Grief: Speaking Words Unsaid through Writing

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The loss of a loved one leaves words unsaid.

Writing provides one way to say what time and death did not allow.

I love you. Nothing will fill the hole in my heart. No one knows how much I loved you. I do not know if you realized how much I loved you. I am so sorry that I got annoyed at you. I hope u knew how much I loved you. I am talking to the air. I do not know how to do this, my luv. I do not know how to live without you. I will, I know, but now, I do not know how.

Letters to My Love

One month after John’s death I was fearful, anxious and irritable. During a visit, my son-in-law had the perfect wisdom for me. He said, “you need to write about this, Mom because that is what you do.” Following his advice, I began speaking words unsaid by writing to John daily for several months. The letters began as short notes describing my day. Connecting to John through these short notes brought comfort and allowed me to say things I had not had time to say before he died.

My Daily Connection Need

Email, text messages, posting on social media are today’s primary methods of connecting with just about anyone. In our current culture, connecting daily with friends and loved ones on various social media platforms is commonplace. John’s death did not remove my need for connecting with him daily. I needed to feel someone heard my cries of sorrow.

Connecting through notes allowed me to revisit my relationship with John. Speaking words unsaid brought relief, tears and sometimes a smile. I wrote in metaphors and used analogies to describe my emotions. Connecting through letters helped me remember the role John played in my life. He grounded me. He made bad days not so bad by making me laugh. With each letter, I felt relief from the pain of grief, release from regret and a fleeting moment of peace in my soul. As time passed, I no longer wrote directly to John but continued to record my emotions, thoughts, and insights. In those early days following his death, connecting with him through writing helped me transition through most of the stages of grief.

Connecting to your loved one through writing allows you to speak to them, to bare your soul to them.

Speaking words unsaid can give not only relief but real healing.

King David wrote to God often. The book of Psalms records David’s conversations with God. Most passages begin with an emotional outcry of pain but end with praise and thanksgiving. David records moments of grief, anger, fear, and remorse. He is candid. Connecting to God was vital to David’s existence. Through his writing, David speaks to God and always recalls the true nature of his relationship with God.

Imagine David’s’ life without these times of connection through writing. He found relief from the pain of grief, from anger, and from fear through his writing. Connecting to those we’ve lost through letters can help us find treasured moments of peace.  Speaking words unsaid can connect us to relief and release.

Whether you write directly to your loved one, to God or simply put thoughts to paper addressed to no one, the process of acknowledging your thoughts, emotions, and struggles through writing can lead to emotional and spiritual healing.

How did you connect your emotions, thoughts, and insights during the early days following your loss?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below.