Monday, March 2, 2015

Grief Unites Us

I've been teaching a class on Healthy Grieving for the past month and today's class was the epitome of why I do it. And why I'll continue to teach this class at different places around my city, for different sets of community members.

Today was Essay Day. The assignment, two weeks ago, was to write their story down. We'd spent the previous four weeks telling our stories, and sharing healthy grieving tips, and talking about how other cultures mourn losses encased in rituals, but this time I wanted it written down.

For a writer it doesn't even need to be said that writing things down helps us process our emotions and figure things out. But this same catharsis and self-reflection is available to anyone who chooses to write down their thoughts and feelings about their grief, their mourning, and their loss.

Everyone in class opted to read their essay aloud and the variety was so interesting. Some wrote poems; some told their stories enveloped in non-fiction fairy tales. Some told theirs in chronological order; some read stories in the future tense.

One woman today even surprised herself with an anger she didn't know was there. She'd written her story in the form of a letter to her family. She didn't have any emotion while writing it, but when she read it, she cried. She cried for the little girl that had been treated unfairly and was made to grow up way too fast.

I've asked my students for their permission to share their stories with you. Each week--starting next week--I'll include a new grief story from among them.

It is my belief that when we read of others going through similar experiences as ourselves, that we feel a kinship. We feel part of a tribe. We feel less isolated.

And in a world of go-go-go, smart phones, and texting at dinner tables, we need all the tribe we can get.

Please check back for a new grief story each week, as well as my personal blog posts about gardening, permaculture, travel, or my author journey.

And leave comments! I love to read them.

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