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Monday, June 28, 2021

What Helped Me Heal and Be Okay (part 4 writing)

Writing is something I have done my entire life. I have always kept a journal or a diary. I still use a paper planner and I do bullet journaling. I do a lot of my writing now with paper and a pen. The secret is to have paper that is smooth with college ruled lines and a pen that flows smoothly and writes in a thickness that I love. Although I find using using Google voice effective so that I can get all of my thoughts out while it types for me, I still find that handwriting is the most therapeutic way to write.

I have gotten away from a lot of journaling being a full-time teacher, a mom to three boys, a wife, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a parishioner, a fundraiser and every other role I had in my life, but when Steve died I knew I needed to get back to it.

I wrote letters to God. I wrote about how I was angry with him and how confused I was. I wrote scripture verses that were helping me heal. I wrote prayers of petition. I wrote prayers of gratitude. I asked that he watch over me and my boys. I thanked him for the time I had with Steve and for all that our life together had taught me.

I wrote letters to Steve. I wrote him poems. I wrote about how much I missed him and things that I appreciated about him. I wrote lyrics from songs that meant something to the two of us. I asked him for advice on how to be a single parent. 

I wrote about what I was thinking and experiencing and what was happening in my life related to grief and related to everything else because although I was deeply grieving I still had the rest of my life going on and there was a lot going through my brain at every moment about my self-worth, about grief, worries about my boys and parenting and being a good mom, about my job and how that was not going well, about the students I worked with and the worries I had for them, about my friends and family and everyone else that was grieving while living their life, thoughts about my future and how I was supposed to be and who I was, and about the things I was learning about myself. 

A friend of mine told me that I should write a guide for other widows on what to do related to the financial part and so I started this blog. I have not done a good job of sharing the financial portions like I planned but the rest of this has been so therapeutic that I've needed to continue it.

I did go back and take out sections of my journal and turn it into a book. I learned all about self-publishing and cover design. 
In the spring of 2020 I was able to publish a book about my healing called "It's Okay to be Okay; Finding Joy through Grief" on Amazon. Any money that I have made by selling either the ebook or my paperback, I have used to purchase copies which I then donate to others that are grieving especially widows. I have received a lot of positive feedback from those that have read through it that it was helpful for them regardless if they had lost a spouse or not. I still hope to bring copies to the local funeral homes to be able to reach more people. I would also like to do a book launch that was cancelled because of the pandemic. 

I did some writing using prompts that I found on Pinterest but found that just free writing and getting any thoughts in my head around paper was one of the best ways to heal.

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