Thursday, March 19, 2015

Let’s talk about grief, baby

I’m afraid I’m no stranger to grief.  I think few of us are.  Grief is an inevitable part of life: we live, we love, we suffer, and we lose those we love.  One thing I have learned about grief, particularly as I’ve grieved, sometimes silently/secretly, for the loss of my mother and my maternal grandmother over the past few years, is that expressing and sharing the complex emotions of grief is helpful.  It might be cathartic, it might be that you begin to understand that all those feelings that seem entirely wrong and unrelated to the simple underlying sense of sorrow - guilt, fear, anger, and relief to name just a few - are all part of the deal, or it might just been the awareness that this silent pain is not one that you’re experiencing alone - others get your pain, and love you for getting theirs.

While I was caring for my mother, we were looking through some of her photos and one was of my maternal great-grandparents with three of their children, my grandmother being the fourth, as yet unborn.  The image unleashed long suppressed and intense feelings in my mother, who confided in me a great deal of her own grief.  When I found the photo again as I was cleaning out her things, I decided to have it restored by the excellent AZ Pictured.  The image inspired me to write the piece that long-listed in the 2014 Grieve Writing Competition.  As I attended the live reading, I was similarly moved by the beautifully written outpouring of grief that I heard, and found the whole process to be surprisingly healing.  So today’s post is really just an encouragement to you to write your own grief in whatever form it comes out in, and then, enter it into the Grieve Writing Competition for 2015, which is now open.  The competition is open until June 1st, and you can enter online here:  You could win $1,000, hear your story read live by professional readers, and above all, inspire and help someone else in their grief as you share yours.  I will look forward to reading (and hearing) your work.  Good luck!

1 comment:

  1. Writing it out is a great way to deal with grief.