Acknowledge Your Feelings

Loving and Living Your Way Through Grief author, Emily Threatt, has advice for anyone who is grieving and struggling with their feelings.

When dealing with loss, we are bombarded by feelings. Some of those feelings, like remembering love and moments of joy, can bring comfort, while others can drag us down to the depths of despair. When those feeling hit, you may fall into the abyss of suffering, unable to rise up from the mire. You have a choice of how to deal with these feelings.  You can fall into that deep hole and suffer, but you know that suffering doesn’t serve you, or you can recognize what is happening and deal with it constructively.

I found that when times like this hit, that the best thing for me to do was get out my journal and write. One way writing helped was to write a letter, which could be to my loved one, to God, to someone who brought up the feeling to me, and tell whoever I write to what I am experiencing right then and how I felt about it. One thing I dealt with was my anger at how Ron’s nephrologists handled his care. I felt that what they had done caused him great physical suffering and ultimately his death. This was a big burden to carry around.

I started dealing with this by writing to Ron, asking what he would want me to do. After more than one long letter to him exploring my feeling about this, I realised I was ready to write the nephrologists, and I did.  And I wrote the place where the dialysis was administered, and the company who manufactured the dialysis solutions, and the hospital. I was able to tell them objectively what we had experienced and the changes I saw that they needed to make. I heard back from all of them, and though I don’t know if they actually made any changes, I was able to release the anger because I felt I had done all I could under the circumstances. Think about who you could write that could make a difference in how you are feeling.

Another way to write to help you deal with your feelings is to first identify the feelings you are dealing with. Make a list which might include things like anger, loneliness, loss, guilt, and depression. Include any feelings that you are dealing with right now. Next, identify the feeling that is bothering you’re the most right now. Then, have a conversation with that feeling as if it is a person. Tell that person exactly how you are feeling including all the details. Then ask either what that feeling thinks you can do about it, or tell it what you plan to do to deal with it. Be sure to allow that feeling to respond to you through your writing. Don’t think about your writing. Just let it flow. You will be amazed at what shows up on paper.

Using these writing techniques, you can discover what your heart already knows, and you can see what you need to do to heal. This kind of writing allows you to take the very best care of yourself so that you can focus more clearly on the present moment and discover the beauty, peace, joy, and love that is always there.