grief. If you enjoy writing, then creating stories, typing letters, starting a journal, writing some poetry or producing a blog are powerful ways to process your grief.
I recently lost my boyfriend, Carmin, to cancer, and I was asked to write something for his funeral. It was hard to think about him, as the loss was so new, and the pain so raw. But, as I began to write about the qualities that made him who he was, I felt a release of emotion. As I described him, expressing what I wanted people to remember about him, it helped me remember the man he was before the cancer and what a special person he was to the world. Each word I wrote helped me let go of some of the pain and sadness I was feeling. I have since used writing in a journal to help me deal with this loss.
If writing isn’t your thing, then you can communicate and explore your thoughts and feeling through art or music. There are many excellent books about grief that are available through the public library system and from local hospice groups. There is also an abundance of information available online in the form of podcasts, YouTube videos, and websites.
I have realized that recovering from a loss and processing grief is a very individual journey and, for myself, writing and journaling, as well as talking about how I am feeling, have been effective ways of moving forward. If you are currently working through a loss, I hope that using literacy – in whatever way works for you – helps you get through this difficult time.
Community Literacy Coordinator
Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy – Windermere Valley